I am a freelance writer for a range of lifestyle magazines, Executive Producer of the John Laws Show on Radio 2SM Sydney and a busy personal trainer.
Published June 1st 2011
Grab the kelpie, break open the damper and put the billy on. For a few hours or a few days, you can live the life of a jackaroo on Australia's only metropolitan sheep station.
Tobruk Merino Sheep Station at Maroota is a fully functioning, working farm. Like any station, it has a farmhouse, shearer's quarters, working dogs, equipment and acreage. It offers a very rare opportunity for city dwellers to get a taste of real, outback Australia – and still be home by dinner time.
Tobruk spans more than 70 hectares on the hills above the slow snaking Hawkesbury River, surrounded by State Forests and bushland and just over an hour's drive from the CBD.
It is an authentic working farm, so you'll see the blacksmiths' shop, the farm machinery, the sheep dogs. You'll get the chance to experience the warmth of the open campfire with billy tea and baking damper, hearty country meals, and the beautiful sunsets high over the Hawkesbury River and Blue Mountains.
This is where you can experience a day in the life of a drover, from mustering the sheep, to drafting, shearing and wool classing. But this is one of the few shearing sheds with seating for 180 spectators. Tobruk embraces its role as an educational experience and an opportunity for city dwellers to learn first hand how our rural neighbours live.
You can get a taste of country life for a few hours on a day trip or an overnight or week long farm stay. The Station Homestead is suitable for up to 3 families or 12 people, with a large central dining room, lounge rooms, three double bedrooms and bunk room, kitchen, laundry and bathroom, air conditioning and wrap around balcony with BBQ facilities.
The Drovers Cabin is a simpler farm stay option for over night stays, and is a great place to start your exploration of this wonderful pocket of New South wales, just south of Wisemans Ferry.
If you feel like a slice of country life, slap bang in the middle of your working week, step into the life of a jackarooo for a day or so and remind yourself why we love this wide brown land.
There's loads of information on the website which will give you prices and accommodation options. Tobruk Sheep Station, 5050 Old Northern Road, Maroota, NSW 2756.