Movement at the Station – Recent property listings

Property editor Linda Rowley, 17/07/2019

A price between $11m and $12m is expected for Holbrook’s Stonehaven, which has attracted strong early interest from Australian farming families from across the nation.

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.

  • Riverina history up for grabs
  • First class Darling River country on offer
  • NSW lotfeeding opportunity relisted
  • Breeding aggregation for cattle or sheep
  • Good grass on Waterview
  • Diversity on offer on the Barcoo

Riverina history up for grabs

Stonehaven in the renowned Holbrook district of New South Wales, pictured above, is being offered to the market for just the second time in more than a century.

Situated 19km north of Holbrook and 76km south of Wagga, it once formed part of the historic 28,300ha Kinross Station held by generations of the Ross family.

In March 2016, more than a 100 years of Stonehaven ownership came to an end when Neil and Jacqui Ross sold and moved to Albury for education reasons.

A local farming and grazing syndicate successfully fended-off interest from overseas to secure the 2600ha property – one of the last remaining large-scale farming/grazing holdings in the eastern Riverina.

While no price was disclosed, Stonehaven carried an indicative price of $10.75 million to $12 million, or $4200-$4690/ha.

Today, the syndicate has changed direction and has halved the Stonehaven holding – selling off the 1295ha with all the improvements and keeping the balance.

Located in a secure 675mm rainfall district, Stonehaven features quality water infrastructure including 22 dams, a fully reticulated water trough system, plus two good capacity stock and domestic bores.

The country is a balance of productive alluvial creek flats to gentle rising red loam to low granite hill grazing making it suitable for grain, fodder and livestock production.

Lime and fertiliser inputs have enhanced the property’s pasture/lucerne, cropping and fodder production. It is currently rated at 18,000 dry sheep equivalents.

Reg Coulston from Elders Albury is quoting a range between $11m and $12m, and said there had been very good interest from Australian farming families from across the nation.

Stonehaven is being offered for sale by public tender closing on July 25.

First class Darling River country on offer

First class Darling River grazing country is being offered via expressions of interest by Schute Bell Badgery Lumby.

West Mooculta is a 10,759ha beef production property complimented by irrigation.

Comprising 5276ha of freehold and 5482ha Western Lands lease country, the breeding operation is located 10km east of Bourke and 88km west of Brewarrina.

The level to slightly undulating soils are principally self-mulching grey alluvials sparsely covered with coolibah timber.

Selling agent Cameron McIvor said in any season, the country on West Mooculta can be supplemented with around 500 hectares of irrigation.

Water for irrigation is extracted from the Darling River above the Bourke weir and delivered by open canal to 10 irrigation fields. Some 342ha are currently cultivated with barley and wheat.

Included in the sale of the property is a 352 megalitres license, as well as 12,000ML of carryover water.

All grazing paddocks have excellent water access to either tanks, troughs, earthen dams or Dry Bogan or Darling Rivers frontage.

Mr McIvor said when the Gordon family purchased West Mooculta in the mid-1990s they transitioned away from cotton to focus entirely on beef production.

“Under the current ownership, West Mooculta has been utilising winter cropping strategies to enable feed availability to better match production requirements. This has resulted in less water usage, greater success with fodder cropping and in doing so increasing the carrying capacity of the property,” Mr McIvor said.

West Mooculta once formed part of the vast Mooculta western lands lease linked to pastoral royalty. It was owned by pastoralist and politicians Russell Barton from 1865 to 1913 and William Wilson Killen from 1913 to 1936. It was later purchased by the Tancred Family – former giants of the meat processing industry.

The enterprise was broken up in 1953 to form the two rural entities West Mooculta and Mooculta.

In 1996, the grazing and irrigation assets associated with West Mooculta were secured by the current owners, the Gordon Family.

Merv and Jill Gordon (now deceased) had arrived in the Bourke district in the early 70s to develop irrigation on Latoka which adjoins West Mooculta.

Merv had always had an unwavering ambition to purchase the neighbouring West Mooculta as he was enticed by the feed potential of the fertile alluvial plains it offered.

The last several decades have seen the Gordon family focus on developing the property’s irrigation potential aimed at drought proofing their cattle breeding herd.

Despite two years of drought, West Mooculta has maintained a healthy Santa/Hereford cross herd of more than 700 head, with the vendors currently running 380 cows plus followers.

The sale of West Mooculta will finalise a family estate. Expressions of interest close on August 15.

West Mooculta is a 10,759ha beef production property east of Bourke complimented by irrigation.

 NSW lotfeeding opportunity relisted

The Swain family has relisted its 5000 head Kia Ora Feedlot in north western New South Wales.

Originally presented to the market in 2015, Kia Ora was subsequently withdrawn by the owners. It is now being reoffered to the market by Moree Real Estate via an expressions of interest campaign which closes on August 30.

The 17,303ha Western Lands Lease, which has 5273 arable hectares, is currently in the process of being converted to freehold.

Located 65km east of Brewarrina and 75km west of Walgett, Kia Ora consists of near level flood plains rising to small areas of red ridges on the north eastern boundary.

Around 95pc is grey alluvial flood plain country, with the remainder red ridges.

Manure generated from the feedlot has been spread over the cultivation country on the property.

Kia Ora is well watered with Barwon River frontage. A large proportion of the property is subject to beneficial flooding from the Barwon River, with the northern section subject to inundation from the Narran Lake.

While the processing facility can handle 100 head at any time, the total capacity of the feedlot pens is between 5000 and 6000 head.

The infrastructure includes a 2000t grain shed with concrete floor, an 80t weighbridge, 4 x 5000t capacity feed bunkers for silage and a heavy steel frame machinery/hay shed.

The Swain family, who has owned the property for about eight years, has decided to take a different direction with plans to downsize.

Kia Ora feedlot near Walgett

Breeding aggregation for cattle or sheep

Moree Real Estate is also seeking expressions of interest for the 3914ha Noonameena Aggregation in northern New South Wales.

Comprising 2284ha Noonameena, 951ha Winston and 679ha Corner Camp, the breeding property is located 48km south east of Bingara and 80km south of Inverell.

It is mostly undulating rolling hills with lower country along the western boundary that rises up to the east. There is a section of steeper country along the eastern boundary, but most of it is accessible and easy to manage.

Currently, there is 150ha of arable country, however more is available.

Vendors, John and Ray Boland, estimate the aggregation can carry up to 1200 breeders in a normal season.

While the property is drought affected and currently running 800 head, Noonameena is handling the dry conditions relatively well and is not buying feed.

Water is a feature and has recently been upgraded so that most paddocks have access to bore water plus dam or creek water.

Previously, the property was run as a successful sheep grazing enterprise.

Mr Kelly said Noonameena will attract local and away interest from producers seeking a straightforward, well developed breeder block that’s well fenced and watered.

The expressions of interest campaign closes this week – July 18.

Comprising 2284ha Noonameena, 951ha Winston and 679ha Corner Camp, the breeding property is located 48km south east of Bingara and 80km south of Inverell.

 Good grass on Waterview

North west Queensland’s fully operational breeding property Waterview is on the market with a $3.1 million price tag (including station plant).

Spanning 17,815ha, it is located 97km south of Prairie and boasts a good body of grass following 38mm of rain in June.

Described by Elders as safe, reliable and well-watered, Waterview has spinifex, forest Mitchell, buffel and introduced stylos, as well as 1052ha of pulled gidgee country.

The property is watered by 16 dams, a bore and extensive poly and troughs.

John Soutar from Elders believes Waterview will suit an entry level producer or someone with fattening country looking for breeder country with plenty of grass.

“The country has proven to be safe with an excellent mix of grasses and edible scrub that cattle happily forage through in drier times,” he said.

“The country on Waterview responds very quickly to rain and has the scope for further development with aerial seeding of improved pastures and extension of the existing water plan,” Mr Soutar said.

The current owners, Bob and Christine Bode are selling after 20 years due to succession planning.

North Queensland breeding property Waterview is on the market with a $3.1 million price tag, including station plant.

Diversity on offer on the Barcoo

Melrose in the well-regarded Blackall district is being sold after 30 years ownership.

Located 65km north west of Blackall, the 7141ha property is considered to be very sweet and capable of running any type of livestock.

It boasts a mix of country including mostly open to shaded Mitchell grass pebbly downs, coolibah floodout, 8km of Barcoo River double frontage and a further 6km of double frontage to the Douglas Ponds Creek – carrying a diverse body of feed with some claypan between the two water systems.

Around 930ha of stock route traverses the property.

Melrose is part of the Moonbria exclusion fencing cluster and with just 10km of fencing, the property will be fully enclosed.

Melrose will be auctioned on July 31 by Des Cuffe from Elders.

Blackall’s Melrose is part of the Moonbria exclusion fencing cluster and with just 10km of fencing, the property will be fully enclosed.


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