The Drover & His HorsePrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Erich Nussbaumer

The sculpture commemorates the drovers of Queensland and the Northern Territory.


Address:Barkly Highway & Nowranie Street, Camooweal, 4828
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -19.921361
Long: 138.120464
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Technology


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2014
Front Inscription

Plaque :

The list below comprisies of a group of men and some women forming a unique band of drovers who worked the Great Stock Routes of the Northern Territory and adjoining Queensland cattle country.  The period this list mainly refers to is from World War II to the late 1960`s when the advent of road trains heralded the demise of the Camooweal Drovers.

These drovers were in charge of mobs of 1250 to 1500 head of mainly store steers heading to Queensland for trucking at rail heads of Dajarra, where in some years up to 1000,000 plus were loaded onto rail wagons, and to a lesser extent Mt. Isa.  Dajarra had a reputation of trucking the largest number of cattle annually from one centre in the world.  Some Northern Territory companies owned Queensland fattening properties which straddled the mighty rivers of famous Channel Country. Their cattle were delivered directly to those properties.  Entry points in Queensland were either via Camooweal or Lake Nash, where these mobs would have to be certified free of disease by Northern Territory stock inspectors before crossing the border.

A typical drovers` camp comprised six to eight white or colonial ringers, which included the Drover-in-Charge, a camp cook and one or two horse tailers, the balance being ringers who rode with the cattle.  The horse tailers looked after fifty plus horses, making sure that they were watered twice a day, and hobbled out on the best feed available. Included in the horse plant would be half a dozen horses used for the very important job of night watching the mob. The ability of the horse, more so than the rider, could make the difference between losing or containing a mob in the event of a bad "rush"caused by some disturbance "spooking" the cattle.  Included in the plant were pack horses and mules, even though drovers were starting to use trucks for carrying the gear.  Unreasonable weather such as winter rain, for example as in 1955 and 1956, meant abandoning the trucks carrying on with the packs.

Banjo Patterson wrote "The drover`s life has pleasure that the townsfolk never know".  Many drovers might dispute those lines but they wouldn`t swap their life for another.  They were the unsung heroes of the great outback.  "God bless them all".

[ Names ]

Equally honoured are those eligible names that alluded the manufacturing date of this plaque.  Presented to the memory of yesteryear 

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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