A Pilot’s Log Book

By Greg Blackmore In 1965 I started flying lessons with Schutt Aircraft Flying Academy at Grovedale airfield, just out of Geelong in Victoria. This was during my first year at Marcus Oldham Agricultural College and I progressed through to my first Solo flight in October that year at about 8 hours flying time. In April … Continue reading A Pilot’s Log Book

Phil Schaffert, Gregory Downs Manager 1931 to 1944

Guest Post by Beverley O'Hara Background In October 1876 three Watson brothers left from “Walwa” on the Upper Murray in Victoria, following a survey trip by Greg, one of the brothers, in 1875, to settle on the Gregory River at “Gregory Downs” some 120 kilometres south of Burketown, arriving in August 1877. Two of the … Continue reading Phil Schaffert, Gregory Downs Manager 1931 to 1944

“Clovernook”, Bauhinia District

In 1966, Lew Blackmore from "Chester", Clandulla in NSW, and who also owned Gregory Downs south of Burketown, purchased “Clovernook”, a 12,706 acre property, near Bauhinia Downs, west of Moura. Scott Hallam from Australian Estates in Rockhampton was the agent and they purchased the property from Graham and Shirley McCamley for around $9 per acre … Continue reading “Clovernook”, Bauhinia District

Watson Bros & The Gregory Hotel

In 1876 the Watson brothers; Harry Frederick Watson, Phillip Sidney Watson and Robert Mc Gregor 'Greg' Watson left from the Upper Murray where their father, Sydney Grandison Watson, owned Walwa and Tintaldra Stations. They brought 900-odd mixed cattle from Dotswood Station and started out for the Upper Diamantina and later the Flinders River. They had … Continue reading Watson Bros & The Gregory Hotel

Lew Blackmore & Gregory Downs

From The Stockman's Hall of Fame, Longreach, “Unsung Heroes”, as submitted by L. K. Blackmore Lewis Kinleside BLACKMORE, b. 15th February 1917, Sydney NSW, d. 6th November 1995, Buderim QLD Lewis Kinleside Blackmore inherited `Gregory Downs Station' from his grand uncles, the Watson Brothers, in 1943 and held it for a period of 36 years … Continue reading Lew Blackmore & Gregory Downs

The Coffey Affair in Burketown

From the Reminiscences of Robert McGregor "Greg" Watson of "Gregory Downs" A man called Tom Coffey shipped in some stores to Burketown by boat to start another pub. The stores were accompanied by his wife whilst Tom came overland with the horses from Normanton. When Coffey arrived, some months later, he found a most unfavourable … Continue reading The Coffey Affair in Burketown

The Gregory Hotel

In 1882 the Watson’s moved the goods out of their store at Burketown to Gregory Downs to the present site of the Hotel and started a pub and store. This was the spot that they had at first settled and built on when they arrived on the Gregory River but they found that travellers became … Continue reading The Gregory Hotel

The Gregory River

One of the few flowing rivers in Australia, the Gregory River rises from underground limestone springs close to the Northern Territory border, 50 kilometres east of Camooweal and eventually joins the Nicholson River to flow into the Gulf of Carpentaria near Burketown. With a catchment area of some 12,690 square kilometres the mean flow rate … Continue reading The Gregory River

“Shakey the Pilot”

Bush Yarn from helicopter mustering pilot, Russell Carrington of "Planet Downs" "I had a pretty wild ride once on a flight from Mt. Isa to Gregory in a light aircraft. Passengers were Dennis Bauer and myself, Paul Langridge (a ringer at Planet) and Wray Finlay (an old Drover bloke and local identity) and the Pilot … Continue reading “Shakey the Pilot”