SHANNON HORSE CAMP
Shannon National Park
Steve’s Road Stopover - 27.4km
Egerton-Warburton - 37.1km
Camping available through caravan park
Book via DBCA
Camping sites, toilets and showers and access to cooking area are available within the campgrounds which are booked and paid for through DBCA.
Telstra phone signal at campsite.
‘We always said that the coast was a great place to break in boys, dogs and horses. Because if a horse is a bit too flighty, put him to climbing some of these sand-hills and some of the wastelands of sand. Climbing those taught them a lot of things. And they become very quiet.’
Horses were an integral part of the cattle drives to the coast, particularly in the early days. On most trips there would be three riders on horses - one in front of the cattle, one behind and one floating between the two making sure the cattle didn’t wander off into the bush. Sometimes, the drovers would also bring a horse-drawn spring cart or buggy loaded with supplies for the trip.
As it took up to five days to get to the coast, there were several overnight stops along the way. The horses were hobbled or tied to a tree overnight if there were no yards. They were given nosebags or buckets of chaff and oats.
In the later years, the horses and cattle were trucked as close to the coasl as possible and then the horses were loaded up with swags and food for the last stretch of the journey.
The return journey was easier as the cattle were left on the coast.
‘Well, horses knew the way very well. They knew it so well that when we were coming home, when we got the motor-trucks, we’d just leave the horses for the last two days, turn them loose and they’d be home the next night. They’d gallop all the way home on their own.’