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Huts

Camping in an abandoned stockmen's hut can be a rewarding experience. The hut's history lingers. A presence remains. An outback hut can have a warm, welcoming feeling or be frighteningly, cold.

It was common in the late 1800s and early to mid 1900s for a large station to have outstations. A hut, yard for sheep, crutching shed, well for a water supply. That's about all they needed.

A couple of stockmen or a man and his family would occupy the hut and manage the flock at the isolated outstation.

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At intervals, the station manager or pastoralist would ride out to check on things. So the outstations would generally be a day's ride from the homestead. The manager would stay overnight and ride on the next day, possibly to the next outstation.

At shearing time the sheep would be driven to the wool shed at the homestead. Sheep can safely be driven two days between water points.

Then, after shearing, back to the familiar hut. A solitary, isolated life for the outback stockmen.

Many of the huts are built straight on the ground. The newer huts have a concrete floor while many an abandoned hut has a slate floor, slate being reasonably common in the arid region.

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