Defining cattle property sales across Australia in 2018

Property editor Linda Rowley, 12/12/2018

In October, 852,000ha Nockatunga Station, a large-scale channel country bullock fattening depot west of Thargomindah, was purchased by Cleveland Agriculture for around $50m including 5000 cattle


IN OUR final weekly property review for 2018, we present this state-by-state snapshot of the defining grazing property sales across Australia, as reported over the past 12 months.

This is not a definitive list, as other significant properties have sold in off-market deals. It is however interesting to look back over the past year at the prices and trends among the more significant grazing properties that have changed hands.

In stark contrast with earlier years where the highest prices have tended to be dominated by extensive grazing property’s in the nation’s far north, the two largest transactions this year occurred in Victoria:

  • May – 600ha cattle property Deloraine, located just 42km north of Melbourne, was purchased by a Melbourne-based developer for $200m.
  • August – 47,677ha Telopea Downs, a sheep breeding hub located in the Western District, was purchased by AJ and PA McBride from South Australia for around $70 million.

In terms of sales and prices, Victoria was a standout state in 2018, including a number of grazing properties and smaller mixed farms located on the urban fringes snapped up by developers for land-banking. Deloraine, mentioned above, was a good example. Just eight Victorian peri-urban property sales identified in this earlier Beef Central report generated more than $400 million in value.

Here’s a snapshot of highlights in other states….


  • October – 852,000ha Nockatunga Station, (pictured above) a prized large-scale channel country bullock fattening depot located 125km west of Thargomindah, was purchased by Cleveland Agriculture (Malcolm Harris and family) for around $50m including 5000 cattle and station plant.
  • April – 41,500ha Iffley, Deverill and Twenty Mile – three properties suited to large-scale livestock production, located 38km south east of Moranbah and 130km south west of Mackay, were purchased by Australian-based resource company Pembroke Resources for around $50m.

Part of the Iffley aggregation near Moranbah

South Australia

  • November – 1.65 million ha Clifton Hills – the world’s second largest beef property in the state’s far north east, is believed to have been bought by Central Australian cattleman Viv Oldfield and a partner on a WIWO basis with 18,000 branded cattle.
  • May – One million hectare Mt Freeling Station – the historic grazing property, located via Lyndhurst, 670km from Adelaide, sold for $1.8m to a South Australian pastoralist for expansion.

New South Wales

  • October – 1500ha Tenterden Station, 24km from Guyra, ideal for grazing, cropping, dairy or horticulture due to flat gradient and heavy soils supported by irrigation, sold to Surat-based Miramar and Riversleigh Trusts in Southern QLD for $17m.
  • May – 8808ha Delta Station – the Riverina cattle grazing property north of Jerilderie, sold to MB McKinnon and Co, Brewarrina for $10.052m.
  • May – 1994ha Tarramia – the iconic Southern Riverina property, 12km east of Mulwala and 90km west of Albury was purchased by the Bourchier family for more than $10m bare.

Guyra’s versatile 1500ha Tenterden Station sold to Surat-based Miramar and Riversleigh Trusts in Southern QLD for $17m in October.

Northern Territory

  • April – 324,000ha Maryvale Station, 107km south of Alice Springs, featuring the tourist attraction Chambers Pillar, was purchased by businessman Viv Oldfield for $15m, including around 10,000 head of cattle.
  • November – 89,580ha Flying Fox Station – the Mataranka cattle breeding enterprise was purchased by a NSW businessman for more than $12m walk-in walk-out, including 6500 head of Brahman cattle.

Western Australia

  • July – 75ha Mundijong, a cattle grazing and hay production enterprise at Baldivis, close to property zoned residential and in a prime location for future development, was purchased by WA developer Warburton Group for $12m.
  • April – 3320ha Wilara and Highhill – two well located cattle backgrounding properties at Badginarra sold to the Smoothy family, who hold vast pastoral stations and mining interests, for around $8m.

Greg Smith from Elders WA said the huge volume of sales in previous years had left a vacuum in the WA cattle market in 2018.

“Because the market had been very buoyant, many selling decisions were brought forward. I expect it to be back to an orderly business of normal disposals over the coming 12 months,” he said.


  • May – 1385ha Okehampton – the historic Triabunna premier fine wool Merino stud, with a 9km coastal frontage, was sold to a family consortium for more than $8m.

New England most desirable region

The New England on New South Wales’ Northern Tablelands arguably achieved the strongest sales activity in 2018, both in terms of volume and price, relative to historical figures.

  • November – 1074ha Wittagoona (Manilla) – Grazing enterprise currently run as cattle breeding operation sold prior to auction for between $3.8m and $4m.
  • November – 1171ha Prestwick (Tamworth) – Cattle breeding and fattening country sold to a Sydney investor with other rural interests for an undisclosed sum.
  • November – 3234ha Glendon Park (Armidale) – Large scale cattle and/or sheep breeding and fattening aggregation sold to Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospect for an undisclosed sum.
  • October – 1500ha Tenterden Station (Guyra) – Ideal for grazing, cropping, dairy or horticulture due to flat gradient and heavy soils supported by irrigation sold to Surat-based Miramar and Riversleigh Trusts in Central Qld for $17m.
  • August – 1607ha Gunee Station and Feedlot (Inverell) – Modern 10,000hd commercial feed yard, with 1600ha used for crop and forage production and backgrounding, sold to Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospect pastoral arm for an undisclosed sum.
  • August – 17,800ha Sundown Valley (Kingstown) – Large-scale backgrounding and finishing operation sold to Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting pastoral arm for an undisclosed sum.
  • June – 521ha Emily Park (Ben Lomond) – Prime lamb and beef production enterprise sold to neighbours Hamish and Anita Hunter for $4.35m.
  • May – 1046ha The Two Mile (Nowendoc) – Highly developed and productive breeding or fattening cattle property sold prior to auction for $9.9m to an Australian ex-pat.
  • March – 1821ha Maiden Creek (Wollomombi) – the high rainfall, high elevation eastern fall New England country sold to Ian and Sally Vivers of Eaglehawk Angus Stud for $8.85m.
  • February – 780ha Mt Slow Station (Glencoe) – The regularly fertilised, reliable rainfall, grazing country sold to the Clark family for $4.3m.
  • February – 200ha Beardy View (Glen Innes) – Fattening country with frontage to Beardy Waters sold to the Matthewsons for $1.675m.
  • January – 1538ha Rockleigh (Inverell) – The well-watered grazing property featuring 80pc heavy chocolate basalt soils sold to Kym Thomas from Kahmoo Pastoral Company, Cunnamulla for $5.4m.

Riverina runs a close second

It is worth mentioning NSW’s Riverina as a ‘close second’ to the New England in this year’s property hot-spots. While mostly mixed farming, it was a cracker year for the region in terms of prices and sales.

  • October – 340ha Jandera – Outstanding grazing and breeding country sold for $3.7m – a district record.
  • October – 268ha Lone Pine – Versatile grazing property – ideal breeding and fattening sold for $2.12m.
  • October – 432ha Birubi – Home of highly acclaimed Limousin and Lim-Flex Studs. Equally suited to cattle or prime lambs sold prior to auction for between $4.4-$4.8m.
  • October – 8738ha Lake Midgeon Aggregation – Highly regarded mixed farming operation sold two ways to two NSW buyers for an undisclosed price.
  • August – 1391ha Windemere – Livestock and cropping enterprise with excellent water fold for $3.55m.
  • August – 673ha Mirradong – Highly productive and picturesque cattle property sold for $6.2m bare to a local family.
  • May – 108ha Aquatic Park – Tightly-held Upper Murray cattle breeding and fattening property sold for more than $16,000/ha to a producer who owns other country in the area.
  • May – 8808ha Delta Station – Riverina cattle grazing property sold for $10.052m to MB McKinnon and Company, Brewarrina.
  • March – 322ha Hillview -Tightly-held, highly-regarded Eastern Riverina grazing property sold for $3.2m.
  • March – 203ha Haino Park and Feedlot – Rich productive soils, flood irrigation and excellent fencing. 2000hd feedlot sold to Victorian Wagyu breeder David Blackmore for around $4m.

In summary

A quick calculation of 2018’s publicly-disclosed cattle property sales reported by Beef Central show:

  • 31 properties sold in the sub $5m bracket
  • 17 properties sold for $5m-$10m
  • 12 properties sold for $10m-$15m
  • 14 properties achieved above $15m

Interestingly, a calculation of 2017 cattle property sales reported by Beef Central show a similar trend:

  • 40 properties sold in the sub $5m bracket
  • 23 properties sold in $5m-$10m
  • 10 properties sold in $10m-$15m
  • 13 properties achieved above $15m

This is Beef Central’s final weekly property review for 2018. I wish all readers and our property industry contacts across Australia, a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

Our weekly property reviews will return in February 2019. In the meantime, readers may be interested in perusing our extensive “Properties listed for Sale” listings or our “Recent Property Sale Results” – both featuring easy-to-use search functions

Linda Rowley, property editor.


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