Outback Tourism

New Adventures

Upon their return to Cheela Plains from the Northern Territory in late 2011, Evan and Robin were full of enthusiasm and new plans, opening up the station to accommodate resource exploration crews as well as starting a contracting business specializing in rehabilitation of resource exploration tracks and drill pads.

From those simple few extra beds at the homestead accommodating resource exploration and road crews, to a dedicated station stay campground with facilities including 28 rooms, campsites and a café restaurant serving meals daily to our in house guests, the Station Stay has evolved to be a unique, outback tourism experience.

STATION STAY TIME-LINE
2001

In 2001, when Evan and Robin started Cheela Plains and began developing infrastructure, the one very modest self-contained donga became the Cheela Plains Staff Quarters with the name eventually being shortened to ‘The Camp’. That building was rescued from the Paraburdoo tip in 1994 and is now the existing kitchen.

2012  

In 2012, as the Station Stay grew, it was moved away from the homestead to where it is today utilizing an existing donga originally set up as the Wyloo Outcamp in 1994. Prior to Cheela Plains being split from Wyloo, workers would base at the Outcamp while conducting routine maintenance and cattle mustering to avoid the long 90 km drive back to the Wyloo Homestead.

2012

Also in 2012, a second donga was acquired from nearby Rocklea station and was put in place near ‘The Camp’ Quarters making up to 5 rooms.

While the rooms at the homestead were no longer used for guests, meals were prepared there and transported to The Camp each evening. Later in 2012, four concrete base dongas were purchased from Onslow making a total of 28 rooms. The top amenities block was also built that year.

2013

December 2013 saw the inception of the Campground. The twins’ high school rowing crew from Guildford Grammar School travelled to Cheela on a team building camp and built the iconic manganese crusher cone fire pit, drooping table tennis table and tyre garden bed at the Campground.

2014

In 2014 the campground ‘Oval’ was sown and gum trees collected from the Beasley river were planted surrounding the area. That year there were 25 campers and in 2015 there were 500 with a substantial increase each year since.

2016

The Red Plains Café’ (aka the Dining Room) was created in 2016 by enclosing the open veranda in front of the kitchen and with the help of a very talented South Australian builder, Mat Paterson,  we began dismantling an abandoned quarters and sheering shed called ‘Log Hut’ near the western boundary on the Hardey river to be reconstructed into buildings at the Oval to further develop the campground.

2017-18

In 2017, the campground amenities block was built from materials out of the Log Hut kitchen and in late 2018, the Reception was built out of materials from the Log Hut engine room.  Mat’s craftsmanship is evident around Cheela with the quirky horseshoe door handles, woodwork and wall hangings.

2020

In 2020, a further 5 campsites were added to the Oval comprising of 14 powered and 6 unpowered campsites and access to the Cheela Spring as a self-drive 4X4 trail was instigated with Geological Time Trail notes with accompanying maps  to enhance the Beasely River Gorge self-guided trail.

New Adventures

Upon their return to Cheela Plains from the Northern Territory in late 2011, Evan and Robin  were full of enthusiasm and new plans, opening up the station to accommodate resource exploration crews as well as starting a contracting business specializing in rehabilitation of resource exploration tracks and drill pads.

From those simple few extra beds at the homestead accommodating resource exploration and road crews, to a dedicated station stay campground with facilities including 25 rooms, 20 campsites and a café restaurant serving meals daily to our in house guests, the Station Stay has evolved to be a unique, outback tourism experience.

STATION STAY TIME-LINE
2001

In 2001, when Evan and Robin started Cheela Plains and began developing infrastructure, the one very modest self-contained donga became the Cheela Plains Staff Quarters with the name eventually being shortened to ‘The Camp’. That building was rescued from the Paraburdoo tip in 1994 and is now the existing kitchen.

2012  

In 2012, as the Station Stay grew, it was moved away from the homestead to where it is today utilizing an existing donga originally set up as the Wyloo Outcamp in 1994. Prior to Cheela Plains being split from Wyloo, workers would base at the Outcamp while conducting routine maintenance and cattle mustering to avoid the long 90 km drive back to the Wyloo Homestead.

2012

Also in 2012, a second donga was acquired from nearby Rocklea station and was put in place near ‘The Camp’ Quarters making up to 5 rooms.

While the rooms at the homestead were no longer used for guests, meals were prepared there and transported to The Camp each evening. Later in 2012, four concrete base dongas were purchased from Onslow making a total of 28 rooms. The top amenities block was also built that year.

2013

December 2013 saw the inception of the Campground. The twins’ high school rowing crew from Guildford Grammar School travelled to Cheela on a team building camp and built the iconic manganese crusher cone fire pit, drooping table tennis table and tyre garden bed at the Campground.

2014

In 2014 the campground ‘Oval’ was sown and gum trees collected from the Beasley river were planted surrounding the area. That year there were 25 campers and in 2015 there were 500 with a substantial increase each year since.

2016

The Red Plains Café’ (aka the Dining Room) was created in 2016 by enclosing the open veranda in front of the kitchen and with the help of a very talented South Australian builder, Mat Paterson,  we began dismantling an abandoned quarters and sheering shed called ‘Log Hut’ near the western boundary on the Hardey river to be reconstructed into buildings at the Oval to further develop the campground.

2017-18

In 2017, the campground amenities block was built from materials out of the Log Hut kitchen and in late 2018, the Reception was built out of materials from the Log Hut engine room.  Mat’s craftsmanship is evident around Cheela with the quirky horseshoe door handles, woodwork and wall hangings.

2020

In 2020, a further 5 campsites were added to the Oval comprising of 14 powered and 6 unpowered campsites and access to the Cheela Spring as a self-drive 4X4 trail was instigated with Geological Time Trail notes with accompanying maps  to enhance the Beasely River Gorge self-guided trail.

‘Evan and Robin are privileged to share their vast Pilbara backyard and facilities with guests. Their passion and commitment to preserving landscapes, history and culture are sure to leave a marked impression.’