About Bustard Downs

Bustard Downs is over 200 acres of privately owned land on the western side of the Great Diving Range.

Consisting of cleared pasture on alluvial plains, open eucalypt woodlands and wetland, bordered by the Mary and Leichhardt Creeks which flow down from World Heritage rainforest, plus lots of dry tropical savannah sunshine.

All accommodation facilities are existing original Tobacco farm buildings, some hand built with river sand and local sawn hardwood timbers. Renovations have kept old farm charm and character featuring king beds crisp cotton linen, and are clean and comfortable. We named the property Bustard Downs after the Australian Bustard (Plains Turkey) which is prolific on Bustard Downs. The other reason for the name was that when the property was bought, it was "busted down" (busted: meaning broken in Australian slang), referring to the run down state the country and buildings were in.

What started as a young family’s home by a creek in the dry country evolved from renovation, re-generation, commitment and sheer hard work into a beautiful family home, farm and Eco-tourism business.

Thank-you for your support, we hope you enjoy staying a while at Bustard Downs.

Will and Jo Dixson
Owners of Bustard Downs  

History of Bustard Downs


In the early 1950s the land was surveyed and clearing began for tobacco farms along the Mary Creek which continued up until 1975.

Although not a town, it was once a thriving community of successful farming families of many origins including Italians, Albanians, Anglo and Indigenous Australians. There was also a Post Office, telephone exchange, school bus service to Mount Molloy and a small shop on the highway side of our property.

Today Maryfarms is a collection of farms on the Mary Creek, before it joins the Mitchell River. A small diverse community of farms consisting of cattle, goats, mangoes, herbs, lycees, papayas & bananas, Agri-Tourism, accommodation & camping.

"The desired Mitchell we reach at last; it is undoubtedly the river of Queensland. No one would believe there is such an extent of rich forest country up here on its banks and tributaries on this table-land, and that so near the coast..." Camp 12, May 1875, James V Mulligan

Bustard Downs Organic since 2005

Bustard Downs is a small family run organic farm. We currently have a small breeding herd of Brahman cattle.

At Bustard Downs we practice and promote ethical animal husbandry, we love our animals and treat them with respect. Our animals live a happy, healthy life on pure primitive native grasses in a natural family/herd environment.

We practice sustainable re-generative land management, using cattle to manage and maintain our pasture whilst creating and improving our soil microbial health. Australian Certified Organic for Beef cattle 2009-2014. Bio-dynamic 8 years Bustard Downs continues to manage the land and property organically.

What is Organic?

Organic: (adjective)

  • 1) Relating to or derived from living matter
    • Chemistry relating to or denoting compounds containing carbon and chiefly or ultimately of biological origin
  • 2) Physiology relating to a bodily organ or organs
  • 3) (of food or farming) produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers or other artificial chemicals
  • 4) Denoting a harmonious relationship between the elements of a whole
    • Characterized by natural development

Biodynamics: (noun)

  • 1) The study of physical motion or dynamics in living systems
  • 2) A method of organic farming that incorporate certain astrological and spiritual principles and practices