Idalia Outback Riverstay is a small,
independent, privately operated caravan and camp area.
We offer quiet, absolute riverfront,
powered sites, atop the bank of the Darling River to visitors and
ALL ON A LAWN AREA.
We’re located on the western side of the
between the little outback villages of
Louth and Tilpa in the far west of NSW.
143km downstream of Bourke.
Idalia is a 59,000 acre property, part of
270,000 acres owned and managed by Tim and his father. Together they
work the predominantly merino wool-growing, sheep breeding and goat
Idalia, like so many other properties
locally, was originally part of Dunlop, the million acre pastoral
holding of Sir Samuel McCaughey. Dunlop is known as the first place in
Australia to complete an annual shearing with the then new mechanical
handpieces, in 1888.
Around 1921 some of Dunlop’s land leases
were resumed and Charles O’Mally was granted the lease of a 30,000 acre
Darling River fronted block of land, between Louth and Tilpa. Charles,
and his wife Caroline, named their block ‘Idalia’, after the property
Charles was working at in Queensland. (The said property in Queensland
is now the Idalia National Park.)
Through the “O’Mally” years, another
16,000 acres were added and after the Murrays took over, another 13,000
acres were acquired, to bring Idalia to the 59,000 acres it is today.
In 1943 a Cottage was built to house
Charles’ son Harold, and his bride, Iris. Some years later, Harold and
Iris left Idalia, having bought themselves a property north of Bourke.
Due to the war at the time of the Cottage being built, some building
materials were in short supply, and the Cottage went without a few
finishing interior touches for the next 45 years. It was a well-built
dwelling however, proven by withstanding a flood lapping just under its
floorboards and a lack of human inhabitants for nearly fifty years.
Upon Charles death in 1957, Caroline
continued to run Idalia with the aid of several workmen until her death
In 1978, Tim, who lived next-door at
‘Bellsgrove’ with his parents, purchased Idalia when it went to auction
to wind up the estate of Caroline.
Jane arrived in the Louth area in 1986 as
a governess. She and Tim married in 1988 in Cobar. Originally they were
to be wed at ‘Bellsgrove’, as Tim’s Grandparents were, but six inches of
rain in the days prior saw to a hurried change of venue!
They have two children. The children’s
primary education was completed at home ‘outback style’ by a combination
of Department of Education correspondence, radio air-lessons and
satellite air-lessons and Home Schooling. For their secondary schooling
they attended Boarding Schools over 900kms away, in the city. Presently
(2013) one is at University and one continues at Boarding School.
For more than 140 years the Murray family
have lived and worked in this far west area. The sixth generation are
‘on the ground’ and this country is well and truly in their blood… and
under their fingernails... in their ears and filling their boots.