Anna Creek Station

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Coordinates: 28°51′0″S 138°8′0″E / 28.85000°S 138.13333°E / -28.85000; 138.13333

Anna Creek Station is located in South Australia
Anna Creek Station
Anna Creek Station
Location in South Australia[1]
Anna Creek main homestead

Anna Creek Station is the world's largest working cattle station. It is located in the Australian state of South Australia.[2]

Description[edit]

Anna Creek Station has an area of 23,677 km2 (9,142 sq mi; 5,851,000 acres)[3] which is slightly larger than Israel.[4][dead link] It is 8,000 km2 (2,000,000 acres; 3,100 sq mi) larger than its nearest rival, Alexandria Station in the country's Northern Territory. It is over seven times the size of the United States' biggest ranch, King Ranch in Texas, which is 3,340 km2 (830,000 acres; 1,290 sq mi).[5]

The station is arid pastoral country.[6] As of 16 December 2016, the station is owned by the Williams Cattle Company, a family business that bought Anna Creek from S. Kidman & Co, doubling their total area held under pastoral leases.[6] The nearest township is William Creek (which is surrounded by the Anna Creek station), but the nearest town for freight is Coober Pedy.

History[edit]

The property was originally established in 1863 but moved to its current location in 1872. It was originally used for sheep, but due to losses from dingo attacks, they switched to cattle.[5]

The land occupying the extent of the Anna Creek Station pastoral lease was gazetted as a locality by the Government of South Australia on 26 April 2013 with the name 'Anna Creek'.[7][8]

Anna Creek in the 2000s[edit]

Trail bikes used for mustering, Anna Creek main homestead

Despite its size, in 2007 Anna Creek Station was carrying only 1,500 head of cattle due to the 2000s drought. In 2008, when the station was owned by S. Kidman and Co Ltd, there were eight full-time staff and they were destocking all their cattle.[9] Following floods in 2010, conditions improved and the station restocked. It had 10,000 head of cattle in May 2011[10] and is capable of carrying up to 16,500 head of cattle during a good season.[9] They raise Santa Gertrudis cattle as they are suitable for hot, dry climates.

Date Cattle Staff Source
September 2002 16,000 ? [11]
May 2003 16,500 19 [12]
July 2005 13,000 ? [13]
November 2006 4,000 ? [14]
June 2008 1,500 8 [9]
May 2011 11,000 ? [15]
August 2012 17,000 17 [16]

In mid April 2016, it was announced that the South Australian cattle company Williams Cattle Company was to acquire Anna Creek from S Kidman & Co, subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board of the sale of the remainder of the Kidman holding to a consortium led by the Chinese group Dakang Australia Holdings.[17] Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison blocked the sale later that month, in the national interest. Anna Creek is located in a weapons testing range. Morrison had previously blocked the sale of Kidman to related Chinese company, Pengxin Group.[18] In December, Anna Creek was finally sold to the South Australian family business Williams Cattle Company, at an estimated $16 million, while the rest of the Kidman empire was sold to a consortium comprising mining magnate Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting, owning 67%, and the Chinese company Shanghai CRED, owning 33%.[6][19] The Williams family planned to invest heavily in new waters and trucking yards in order to facilitate an increase in the number of stock carried on the station.[6]

Life at Anna Creek[edit]

There is a main homestead at Anna Creek and an outstation at The Peake. Although the homesteads are very isolated, they have satellite telecommunications including television and internet. The Coober Pedy Oodnadatta One Day Mail Run delivers mail twice a week and can bring a small amount of freight.[20] The Peake Ruins, including those of a former telegraph office, cemetery, mine site and lime kilns at the outstation, are listed on the South Australian Heritage Register.[21] The Strangways Springs Telegraph Station Ruins on the station are also listed on the Heritage Register.[22]

Once there was a large workforce of stockmen at Anna Creek, who mustered the cattle on horses. Today light aircraft are used for spotting animals which are rounded up by stockmen riding motorbikes, requiring a much smaller workforce.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Search result for " Anna Creek (homestead)" (Record no SA0001571)". Property Location Browser. Government of South Australia. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  2. ^ Mercer, Phil (9 June 2008). "Cattle farms lure Australian women". BBC. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  3. ^ Owen, Michael (16 December 2016). "Anna Creek cattle station sale settles". The Australian. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  4. ^ Thomsen, Simon (10 April 2015). "The world's largest cattle station is for sale - and it's in Australia and bigger than 39 countries listed by wikipedia including Israel". businessinsider.com. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Anna Creek Station". Wrightsair. Archived from the original on 1 March 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d "South Australian family prepares to take over world's largest cattle station". ABC Rural. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  7. ^ "Search result for " Anna Creek (LOCB)" (Record no SA0067008) with the following layers selected - "Suburbs and Localities" and " Place names (gazetteer)"". Property Location Browser. Government of South Australia. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  8. ^ Proposed Locality Boundaries for Pastoral Areas (PDF) (Map). Government of South Australia. 31 October 2012. Rack Plan 951. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b c "Creek Dries Up". ABC. Archived from the original on 28 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  10. ^ "S Kidman and Co". S Kidman and Co. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  11. ^ ABC Dimensions In Time: William Creek Hotel Archived 7 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine. Issued 9 September 2002. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  12. ^ ABC Rural - SA Country Hour: Anna Creek - Still the biggest station in the world Archived 28 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine. Issued 21 May 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  13. ^ ABC Rural - SA Country Hour: Big, big Anna Creek Station Archived 8 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Issued 14 July 2005. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  14. ^ ABC News: Dry forces cattle sell-off Archived 26 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Issued 3 November 2006. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  15. ^ "S Kidman and Co". S Kidman and Co. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  16. ^ ABC Landline: The Big One Archived 24 December 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Issued 12 August 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  17. ^ "S. Kidman and Co enters deal for a foreign takeover of the majority of the iconic Australian cattle company". ABC Rural. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Kidman sale blocked". ABC Rural. 29 April 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  19. ^ "S Kidman and Co: Scott Morrison approves sale of cattle empire to Gina Rinehart, Chinese company". ABC News. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  20. ^ "Mail Run Tour". Archived from the original on 3 May 2006.
  21. ^ "The Peake Ruins (Dwelling, Telegraph Office, Cemetery, Mine Site & Lime Kilns Site)". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  22. ^ "Former Strangways Springs Telegraph Station (Ruin)". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016.