Curtin Springs, Alice Springs

3.4
#11 of 18 in Parks in Alice Springs
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Ranch
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Curtin Springs is a pastoral lease operating as a cattle station in the Alice Springs region of the Northern Territory of Australia.

Occupying an area of 416,400 hectares (1,028,947 acres), the working cattle station and roadhouse facility is located on the Lasseter Highway, 85 kilometres (53 mi) east of Yulara and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The property shares a boundary with pastoral leases Angas Downs to the north west, Lyndavale to the south east and Mulga Park to the south. It also abuts the Katiti Aboriginal Land Trust to the west.
The land was originally known as Mount Conner Station in the 1930s when it was first taken up by Paddy DeConlay.

Abraham Andrews leased Mt Conner Station, together with vacant crown land, which became known as Curtin Springs Station around 1956, after John Curtin. Andrews originally considered the name Stalin Springs but his children felt it was inappropriate.

Curtin Springs was built in 1943 and is now owned and operated by the Severin family who took over the pastoral lease in 1956.
Peter Severin had previously worked as the head stockman on another cattle station and was gifted 1,400 head of cattle when he took over Curtin Springs for the value of the debts.
Peter Severin, his wife and young son had a lonely existence with only six visitors in the first year.

Going was tough with the family residing under a bough shed for the first three years.

By 1957, Len Tuit had begun operating return trips from Alice Springs to Uluru and was using Curtin Springs as a wayside to store fuel and water required for the return trip. This was the beginning of tourism in central Australia.

Soon the Severins installed fuel tanks to service the bus tours that had commenced from Alice Springs to Uluru and provided food and drink to tourists on board.

Later Severin acquired a liquor licence and started a pub which later became part of the restaurant.
The Curtin Springs liquor licence has not been without controversy. It has been opposed by many local Aboriginal elders and in particular the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Women's Council, because it is considered by them to have contributed to alcohol-related violence and other social problems in nearby Aboriginal communities such as Mutitjulu, Imanpa, and Pukatja (Ernabella).

In 1988, a number of elders took an action in nuisance against Severin in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, but were unsuccessful.

The liquor license held by Curtin Springs is now subject to special restrictions prohibiting the supply of alcohol to any Aboriginals from the surrounding communities and anyone suspected of travelling to local communities.

Water for the station and livestock is supplied by pumping it from underground with diesel or solar pumps and windmills.

Cattle watering points are located in yards so that they may be passively mustered through the use of water trapping.

Murray Grey cattle are increasingly being used to improve the herd’s temperament and quality.

Murray Grey cattle are able to acclimatise to the desert heat better than some other breeds and their light coat colour also helps to reflect heat.

Murray Grey's also have a smaller calf size so birthing is not as risky.

Over the years the Severin family have diversified the business and now offer accommodation and other services to tourists.

The station offers a campground with a range camping sites and other accommodation

The station has a collection of birds in multiple aviaries around the homestead. All birds have been rescued after an injury or have been bread from captive animals so they are unable to be released into the wild.

Local tours include parts of the Amadeus Salt Lake Chain and Mount Conner, which is located on the private property of Curtin Springs Station.

In 2011 the area was plagued by the largest bushfires that had been seen there since the 1970s, some 200,000 acres (80,937 ha) of Marqua Station was burnt out.

More bushfires, started from lightning strikes ignited bushfires at the station in September 2012, the Lasseter Highway had to be closed in the area due to the resulting smoke hazard. More fires started from dry storms in October 2012 and were left to burn in areas that were inaccessible and where high winds made containment too difficult.

The station lost over 250,000 acres (101,171 ha) of bush, nearly one quarter of its pasture land, as a result of the fires.
The Severin family run conservative cattle numbers so they can best manage disasters such as fires and drought.
Use our Alice Springs trip builder site to visit Curtin Springs on your trip to Alice Springs, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Curtin Springs reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
178 reviews
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TripAdvisor
  • The diesel generator runs all night and we couldn't sleep because our room was next to it. The accommodation was VERY expensive ($270 AUD pn) when you consider we couldn't sleep. Drive the extra... 
    The diesel generator runs all night and we couldn't sleep because our room was next to it. The accommodation was VERY expensive ($270 AUD pn) when you consider we couldn't sleep. Drive the extra...  more »
  • My hubby and I enjoyed our one night stay at Curtin Springs. We we’re originally camping at the Uluṟu. But when I looked at the comment on Trip Advisor it was not too nice. Curtin Springs is an hour.....  more
    My hubby and I enjoyed our one night stay at Curtin Springs. We we’re originally camping at the Uluṟu. But when I looked at the comment on Trip Advisor it was not too nice. Curtin Springs is an hour.....  more »
Google
  • This is a great spot. Free camping and safe to leave your van while going to Uluru. Great staff. Great food. Lots of wildlife. The evening visits from the friendly horse (HAVE PLENTY OF 🥕 🥕). And the 🐫 🐪 🐫. Thanks guys. Will be back someday.
  • Stopped here for lunch. The service was friendly and our group felt welcome. The burgers and steak sandwich were prepared quickly, and hit the spot perfectly. I recommend sitting outside near the bird cage if the weather is nice and warm. I'll come back one day.

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