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About

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 travellers –

ALL ON A LAWN AREA.

We’re located on the western side of the Darling River,

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 harvesting enterprise.

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 1973.

 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.

 

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