As an island colony, Australia’s livestock evolved from British breeds to distinctly Australian breeds that thrived in the diverse natural environment. From tropical breeds to British and tropical cross breeds, Australian cattle breeds now have the best of both worlds – rapid growth and muscularity with the hardiness to survive in extreme conditions.

leaves divider leaf

The 8 Australian Cattle Breeds:

1. Adaptaur Cattle Breed

Cattle Bos Taurus
Cattle Bos Taurus (Image Credit: Bramans, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)

The Adaptaur is a tropically adapted Bos taurus cattle breed that was developed on the continent in the 1950s. This breed originated from crossbreeding shorthorns and Herefords to produce cattle that could withstand the tropical heat and cattle ticks.

Adaptaur cattle are early to mature and are medium-sized with a dark red coat and excellent resistance to internal parasites. Most of this breed are found in the tropical regions of northern Australia.

2. Australian Braford Cattle Breed

Australian Braford
Australian Braford (Image Credit: Cgoodwin, Wikimedia Commonc CC SA 3.0 Unported)

The Australian Braford cattle breed was developed in Queensland in the midcentury from crossbreeding Brahman and Hereford breeds. Braford cattle have Brahman characteristics, such as loose skin, a short coat, and a hump, along with color markings of a Hereford.

Though Braford cattle are later to mature than the British breeds, they withstand harsh tropical conditions and are tolerant of ticks.

3. Australian Brangus Cattle Breed

541H30-VanDamme-Sept2014web (Image Credit: Brittag05, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)

The Australian Brangus is a polled breed of beef cattle that was developed in the coastal areas of Queensland. The Brangus comes from crossbreeding Angus and Brahman cattle in the 1950s. Like other Australian breeds, the Brangus was produced for heat and tick tolerance.

Most Brangus cattle have about 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Angus genetics. Most individuals are black, but red Brangus are produced. Unlike other white-faced breeds, Brangus have a low rate of eye cancer.

4. Australian Charbray Cattle Breed

Charbray1 (Image Credit: Petruss, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)

The Australian Charbray is a crossbreed of French Charolais and American Brahman cattle. The Charbray breed originated in America in the 1930s before coming to Australia in 1969. They’re resistant to heat, parasites, and diseases.

The crossbreed exhibits characteristics of both parent breeds, including hardiness, a docile temperament, the Brahman hump, loose skin, and a dewlap on the throat. Cattle are large and muscular with light red or cream colors. Charbray cows produce fast-growing calves.

5. Australian Lowline Cattle Breed

The Australian Lowline is a heritage breed with Aberdeen Angus ancestry. This breed is unique in that it’s equally suited to production sectors or lifestyle farming. Lowlines weather beginners well and are a good choice for new farmers.

Bred for functionality, the Australian lowline has a docile temperament, high-quality beef, easy calving, high fertility, breeding longevity, and feed efficiency. They’re among the smallest cattle breeds, though not quite a dwarf breed, and mostly come in black.

6. Belmont Red Cattle Breed

The Belmont Red is a breed of beef cattle developed in the 1950s to suit tropical environments. It’s a crossbreed of several Bos taurus breeds, including the Africander, Hereford, and shorthorn.

The resulting cattle exhibit superior heat tolerance, high tick resistance, high fertility, a docile temperament, and high-quality meat. Cattle are red with white markings, though some individuals have color differences.

7. Droughtmaster Cattle Breed

Droughtmaster (Image Credit: Cgoodwin, Wikimedia Commons CC 3.0 Unported)

The Droughtmaster is a crossbreed developed in 1915 from zebuine cattle and shorthorn cattle. It’s the first Australian taurindicine hybrid breed and comprises half Bos indicus and Bos taurus lines.

Droughtmaster cattle were created to handle conditions in areas with high drought conditions and extreme heat. These cattle are raised for beef and are resistant to ticks and sun damage. The cattle are mostly red, though some may be dark red or honey-colored. The red pigmentation helps them resist sunburns, photosensitivity, and cancers of the eye.

8. Greyman Cattle Breed

Greyman (Image Credit: Cgoodwin, Wikimedia Commons CC 3.0 Unported)

Greyman cattle were developed in the 1970s to suit Queensland environments. The breed was created by combining the Murray Grey and Brahman breeds and selecting those specimens with the best heat resistance and tolerance to sunlight.

These cattle have natural tick resistance, drought and heat tolerance, excellent feed conversion, and good calving. The beef produced from Greyman cattle is known for marbling and tenderness. Greyman cattle have sleek coats of grey and silver with dark skin.



Most Australian cattle breeds came from selective crossbreeding to create cattle that can produce strong calves with high growth and quality meat in the inhospitable environments of the continent. Now, Australian cattle breeds have interest from countries all over the world for their exceptional tolerance, temperament, and production.

You may also be interested in:

Featured Image Credit: RaGS2, Shutterstock