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]


Anna Creek Station has an area of roughly 6,000,000 acres (24,000 km2; 9,400 sq mi) which is slightly larger than Israel. It is 1,977,000 acres (8,000 km2; 3,089 sq mi) larger than its nearest rival, Alexandria Station in the country's Northern Territory and over seven times the size of the United States' biggest ranch, King Ranch in Texas, which is 825,000 acres (3,340 km2; 1,289 sq mi).[3] 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. The nearest township is William Creek (which is surrounded by the Anna Creek station), but the nearest town for freight is Coober Pedy.


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.[3]

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'.[4][5]

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 drought which started in 2001. In 2008, the station was owned by S. Kidman and Co Ltd, there were eight full-time staff and they were destocking all their cattle.[6] Following floods in 2010, conditions improved and the station restocked. It had 10,000 head of cattle in May 2011[7] and is capable of carrying up to 16,500 head of cattle during a good season.[6] They raise Santa Gertrudis cattle as they are suitable for hot, dry climates.

Date Cattle Staff Source
September 2002 16,000  ? [8]
May 2003 16,500 19 [9]
July 2005 13,000  ? [10]
November 2006 4,000  ? [11]
June 2008 1,500 8 [12]
May 2011 11,000  ? [13]
August 2012 17,000 17 [14]

In mid April 2016, it was announced that South Australian cattle company, Williams Cattle Company, was to acquire Anna Creek from S Kidman & Co, subject to FIRB approval of the sale of the remainder of the Kidman holding to a foreign consortium.[15] Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison, blocked the sale later that month.[16] However, the sale finally went through on 16 December 2016.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19] The Strangways Springs Telegraph Station Ruins on the station are also listed on the Heritage Register.[20]

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 on trail bikes, requiring a much smaller workforce.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Search result for " Anna Creek (homestead)" (Record no SA0001571)". Property Location Browser. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 21 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Mercer, Phil (2008-06-09). "Cattle farms lure Australian women". BBC. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  3. ^ a b "Anna Creek Station". Wrightsair. Archived from the original on 1 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  4. ^ "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. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Proposed Locality Boundaries for Pastoral Areas (PDF) (Map). Government of South Australia. 31 October 2012. Rack Plan 951. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Creek Dries Up". ABC. Archived from the original on 12 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  7. ^ "S Kidman and Co". S Kidman and Co. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-13. 
  8. ^ ABC Dimensions In Time: William Creek Hotel. Issued 9 September 2002. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  9. ^ ABC Rural - SA Country Hour: Anna Creek - Still the biggest station in the world. Issued 21 May 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  10. ^ ABC Rural - SA Country Hour: Big, big Anna Creek Station. Issued 14 July 2005. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  11. ^ ABC News: Dry forces cattle sell-off. Issued 3 November 2006. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  12. ^ ABC Landline: Creek Dries Up. Issued 8 June 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  13. ^ "S Kidman and Co". S Kidman and Co. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-13. 
  14. ^ ABC Landline: The Big One. Issued 12 August 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  15. ^ "S. Kidman and Co enters deal for a foreign takeover of the majority of the iconic Australian cattle company". ABC Rural. 19 Apr 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2016. 
  16. ^ "Kidman sale blocked". ABC Rural. 29 Apr 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  17. ^ "Anna Creek cattle station sale settles". The Australian Business Review. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017. 
  18. ^ "Mail Run Tour". 
  19. ^ "The Peake Ruins (Dwelling, Telegraph Office, Cemetery, Mine Site & Lime Kilns Site)". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  20. ^ "Former Strangways Springs Telegraph Station (Ruin)". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 12 February 2016.