Murchison House Station is an old cattle station sprawling out from the seaside town of Kalbarri, 6 hours north of Perth. While on a holiday in Kalbarri, we were only dragged out there as friends were camping at the property. The station offered a self-guided tour of the property and old buildings, which turned out to be full of surprises and a very enjoyable morning.
The station was founded in 1858, and has had an interesting history, including once being owned by an Indian Prince – Prince Mukrramm Jah, the 8th Nizam of Hyderabad. The current owners have gone the way of ecotourism, offering tours, camping an 4WD access. At other times it still operates cattle and goat farming.
The main buildings include some of the station originals such the main house and shearers quarters dating back to 1858, but right in the middle looking very out of place is the “Water Buffalo” – a 1943 amphibious tank! There are many other military vehicles and large machinery scattered around the property that were collected by the Prince.
Of great interest was “depreciation row”, showcasing a collection of machinery which had had their day, including a 1964 EJ Holden, 1948 Austin A40, 1937 Ford Ute, 1936 Pontiac, 1932 Ford Truck and a 1927 Chevrolet.
From deceased cars, the track continued to a human cemetery, with housed the remains of the pilot and mechanic who were aboard an aeroplane participating in Australia’s first commercial air service. They were tragically killed when their plane crashed on the station in 1921.
The tour finished on a high with a relaxing morning tea in the cooling gardens of the current homestead, accompanied by freshly cooked muffins, while overlooking the Murchison River. It was a tour full of unexpectedly good and a great alternative and addition to the beaches and gorges of Kalbarri.