LOCATION: Coober Pedy region, SA
LAND SIZE: 530,700ha
STOCK: 30,000 Merino sheep
ANNUAL RAINFALL: 175mm
Mulgathing is managed by Darren Wilson. Originally starting at Jumbuck as a jackaroo, he has worked his way up to his current role through positions at Commonwealth Hill, Moonera, McCoys Well, Mobella, Wadnaminga and Plumbago. Darren runs Mulgathing with the help of staff that vary between 7 and 10; the higher number being employed during shearing time in February and March.
The station is located 120km west of the Stuart Highway midway between Glendambo and Coober Pedy. Mulgathing was the first of Byron MacLachlan’s pioneering ventures in the Tarcoola area during the late 1920’s. He was helped in his endeavours by his father, H.P. MacLachlan, who advanced the fledgling company £16,000 to help with the development.
Mulgathing depastures 30,000 plus Merinos which includes 13,000 lambing ewes. It produces an average clip of approximately 800 bales or 152,000kg of wool annually. The wool is normally transported to Adelaide, core tested and sold by separation in Melbourne. Occasionally it is sold forward to a first stage processor.
The north east portion of the station produces the best wool, being well covered with Saltbush and Bluebush amid some harder, stonier country dispersed with Mulga watercourses. The remainder is sandy, with big areas of Mulga and therefore, not as clean for wool growing.
Average rainfall, like its northern neighbour Commonwealth Hill, is 175mm. The station is subdivided into 80 paddocks watered by 32 bores and 156km of pipelines which service numerous water points.
The southern and western boundary fence are made of marsupial netting at 1.6m high forming part of the South Australian Dog Fence.
A Cessna 172 aircraft is used to facilitate mustering with UHF air-to-ground communication with staff on motorbikes. An average of 7,000 surplus sheep are turned off during and after shearing. They are either sold privately, at auction in Jamestown or on C.A.L.M., whichever sale medium suits best.
Social activities attended by staff throughout the year are usually at nearby Glendambo and Coober Pedy, but more closely with neighbouring properties Mobella, Commonwealth Hill and Bulgunnia.