Deep Well Station

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Deep Well is located in Northern Territory
Deep Well
Deep Well
Location in the Northern Territory

Coordinates: 24°17′55″S 134°08′40″E / 24.2987°S 134.1444°E / -24.2987; 134.1444 (Deep Well) Deep Well Station is a pastoral lease that operates as a cattle station in the Northern Territory.


It is situated about 60 kilometres (37 mi) South South East of Alice Springs and 60 kilometres (37 mi) East of the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory just off the Phillipson Stock route. Lying between the MacDonnell Ranges and the Simpson Desert and taking in much of the Ooraminna Ranges, the property is composed of a variety of land types including red sand hills, rocky outcrops and spinifex plains. Deep Well is just east of the former Central Australia Railway which had a stop also called Deep Well.


William Hayes and his wife Mary arrived in Alice Springs in 1884 with steel telegraph poles to replace the original wooden ones used to build the Overland Telegraph.[1] They also worked on other properties in the area such as Mount Burrell and Owen Springs Station.[2] The Hayes established the property in the late 1880s[3] and it has remained in the Hayes family ever since.[1] Billy Hayes, the fifth generation of the Hayes family, was inducted into the Stockman's Hall of Fame in 2009. Hayes was the hero in Turbulence, the bush poem written by Murray Hartin.

A drought from 1964 to 1965 resulted in Ted Hayes moving all the stock to Undoolya Station and temporarily leaving Deep Well abandoned. All the Aboriginal workers also left the property and set up camp at Undoolya as well.[4]

During the early 1990s the area was struck by drought once more and had large debts. Some 5,000 cattle had been grazing at Deep Well up until the drought started.[5] The Hayeses decided to diversify into tourism and built a lodge on the northern side of the station at Ooraminna. Shortly afterward Ted Egan approached the family asked if he could build a movie set in the same location for a film version of his song The Drover's Boy. The film did not progress but the replica buildings of Newcastle Waters from 1921 remain at Ooraminna and are used for tourist accommodation.[6]

The property was again struck by drought starting in 2002 with Billy Hayes destocking the property in 2006 when the last of the dams dried up.[7]

Billy Hayes died in 2011 died in a quad bike accident at the property.[8] Following the death of her husband Jan Hayes placed the property on the market in 2013 with their son Billy Hayes Junior taking on the management of the property.[9] As of 2014 the 1,641 square kilometres (634 sq mi) property was still on the market.[10]

In 2016 Billy Hayes Junior died in a plane crash while mustering on New Crown Station.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Deep Well Station - Northern Territory". Outback Encounters. 2001. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Exhibition - Women on the land". National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame. 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Deep and meaningful". Outback Magazine. 1 September 2002. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Deep Well 1965-1970". Paul Mackett. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  5. ^ Miles Clarke (13 July 2008). "A Family Affair". Ninemsn. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Ooraminna - Home of the wow factor". Territory Q. Northern Territory Government. 2009. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Central Australian cattle stations struggle to survive". Stateline. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 July 2006. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  8. ^ Nadine Maloney (11 May 2011). "A stockman's farewell". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  9. ^ Breanna Tucker (27 March 2013). "Jan's ready to hang up her outback books". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  10. ^ James Nason (28 March 2014). "NT and Kimberley - 15 Pastoral holdings for sale". Beef Central. Nascon Media Pty Ltd. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  11. ^ Maddocks, Tom (13 July 2016). "NT 'a poorer place' after death of pastoralist Billy Hayes in plane crash". ABC News. Retrieved 20 August 2016.