Gary, a fifth generation Darling River grazier and his wife Liz, along with their sons Tom and Will, have enjoyed life at Trilby Station for more than 40 years.
Once a part of the legendary million acre Dunlop Station, first in the world to complete a sheep shearing by mechanical means in 1888, Trilby Station is now 320,000 acres, running Merino sheep and an extensive goat enterprise.
The Murray family trace their settlement on the Darling River near Louth back six generations to 1860 and Andrew Murray from County Galway, Ireland, who purchased 60 acres of land for 60 pounds sterling.
Andrew Murray established the Shamrock Inn and store about 30km downstream of Trilby in 1860, living there (unmarried) until his death in 1870, aged 34 years. He is buried on the bank of the river and the family cemetery is nearby.
Andrew’s brother Thomas took over the Inn but decided before 1900 that he’d rather be a pastoralist than an inn-keeper and the successive generations have been relatively successful in this pursuit, acumulating quite considerable acres between them, breeding high quality Merino sheep despite many setbacks, mainly horrendous droughts.
The Murray family purchased Dunlop Station in the mid 1930’s, once part of Samuel McCaughey’s huge sprawl of properties in NSW and QLD, and the site of the world’s first mechanical shearing in 1888. Being a million acres in those days, the station records show that in good years they shore up to 277,000 sheep a year!
Dunlop Station has recently opened to the public with morning tea at 11am followed by a guided tour of the shearing shed, homestead and store – daily except Monday and Wednesday, and staying ‘next door’ with Liz and Gary at Trilby Station makes perfect sense as it’s a quick 10 minute drive away.
Trilby Station is situated near the village of Louth, 125km south west of Bourke, NSW Australia, on the Darling River Run. They are well signposted on the western/northern side of the river.