I grew up in Texas, and my first “real” job was in a rural part of the state where there were exponentially more cows than people. That being said, the first time I ever set foot on a working ranch was at Bullara Station Stay in Ningaloo, Western Australia. Here, they call it a cattle station.
Exmouth is one of my favorite places in the world. (You can read about more than 50 of my best experiences in the remote town.) And yet, on my three visits, I’d never made it the 45 minutes down the road to Bullara Station Stay. I’d passed it on the way to Coral Bay dozens of times but never stopped. I heard friends talk about the epic sunsets. The delicious damper. And, of course, the burger nights.
When I planned my fourth visit to Exmouth, I knew I needed to boot-scootin’-boogie my way to Bullara. So, along with a few girlfriends, we packed our bags, stocked a couple of coolers, and headed to the station.
Where can I sleep at Bullara Station Stay?
From solo travelers to family reunions, all are welcome at Bullara. With powered and unpowered camping sites, a Shearer’s Lodge that sleeps up to 16 (with rooms that can be rented out individually), safari huts and bell tents, as well as the famous Hale Hut and Kapock Cottage, the cattle station can accommodate you — no matter how big your “herd” is.
We wanted air-con, a deck with a BBQ, and access to the private pool, so we opted for the upgraded experience at the 3-bedroom Hale Hut. Big bonus? The fire pit was perfect for roasting s’mores! Just don’t forget to BYOW (bring your own wood)!
A scrumptious station: Bullara is a foodie’s paradise
Scones to start the day
Look, if I hadn’t experienced it myself, I never would have guessed that a cattle station in Australia would be responsible for the best scones I’ve ever tried. Sorry, London, these homemade clouds of carb-filled heaven smothered in jam and cream are just better Down Under.
Head on down to the camp kitchen with a chair, a drink, and a tub of butter every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 5 pm for a damper-tasting happy hour— emphasis on the happy part! I’m not a huge bread person (I know, I know, what kind of monster doesn’t love bread?!), but I am obsessed with this fluffy campfire-cooked bread.
While you’re there, leave a message on the bottle tree and check out the notes from past travelers.
Burgers never tasted this good. Bullara beef (and a whole lotta love) goes into making this burger night an absolute success. Patties are cooked over the campfire while live music plays, and memories are made. When your area gets the go-ahead to grab a burger, choose from various toppings, or go for the gold and just say yes to everything!
Long table dinner
Who would have guessed that Michelin-trained chefs would make their way to remote Australia to cook up a storm on a cattle station? Toby and Maree make meals with local produce, Bullara beef, and a hefty dose of culinary creativity. Be sure to book ahead so you don’t miss out.
Connect with nature
Take the sand dune track up into the dunes for the most magnificent sunset. During golden hour, the red sand almost seems to glow— although the champagne we brought to toast the sunset could have played a part in that, too.
Say hi to the sheep
When you greet the wooly welcoming comittee, be sure to look for Spit. The sheep with an adorable underbite was named for the cooking method, not the bodily function. (Kinda like naming a pig Bacon, huh?)
Of course, you’ll also see horses, cows, kangaroos, and more. You may hear the story of the bull that’s “so friendly you can sit on him,” but I grew up going to rodeos, and I’d recommend keeping clear of all giant bulls.
Shower in nature
Keep your clothes on in public, partner! There’s a private bush shower where you can bathe in nature (and get an epic Instagram photo, if that’s your thing).
One thing is for sure. When you spend time at Bullara Station Stay, you’ll come back with way fewer worries (and just a little extra red dust on your shoes.)