Roma Cattle Sales Nov08

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Roma Cattle Sales

The Roma cattle sales are billed as the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.  We’ve see cattle grazing in pastures, feral in the wild, being rounded up at rodeos and being transported in multi-articulated road trains.  So we could not pass the opportunity to see the auctioning process. We hit Roma in the afternoon and checked out the sights… apparently Roma is no longer just a road-stop while travelling somewhere else.  We skipped the “Big Rig” as we had seen the oil and gas story over in Dampier.  The town is nice, with the Main Street dotted with nice 19th century hotel buildings and Bottle Trees.

Main street of Roma

Main street of Roma

Ranger Kai hugging the biggest Bottle Tree in Roma, 9.3m in circumference

Ranger Kai hugging the biggest Bottle Tree in Roma, 9.3m in circumference

As it was hot in the afternoon, we headed to the Library.  The boys love going to libraries and spend an hour or two reading or looking through book in the air conditioning.  We’ve done this a few times.

Roma Library

Roma Library

OK – so there is really not that much to see in Roma.  Caravan parks are ridiculously expensive (+$50 for a night for a very average park) as they are filled with miners.  Luckily the council has provided a cheap alternative at the showgrounds.  Not a bad spot.  Showers and toilets.  The race track is next door – you could hear them training at 4am.

Camping at Roma Showgrounds

Camping at Roma Showgrounds

We headed off to the cattle sales yard in the morning at 8am.  Luckily it was quite cool (ie. smell was not too bad) and dry (ie. no slushy poo to walk through).  I guestimated about 1500 head of cattle in the yards being sold (about 200 pens with 5-10 average in each).  The auctioning and bidding was quick.  I could hardly understand the auctioneers.  Each pen was auctioned off in about 5 minutes… some in one or two minutes.  The average price seemed to be about $1.70 per kilogram.

Roma Cattle Sales

Roma Cattle Sales

Anyone for a BBQ (look closely at the photo)

Anyone for a BBQ (look closely at the photo)

Auctioneer

Auctioneer

Roma Cattle Auction

Roma Cattle Auction

Rustlers guiding the cattle that has been sold

Rustlers guiding the cattle that has been sold

Price board at Roma Cattle Sales

Price board at Roma Cattle Sales

So next we need to visit an abattoir… Hmmmmmm…