Alta Cooley Station: A Historical and Scenic Outback Destination

Located in the heart of the Australian outback, Alta Cooley Station is a working cattle and horse property that offers visitors a unique experience of life on a remote station. With its rich history, diverse wildlife, and stunning landscapes, Alta Cooley Station has become a popular destination for tourists looking to immerse themselves in the rugged beauty of the Australian outback. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the history of Alta Cooley Station, its wildlife, cattle and horses, mustering activities, accommodation options, tours, events, job opportunities, and how to get in touch with the station.

Alta Cooley Station History

Alta Cooley Station was established in 1883 by the Cooley family, who were among the first settlers in the area. The station was originally used for sheep grazing, but in the early 1900s, the Cooley family switched to cattle farming due to the harsh climate and lack of water sources. The station has been passed down through generations of the Cooley family and is currently owned and operated by the great-grandchildren of the original owners.

The station has played an important role in the development of the surrounding region, providing employment opportunities and contributing to the local economy. It has also been a significant part of the cultural heritage of the area, with many stories and traditions passed down from generation to generation.

Early Days of Alta Cooley Station

In the early days, Alta Cooley Station was a remote and isolated place, with no access roads or modern amenities. The Cooley family had to rely on horses and camels for transportation and communication with the outside world. They also had to dig wells and build dams to provide water for their livestock and crops.

Life on the station was tough, with long hours and hard work, but the Cooley family persevered and built a successful cattle operation. They also faced challenges such as droughts, floods, and bushfires, but their resilience and determination helped them overcome these obstacles.

Modernization of Alta Cooley Station

In the 1950s, with the introduction of modern technology and transportation, life on the station became easier. The Cooley family was able to upgrade their equipment and facilities, making it more efficient to manage the property. They also started offering guided tours and accommodation for visitors, which helped diversify their income and promote the station as a tourist destination.

Today, Alta Cooley Station is a thriving cattle and horse property, with modern facilities and infrastructure. It continues to be owned and operated by the Cooley family, who are committed to preserving the history and traditions of the station while embracing modern practices and technologies.

Alta Cooley Station Wildlife

One of the main attractions of Alta Cooley Station is its diverse wildlife. The station is home to a wide range of native Australian animals, including kangaroos, wallabies, emus, and various bird species. Visitors can spot these animals roaming freely around the property, making for a unique and authentic outback experience.

Kangaroos and Wallabies

Kangaroos and wallabies are abundant on the station, and visitors can often see them grazing in the paddocks or hopping through the bush. These iconic Australian animals are a delight to watch, and visitors are encouraged to take photos and observe them from a safe distance.


Emus are another common sight at Alta Cooley Station. These large flightless birds are known for their distinctive appearance and curious nature. Visitors can often see them wandering around the property, and if lucky, they may even get to see them running at high speeds.

Bird Watching

Alta Cooley Station is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 100 different bird species recorded on the property. From colorful parrots to majestic eagles, there is a wide variety of birds to spot and admire. The station also offers guided birdwatching tours for those interested in learning more about the different species and their habitats.

Alta Cooley Station Cattle

Cattle farming has been the main activity at Alta Cooley Station since its establishment. The station is home to a large herd of cattle, which are raised for beef production. The Cooley family takes great pride in their cattle operation and is committed to sustainable and ethical farming practices.

Breeds of Cattle

The main breeds of cattle at Alta Cooley Station are Brahman and Droughtmaster. These breeds are well-suited to the harsh climate and rugged terrain of the outback, making them ideal for grazing on the station’s vast paddocks.

Sustainable Farming Practices

The Cooley family is dedicated to sustainable farming practices, which include rotational grazing, water conservation, and land management techniques. These practices not only ensure the health and well-being of the cattle but also help preserve the natural environment of the station.

Beef Production

Alta Cooley Station produces high-quality beef, which is sold locally and internationally. The cattle are raised on natural pastures, without the use of hormones or antibiotics, resulting in lean and healthy meat. Visitors can purchase beef directly from the station or enjoy it at the on-site restaurant.

Alta Cooley Station Horses

Horse breeding and training have been a part of Alta Cooley Station since its early days. The Cooley family has a deep connection with horses, and they play an essential role in the daily operations of the station. Visitors can also experience the beauty and grace of these magnificent animals through horse riding activities.

Breeding Program

Alta Cooley Station has a successful breeding program for Quarter Horses and Australian Stock Horses. These breeds are known for their agility, intelligence, and endurance, making them ideal for mustering and other station activities.

Horse Training

The Cooley family has a team of experienced horse trainers who work with the young horses to prepare them for mustering and other tasks. Visitors can watch these trainers in action and learn about the different techniques used to train horses.

Horse Riding Activities

Visitors can also experience horse riding at Alta Cooley Station, with options for both beginners and experienced riders. The station offers guided trail rides through the outback, giving visitors a chance to explore the rugged terrain and spot wildlife along the way.

Alta Cooley Station Mustering

Mustering is an essential part of life on a cattle station, and Alta Cooley Station offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience it firsthand. The station conducts regular mustering activities, where visitors can join in and help move the cattle from one paddock to another.

What is Mustering?

Mustering is the process of gathering livestock from the paddocks and moving them to a central location for counting, branding, or transportation. It requires skill, patience, and teamwork, and is an integral part of cattle farming in the outback.

Joining a Muster

Visitors can join a muster at Alta Cooley Station and experience the thrill of working with cattle in a real-life setting. The station provides all the necessary equipment and instructions, and visitors are accompanied by experienced stockmen who guide them through the process.

Muster Camps

For those looking for a more immersive experience, Alta Cooley Station offers overnight muster camps. Visitors can spend a night under the stars, participate in mustering activities, and enjoy a traditional campfire dinner. This is a great way to get a taste of the outback lifestyle and learn more about the history and traditions of the station.

Alta Cooley Station Accommodation

Alta Cooley Station offers a range of accommodation options for visitors, from camping to self-contained cabins. Each option provides a unique experience and allows visitors to get closer to nature while still enjoying modern comforts.


Camping is a popular option at Alta Cooley Station, with several designated campsites scattered around the property. These sites offer basic facilities such as toilets, showers, and fire pits, and are perfect for those looking for a more rustic experience.


For those who prefer more comfortable accommodation, the station has self-contained cabins available for rent. These cabins come equipped with all the necessary amenities, including a kitchen, bathroom, and air conditioning. They also offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape, making for a peaceful and relaxing stay.


The homestead at Alta Cooley Station is a beautifully restored historic building that offers a luxurious and exclusive accommodation experience. It features four bedrooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen, and a spacious living area. The homestead is ideal for families or groups looking for a private and upscale stay on the station.

Alta Cooley Station Tours

Alta Cooley Station offers guided tours for visitors who want to learn more about the history, wildlife, and daily operations of the station. These tours provide a unique insight into life on a remote cattle station and are a great way to experience the outback in a safe and informative manner.

Station Tour

The station tour takes visitors on a journey through the history of Alta Cooley Station, showcasing the different buildings and equipment used over the years. Visitors can also see the cattle yards, horse stables, and other facilities used for daily operations.

Wildlife Tour

The wildlife tour focuses on the diverse flora and fauna found on the station. Visitors can spot kangaroos, emus, and various bird species while learning about their habitats and behaviors. This tour is a must-do for nature lovers and photographers.

Sunset Tour

The sunset tour is a popular option for those looking to experience the stunning outback landscape at its best. Visitors can watch the sun go down over the horizon while enjoying a glass of wine and some local snacks. This tour is perfect for couples or small groups.

Alta Cooley Station Events

Throughout the year, Alta Cooley Station hosts various events that showcase the station’s history, culture, and traditions. These events are a great way to experience the outback lifestyle and interact with the local community.

Cattle Muster and Rodeo

The annual cattle muster and rodeo is a highlight on the station’s event calendar. Visitors can watch as the stockmen move the cattle from one paddock to another, followed by a thrilling rodeo show featuring bull riding, barrel racing, and other competitions.

Campdrafting Competition

Campdrafting is a traditional Australian sport that involves working cattle with a horse and rider. The annual campdrafting competition at Alta Cooley Station attracts competitors from all over the country, making it a must-see event for visitors.

Outback Music Festival

The outback music festival is a celebration of Australian music, food, and culture. It features live performances by local and national artists, as well as food stalls, market stalls, and other activities. This event is a great way to experience the vibrant and diverse outback community.

Alta Cooley Station Jobs

Alta Cooley Station offers employment opportunities for those interested in working on a remote cattle station. These jobs include positions such as stockmen, horse trainers, cooks, and tour guides. Working at Alta Cooley Station provides a unique and rewarding experience, with the opportunity to learn new skills and be a part of a close-knit community.

Requirements for Employment

To work at Alta Cooley Station, applicants must have relevant experience and qualifications, as well as a strong work ethic and a passion for the outback lifestyle. They must also be willing to work long hours and live in a remote location.

Benefits of Working at Alta Cooley Station

Working at Alta Cooley Station offers many benefits, including competitive wages, on-site accommodation, and the opportunity to learn from experienced stockmen and horse trainers. Employees also get to experience the beauty and tranquility of the outback while being a part of a supportive and welcoming community.

Alta Cooley Station Contact

For more information about Alta Cooley Station, including bookings, tours, events, and job opportunities, visitors can contact the station through their website or social media pages. The friendly staff at Alta Cooley Station are always happy to answer any questions and help plan an unforgettable outback experience.


Alta Cooley Station is a unique and fascinating destination that offers visitors a glimpse into the rugged and beautiful Australian outback. With its rich history, diverse wildlife, and authentic outback experiences, it has become a popular choice for tourists looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you’re interested in learning about the station’s history, spotting native animals, participating in mustering activities, or simply relaxing in the peaceful surroundings, Alta Cooley Station has something for everyone. So why not plan your next outback adventure and experience the magic of Alta Cooley Station for yourself?

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