Newcastle Waters

Newcastle Waters is a magnificent 10,353 sq km breeding property in the west Barkly region of the Northern Territory. Its open plains, flood country and timbered sand hills carry 45,000 head of cattle including 20,000 commercial Brahman breeders.

In 1930, the government sequestered a single square mile of land from the station to create the township of Newcastle Waters. As it was economically dependent on droving, the subsequent arrival of road transport reduced the site to a virtual ghost town in the 1960s.

Located just 25 km north of Elliott and 3 km in from Stuart Highway, remnants of this abandoned town are open for inspection and stand as a museum and memorial to the life of the outback drovers.

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One of the more interesting buildings is the Junction Hotel. Construction of it began in the 1930s when the local storekeeper, Jack Sargent, gathered a bunch of his debtors and put them to work building the hotel out of scraps of old windmills abandoned at stock route bores. It was a fair exchange for,in the end, Sargent had his hotel and his helpers had their named wiped off the slate at the local store. The hotel closed its doors forever in 1976.

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