Weekly property review – ‘Movement at the station’

Property editor Linda Rowley, 20/09/2017

The 140,000ha Conways Station, 180km from Katherine, has reportedly sold to an Australian-based company for $9m, walk-in walk-out.


THIS week’s property review summarises a bunch of new listings which have come onto to the market across the eastern states, together with a number of properties changing hands, or heading that way.

Northern Territory

The 140,000ha Conways Station, 180km from Katherine, has reportedly sold to an Australian-based company for $9 million, walk-in walk-out.

The property was listed in April last year through Elders Katherine for $9.3m including 4500 head of cattle and a small amount of plant, but has settled privately.

Conways boasts quality river country, open black soils, red country, escarpments, springs and rivers.

About 40 percent of the station is fenced and is used to run 5000 head of cattle. The balance of the country is used for its established buffalo hunting safari business, which is targeted at international hunters.

According to Herron Todd White’s Frank Peacocke, the purchaser is investing in the property primarily for its pastoral use and does not place significant value on the property’s tourism or hunting business opportunities.

He said the existence of a carbon credit contract (reportedly capable of generating between $70,000 and $100,000 profit per annum) also positively influenced the purchase price.

Mr Peacocke described the sale of Conways Station as a strong sale and estimations of current carrying capacity would push the $/AE above $1700.

Mustering cattle on Kalala Station, near Daly Waters – back on the makret after a December sale to an offshore interest fell through

Meantime, expressions of interest have closed for the 3760sq km Kalala Station in the Northern Territory. The large-scale Barkly Tableland breeding property, located 280km south of Katherine near the township of Daly Waters, attracted good enquiry, particularly from interested domestic parties, according to selling agent Andy Gray from Ruralco Property/Territory Rural.

Kalala, which is carrying about 35,000 Brahman and Brahman cross cattle, is being sold on a walk-in walk-out basis and is expected to make about $70 million.


Sydney-based farm management company Gunn Agri Partners has added the large-scale Hughenden district property Katandra Station to its rural portfolio.

In December 2015, Gunn Agri purchased three cattle stations, comprising 11,463ha Ballaroo 13,239ha Ekari Park and 11,393ha Fairview, near Roma in south-west Queensland for $11 million.

Last year, the company purchased the 400,000ha North Queensland breeding property Esmeralda Station for $40m including 30,000 head of cattle.

Longreach selling agent Tom McLeish from TopX Australia said the 40,000ha Katandra attracted 20 interested parties.

“A stand-out feature was the naturally open Mitchell Grass downs country free from prickly acacia and weeds. The property has magnificent improvements including fencing, bores, houses, cattle yards and of course, scale.”

Katandra, which carries 6000 head, aligns well with Gunn Agri’s current breeding operations to the north and the company is expected to send its weaners there.

While the final sum paid was undisclosed by the agent, the asking price was $14m bare of stock and plant.

There were eight registered bidders at the recent auction of the 1080ha Duaringa property Kensleigh, which sold for $3.4m.

There were eight registered bidders at the recent auction of the 1080ha Duaringa property Kensleigh, which sold for $3.4m.

Described by Gary Bishop from Hourn & Bishop Qld as a quality, self-operational, grassfed fattening or backgrounding property, Kensleigh has a 3km frontage to the Dawson River and is located 95km from Rockhampton.

“It was a good, strong sale,” Mr Bishop said.

The purchaser is Noel Schwarz and family from Gracemere. The current owners, Barry and Claire Hoare, who recently sold their other Duaringa property Spring Hill, are heading further west to buy a larger property.


New South Wales

The Murrumbidgee’s 1327ha Carraman Station, situated in the heart of the Riverina region, sold prior to auction achieving well above its $3 million price expectations.

The mixed farming property, with 9km of Murrumbidgee River and 7km Bundidgerry Creek frontages, is located 8km east of Narrandera and 65km west of Wagga Wagga. It boasts productive river country transitioning through to areas of soft undulating soils.

Selling agent Geoff Palmer from Ray White Rural said limited supply of listings drove a high number of inspections.

“If you look around the wider Riverina, there are no grazing properties available for sale. This is a scalable operation. Investors are looking for a return on capital, while existing livestock operators are looking to expand and capitalise on the buoyant market.”

Mr Palmer said the purchaser was a Sydney-based Australian buyer expanding its agricultural footprint.

“Carramar will become a livestock trading enterprise and there will be additional development by way of its existing ground water entitlements,” he said.

In the meantime, owner Brian Powell will consolidate his assets and turn his attention to grazing at his property in Orange.

The Murrumbidgee’s 1327ha Carraman Station, situated in the heart of the Riverina region, sold prior to auction achieving well above its $3m price expectations.


River Murray grazing properties Merran Vale and Cooinda Park at Barham in southern NSW achieved the top end of market expectations, selling recently at auction for $2.35m.

The neighbouring properties were sold by retiring Ivan and Ann Chandler to Victorian producer Dan Cahill, from Woodend, who is expanding his existing cattle grazing operations.

The 1143ha aggregation boasts black self-mulching country to red rises and lighter red country. In addition to the freehold country, there are 100ha under perpetual lease and a further 1456ha of river country forest held under an annual state forest lease, which Ruralco selling agent Andrew Miller said offers valuable grazing, particularly in dry seasons.

“It was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to buy a large holding with substantial water resources and improvements. The aggregation has double frontage to the permanent Merran Creek.”

The buyer, Dan Cahill, also purchased the 774 Megalitres NSW general water sale entitlement at market value.

There were seven registered bidders at the auction and Mr Miller is currently negotiating with two unsuccessful parties with an off-market property.


Properties for sale – New South Wales

Strong competition from Sydney buyers is expected when the scenic Capertree Valley property Bogee is auctioned on September 26.

Strong competition from Sydney buyers is expected when the scenic Capertree Valley property Bogee is auctioned on September 26.

The 1045ha aggregation, three hours from Sydney, comprises the 787ha Bogee and the adjoining 258ha Tambo. It boasts mostly open, valley floor and gently undulating country of sandy loam and sandy clay loam formation, with some stony ridges.

A feature of Bogee is its long double frontage to the permanent Bogee River, in addition to 45 dams.

According to David Webster from Nolan Webster, only four owners have held the property since 1821 when the English born Anglican cleric, the Reverend Samuel Marsden was granted 400ha.

“Bogee is the ideal agriculture enterprise for investors who wish to be close to Sydney and yet own a substantial sized country property. It is versatile country – running both sheep and cattle – and there are ample arable areas ideal for fodder cropping and further pasture improvement.”

Bogee is currently run as a mixed grazing operation running 180 cows and 600 ewes. Mr Nolan said with further pasture work and fodder cropping, the property could support 320 cows and progeny.

Bogee is expected to fetch between $3.4 and $3.8 million.

An ‘open for inspection’ was hosted at Wigelmar in NSW’s Upper Hunter last week, coinciding with the property’s Sevenbardot Poll Hereford annual bull sale.

Last week, First National Bowyer and Livermore took a punt and hosted an ‘open for inspection’ at Wigelmar in NSW’s Upper Hunter which coincided with the property’s Sevenbardot Poll Hereford annual bull sale.

The 1214ha historic grazing enterprise, which has been on the market for more than a year, is owned by stud cattle identities Jim and Sue Gunn who are semi-retiring close to their former home at Goondiwindi.

Located 9km south of Bylong village, Wigelmar is 90km east of Mudgee, 45km north of Rylstone, 290km north-west of Sydney and 214km west of Newcastle.

Selling agent Greg Ryan said it comprises mostly gently undulating country of red basalt-based loam, black alluvial and red alluvial soils and high rainfall.

Water is a feature of the property with three equipped wells, nine dams and a 180 megalitre irrigation licence. Wigelmar also boasts a heritage sandstone homestead, built in 1912, which has been extensively renovated.

Since 2013, the property has been home to the Sevenbardot Poll Hereford Stud, carrying 360 cows. Previously, Wigelmar was used to grow out and finish young cattle, consistently carrying 600 yearlings from 12 to 20 months.

The high rainfall grazing property Chatham, near Merriwa and running into northern NSW’s Liverpool Ranges, will be auctioned on September 29.

The high rainfall grazing property Chatham, located at Merriwa and running into northern NSW’s Liverpool Ranges, will be auctioned on September 29. The 2292ha grazing enterprise is the only remaining parcel of the highly regarded 5500ha Faverhsam aggregation, which was split into four and sold earlier this year.

According to selling agent Michael Burke from MacCallum Inglis, Chatham has productive chocolate basalt soils and is packed with potential for further development of permanent pastures.

“It is suited to either beef cattle or sheep. Water is a feature of Chatham with frontages to the Merriwa River, Nanny Creek, Coulsons Creek and seven dams.”

With a carrying capacity of 600 cows and calves, the commercially viable stand-alone property has price expectations around $6m.

There has been unusually strong interest in the Binnaway abattoir asset in central western NSW.

There has been unusually strong interest in the 46ha Binnaway abattoir in central western New South Wales. The tier one, multi-species export facility is licensed to process 1000 small stock (sheep and goats) or 120 cattle a day.

Danny Thomas from CBRE said it benefited from main road frontage and connectivity to the Newell Highway.

“The abattoir is centrally located within a 150km radius of Dubbo, Tamworth, Gunnedah and Narrabri. Interest is coming from people who are exploiting vertical integration. Those involved in the wholesale and retail meat game see Binnaway as a boutique abattoir. If you wanted to roll 200 goats a week, or service your restaurants or butcher shops in Sydney, then this is the place for you.”

Mr Thomas is anticipating Binnaway abattoir will go to contract before Christmas.


The 3073ha grazing and farming property Wagga, located 56km east of Coonamble and 58km west of Coonabarabran, is being offered for auction on October 4.

Richard Gemmell from Elders Dubbo describes Wagga as a highly versatile property in a renowned and productive district.

“Running predominantly cattle together with sheep and winter cropping on open plains country with a very productive mix of grey and red soils, Wagga is a highly versatile farm capable of year-round production.”

The original holding was taken up by the owners’ forebears in 1896 and successive acquisitions of a further three adjoining properties were added –  Karoa, a World War One soldier’s settlers block, Bilambil and Wilby – taking the property to what it is today.

According to the owners, Wagga has been managed conservatively and in line with seasonal conditions, typically carrying around 400 cows plus calves and weaners and 300 breeding ewes plus lambs.


Noorama Station, one of the mostly highly regarded grazing holdings in south-west Queensland, is continuing to receive good interest, according to Elders’ Richard Gemmell.

The 105,000ha property, which was listed in April, is an aggregation of five holdings situated in the heart of Cunnamulla’s ‘Salad Bowl’ region, 110km south-east of Cunnamulla and 260km north-east of Bourke in NSW. It is renowned for its sheep and wool production along with cattle breeding, backgrounding, finishing and agistment.

With a carrying capacity of 80,000 DSE plus, Noorama features an excellent balance of soil types, comprising open Mitchell grass plains and beneficial safe flood out Coolibah country, interspersed with a mix of sweet gidgyea and brigalow country.

Noorama is the last property being sold in the wind-up of the Bydand Pastoral Co’s rural portfolio. It was put together in the mid-2000s by former childcare centre magnate Mike Gordon who is now concentrating on the newer business of agricultural project management.

The Bydand Pastoral portfolio included the Upper Manning cattle property Cooplacurripa, Mt Margaret at Quilpie, the five properties now aggregated as Noorama and Bundemar Park at Trangie.

Noorama was bought and developed as a breeding base – supplying Merino wethers to Mt Margaret and crossbred lambs to Bundemar Park. In recent years, Noorama had been leased to Minnamurra Pastoral Co, carrying a flock of 25,000 Merinos and 1000 cows.

Mr Gemmell said there had been interest from across the board.

“I can’t put my finger on any one specific area or buyer type, but mainly from sheep producers with the ability to run cattle. We are getting interest from Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia plus international investors.”

Mr Gemmell said it was just a matter of time finding the right buyer for the property. “They are out there. Sometimes it just takes a little bit longer than others.”

Noorama has been listed for sale by ‘offer to purchase’, with no asking price disclosed.




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