The Eidsvold Cattle Drive are preparing to saddle up again and take to the local stock routes from the 3rd – 9th April, 2022. This event rekindles the history of Martin Snelling, who in 1926 lit campfires for hundreds of miles along the stock routes to Eidsvold. Cattle from ‘Camboon Station’ had walked this historic route to Eidsvold Sale yards, many years ago. The iconic modern cattle drive journey will take in most of this track – through open ironbark country to the ridges of spotted gum, with the beautiful early morning light and the setting sun.
Rural and regional Australians have less opportunity to access medical assistance being such a long way from major centres and services. This event is in aid of the essential rural medical services, raising vital funds for the Royal Flying Doctor, LifeFlight and the Burnett Rotary Lodge. The last Drive raised a staggering $30,000 – a huge effort for a small rural community!
For the entire week ‘in the long paddock’ riders will be accompanied by two “Boss Drovers” who are well known in the Burnett area – Ned Neuman and Ron Bligh. These two men are the true bushmen and cattlemen of yesteryear.
The drovers on this Drive walk, feed and care for the cattle, covering some 15-20kms a day in the saddle and at night camp under our glorious North Burnett stars. Each morning drovers rise from their swags to enjoy traditional billy tea and camp oven meals. Most nights drovers share bush poetry, strum guitars and characters swap yarns around campfires.
If you’ve hung up your saddle and spurs but still want to get involved in this iconic event there are a few options for you to get in on all the fun!
The week-long drive will end with two spectacular culminating activities – “Dinner Under the Stars” and the “Cattle Drive Finale” at the Eidsvold Show Grounds.
The Dinner under the Stars is a special event you will forever remember! Hosted at one of the region’s most highly regarded cattle properties, Eidsvold Station. You will be treated to dining on authentic camp oven cuisine with local stock people, drovers and property owners, here you’ll get a true taste of the Burnett. The event is appropriately named with the night sky around Eidsvold having the pleasure of limited light pollution and a bright sky full of stars.
Can you say you have watched 500 head of cattle walk up the main street of town? Watch the cattle march in, before taking to the Showgrounds to enjoy the Finale festivities! Local tip: a good viewing spot for watching the cattle cross the Burnett River near Eidsvold Station is at the Tolderodden Park.
The Finale day at the Eidsvold Showgrounds is full of activities with a display of local bush talent, food and retail stalls and an evening bull ride program. Trick riding, polocrosse and sidesaddle demonstrations will take place in the centre area. Get involved, have a laugh, and compete in the hotly contested Ringer’s Challenge. The bull ride and mini bull ride will see local and visiting cowboys and cowgirls take to the chutes and try to hang on for 8 gruelling seconds. Cheer on the riders as they step aboard these mighty beasts!
To best enjoy the Cattle Drive, take a few extra days to camp or stay at the local RV Stop, Caravan Park or Motels. Take the chance to learn about Eidsvold’s rich cattle history by touring through the Reginald Murray Williams Australia Bush Learning Centre (RMWABLC), Eidsvold Museum and Archer Homestead during your visit. The RMWABLC has a large collection of photographs sharing the stories of Eidsvold’s cattle drovers, record sales, humorous tales, the mateship between Indigenous and non-indigenous stockmen and plenty more. The Museum is home to relocated historic buildings and homesteads and interesting collections. Archer Homestead is on Eidsvold Station and was the original homestead for the pioneering Archer family. This homestead is left exactly as it was when first settled in the 1800’s! A must see free night event is the daily Son et Lumiere – Light and Sound Show – at the RMWABLC. This award winning half an hour evening show gives you a feel for life as a drover around Eidsvold through stories, bush poetry and song.
This special event is held every second year – don’t wait another 2 years – add this to your calendar and make sure you set your sights on being in Eidsvold for the Eidsvold Cattle Drive!