Movement at the Station: Recent property listings

Property editor Linda Rowley, 07/10/2020

Wing Vee, mentioned in this week’s report below, has an estimated carrying capacity of 12,000 to 14,000 dry sheep equivalents, however that number could be lifted substantially with further improvements.

THIS week’s property review includes this wrap-up of interesting recent listings across the country, and a separate article of recently completed sales of note.

  • Renowned Hay Merino property likely to make +$13m
  • NT freehold block attracting strong interest
  • Former Dick Smith grazing property with $8-9m expectations
  • Large western NSW land lease offers diversity and opportunity
  • Western QLD cattle breeding and backgrounding operation heads to auction
  • Southern Tableland’s Sugarloaf offered for the first time in 160 years

Renowned Hay Merino property likely to make $13m

More than $13m is anticipated for one of the country’s renowned Merino sheep properties.

Wonga Station is a highly productive, large-scale grazing, irrigated and dryland mixed cropping enterprise in the southern Riverina region of New South Wales, one of the most productive and agriculturally diverse regions in Australia.

Situated near Mabins Well, the property is strategically located 55km south-west of Darlington Point, 72km south-east of Hay and 75km south-west of Griffith.

Spanning almost 4500ha, Wonga runs around 5000 ewes and lambs, with scope to increase the carrying capacity.

The property has been owned by the Star family since 2009. The vendors, including three brothers, are selling to dissolve the family partnership.

Wonga Station was once home to the renowned Wonga Merino stud owned by the late Tom Culley.

Regarded as one of Australia’s greatest breeders of Merino sheep, Mr Culley blended two strains (the Collinsville and the Peppin) to develop the Wonga Whopper, boasting a massive staple length and a great lock.

Today, Wonga Station boasts first class irrigation development, as well as significant water entitlements and dual frontage to the Coleambally Outfall Channel.

The productive soil types are suitable for a wide range of row crops, with an area of up to 600ha highly suited to permanent plantings.

Danny Thomas from CBRE Agribusiness said most of the interest was coming from those seeking irrigated cropping opportunities, along with producers seeking land with opportunity for conversion to permanent plantings.

Wonga Station is being offered for sale via an expressions of interest campaign closing on November 5.

More than $13m is anticipated for one of the country’s renowned Merino sheep properties, Wonga Station, near Hay.

NT freehold block attracting strong interest

A Katherine cattle depot and backgrounding block has returned to the market with a $10 million price tag.

The 7390ha Carbeen Park is a freehold grazing property boasting a 5000 to 8000 head feedlot owned by Dan and Cathy Hayes from Mainoru Station, a 1300sq km property in the Top End’s Arnhem Land.

Described as a stunning property with 14km frontage to the Katherine River, Carbeen Park is being sold by Alison Ross at Elders Katherine who said it was attracting strong interest from northern beef and cropping producers.

Up to half of the operation provides quality river levee soils suited to horticulture, cropping, hay and pasture – with 1500ha cleared and planted to pastures, 40ha to sorghum under a centre pivot and 365ha to established pastures (dryland sarbi and verano stylo) that are lightly timbered. The balance is used for grazing.

Carbeen Park was leased by AA Co for six years as a holding depot for its Livingstone Abattoir near Darwin. More recently, it was leased to CPC, with the vendors running it for the past 12 months.

Previously, the holding was held by northern live export industry identity John Quintana, who died tragically in an aviation accident in 2013. He used the property as a live export holding depot and pre-shipment facility – backgrounding and feeding cattle, farming crops and producing his own feed requirements for the sea voyages.

Ms Ross said the Hayes were open to negotiation for a quick sale coming into the wet season.

The 7390ha Carbeen Park is a freehold grazing property and cattle depot near Katherine

Former Dick Smith grazing property with $8-9m expectations

Wing Vee, a large-scale Mudgee district grazing property once owned by Australian entrepreneur and businessman, Dick Smith, has also returned to the market with expectations of between $8 million and $9 million.

The 3865ha operation is located 28km from Hargraves or 66km west of Mudgee, on the New South Wales’ Central Tablelands.

It once formed part of the historic Triamble Station, settled by the Suttor family of Brucedale (one of Australia’s oldest and finest homes) at Bathurst, more than 200 years ago.

During World War II, the property’s two airstrips were used by the Air Force to train fighter pilots and it became known as Wing Vee.

Wing Vee is suitable for prime lambs, wool production, cattle and goats, but it also has ample areas for fodder cropping and hay making.

It is estimated to carry 12,000 to 14,000 dry sheep equivalents, however that number could be lifted substantially with further improvements.

Previous owners have run cattle. In fact, when Dick Smith owned Wing Vee back in the 1990s, he was running a mixed enterprise comprising 700 cows and 5000 sheep.

Featuring highly fertile red basalt plateau soils, with the balance granite and shale soils, the country has sheltered valleys to open grazing slopes and timbered ranges.

When it was offered in March last year, Wing Vee was still carrying a big body of natural pasture interspersed with clovers, despite the dry conditions.

Selling agent David Nolan from Webster Nolan said the property was looking magnificent.

“Wing Vee has experienced a great season and is currently running a conservative number of sheep. So, whoever purchases the property will get a wonderful start because there’s plenty of feed,” he said.

Wing Vee receives 650mm annual rainfall and boasts 14km of Macquarie River/Burrendong Dam frontage.

Recent infrastructure upgrades include a new water system (with troughs and tanks, dams cleaned and renewed), four new sets of cattle, sheep and goat yards, a new machinery shed and 22km of new fencing.

For the past four years, father and son, Ross and Eric Sharwood have been using Wing Vee to complement their Dubbo and St George grazing properties. They have now decided to consolidate their operations.

Sydney-based Webster Nolan and McDonald Lawson Mudgee will auction Wing Vee on November 24.

Wing Vee has an estimated carrying capacity of 12,000 to 14,000 dry sheep equivalents, however that number could be lifted substantially with further improvements.

Large western NSW land lease offers diversity and opportunity

One of the largest and most diverse western New South Wales land leases in the Cobar Shire is being offered for sale by the Hughes family after 14 years ownership.

The 45,534ha Koonaburra Station is situated on The Wool Track, 100km north east of Ivanhoe and 140km south west of Cobar.

The low-cost mixed grazing enterprise produces Dorper lambs, harvests feral goats and runs opportunistic beef cattle.

Boasting a diverse variety of winter and summer native pasture species, the palatable shrubs and timbers provide a drought fodder reserve.

Large areas of the highly regarded Yarran flats and pine country are suitable for broadacre cropping and rotational grazing.

The soils are a mixture of loam, light to heavy red clay, grey soil from light to heavy, self-mulching flats interspersed with millions of water depressions called crab or melon holes.

Boasting a 355mm rainfall, Koonaburra has dual frontage to over 20km of the Sandy Creek. The entire station is watered by massive flood out systems – a dozen lakes, box cowls and meandering waterways.


Koonaburra Station once formed part of the giant pastoral lease Keewong Station established in the early 1800s which ran Merino sheep.

It features some of the holding’s original buildings including the shearing shed, the original standalone and renovated meat house and the old harness and buggy shed.

The Hughes family purchased Koonaburra in 2006 as a low cost, large scale lamb production for their Red Earth Organics export push into Asia. They have been running 14,000 Dorpers and up to 3000 cattle seasonally.

The property is also well known for its native goat numbers and all waters are trapped to capture goats and sheep with ease on a regular basis.

The Hughes family has streamlined the enterprise by installing new holding paddocks and additional processing paddocks with handling facilities capable of processing 7000 goats per annum.

There is also an opportunity in trading carbon at an estimated $300,000 a year and a large cultivation licence and clearing licence over the entire property offering the immediate prospect for large scale development.

Koonaburra is being offered as a standalone block or as an addition to an existing operation and will be auctioned by Nutrien Harcourts on October 30.


QLD cattle breeding and backgrounding operation heads to auction

After a short expressions of interest campaign, Geoff and Jacque Blacket have now decided to auction their large southwestern Queensland cattle breeding and backgrounding operation Tamanick on December 4.

Situated 83km south of Mitchell and 130km north of St George, Tamanick offers some of the best frontage country on the Maranoa River.

Featuring a balance of soil types and exceptional stands of buffel and natural grasses, the 13,918ha block consists of 6339ha Tamanick, 2023ha Myola, 2021ha Feniton and 3690ha Farmers.

After 80 years of single-family ownership, the Blackets have decided to downsize, following the June sale of their 16,187ha Marlee Downs, at Mitchell, for $2.6 million ($160/ha bare).

Tamanick is subject to flooding, but the homestead and structures have a levee bank set above the 2012 flood height.

Around 1620ha of low-lying flood grazing country that straddles the Maranoa River is reputable cattle fattening country that is extremely beneficial in times of increased rainfall or flood.

Tamanick can carry 1300 cows and calves, or around 2200 weaner to feeder cattle.

The property is watered by seven dams that range in capacity from approximately 1000 to 10,000 cubic metres, two semi-permanent lagoons, seasonal water holes in the creeks and river plus an equipped bore.

Seamus Filan from MAA Livestock & Property is handling the sale of Tamanick.

Southern Tableland’s Sugarloaf offered for the first time in 160 years

Sugarloaf on New South Wales’ Southern Tablelands is being offered to the market for the first time in 160 years.

Located midway between Crookwell and Boorowa, the 615ha property is a rare offering for the region, with single family ownership since 1860.

The Southern Tablelands represents a high rainfall region (738mm) suited to all livestock enterprises with mixed farming capabilities.

Sugarloaf features a balance of arable and grazing percentages, situated on the banks of the Lachlan River. Water is also secured from 14 dams, 11 of which are spring fed, plus a bore.

It features excellent fertiliser history with high performance pastures and native perennial grasses which underpin around 5300 dry sheep equivalents.

Sugarloaf is will be auctioned by LAWD, in conjunction with Elders Yass, on November 19.


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