Weekly property review: Recently completed sales

Property editor Linda Rowley, 20/10/2021

The Pickersgill family from QLD’s Central Highlands is believed to have paid more than $30 million for Bandana Station in the foothills of the Carnarvon Ranges. Image: Jason Kilpatrick

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

  • CQ’s Bunderra Cattle Co secures Bandana for $30m plus
  • Record $16m for Upper Murray’s Woonoona
  • FNQ’s Kutchera makes more than $12m including cattle
  • Young’s North Dananbilla makes serious gains
  • Coonamble’s Cresline changes hands after almost a century
  • Bland’s Donadabu remains in local hands
  • Condamine’s Number Four exceeds price expectations
  • CQ’s The Peaks makes $5.7m
  • NSW government pays top dollar for Koonaburra
  • Western division land lease makes $4m
  • Locals secure tightly held Flinders Ranges country

CQ’s Bunderra Cattle Co secures Bandana for $30m plus

The Pickersgill family from Queensland’s Central Highlands is believed to have paid more than $30 million for Bandana Station in the high rainfall foothills of the Carnarvon Ranges.

Based at Washpool near Comet, the family owns the Bunderra Cattle Co brand. They will add the 17,477ha Bandana, pictured above, to their already strong portfolio of nine cattle properties around Rolleston, Bauhinia Downs,  Alpha and the Northern Territory.

Bandana, which was sold by Nathan Evans and Olivia Mayne after five years of ownership, is a reliable breeding and backgrounding powerhouse that can carry between 1500 and 2000 breeders.

Located 240km north of Roma and 240km south of Emerald, it is well developed with around 4500ha of improved pastures. Around 900ha has been sown to leucaena used to finish progeny.

Bandana is well-watered by numerous dams, a bore beside the ever-flowing Carnarvon Creek and a large backup dam which is gravity fed to numerous troughs.

Bandana has been operating a thriving camping ground called Sandstone Park Carnarvon Gorge which has also been included in the sale.

Several development approvals are also attached to the property to take advantage of tourism opportunities in the nearby national park.

The sale was handled by Grant Veivers from Resolute Property Group. He was unable to disclose the sale price.

“The property was an off-market opportunity which reinforces the strength in the current market, especially in the Central Queensland area,” Mr Veivers said.

Record $16m for Upper Murray’s Woonoona

Woonoona in the tightly held Upper Murray region of New South Wales has well and truly exceeded expectations selling under the hammer for $16 million.

The property was offered by Inglis Rural Property in conjunction with Elders Albury with price expectations between $10m and $13m.

Located between Tumbarumba and Corryong on the New South Wales/Victorian border, the 375ha of country comprises three contiguous landholdings.

The landholdings were purchased by two local families. It is understood one party will purchase the 109ha Woonoona Homestead and 110ha Woonona, and the other will buy the 156ha Delta.

When Woonoona was offered to the market in September, Sam Triggs from Inglis Rural Property described it as one of the most productive and best developed properties in the Upper Murray.

He said farmland values in the Upper Murray were achieving between $27,000/ha and $35,000/ha. Those figures have been easily surpassed with the $42,666/ha sale of Woonoona.

Henry Mackinnon from Elders believes the record price was the result of a perfect storm.

“Commodity prices are strong, interest rates are low and money is cheap. Quality and scale opportunities in the Upper Murray are rare which means when they do present themselves to the market, they are hotly contested – especially by locals.”

Operating as a beef cattle breeding and fattening enterprise for the past 20 years, Woonoona is conservatively carrying 400 cows and progeny, but is estimated to carry more than 500.

It is also well suited to dryland irrigated cropping, hay/fodder production, sheep and prime lamb production.

Boasting undulating slopes and a picturesque landscape on the banks of the Murray River, Woonoona offers fertile and versatile land and soil types. Around 90 percent is arable and sown to high performance perennials.

Featuring 1.25km of Murray River frontage and water access licences totalling 125ML, the property is also watered by a reticulated trough/tank system, a permanent creek and a network of surface dams.

FNQ’s Kutchera makes more than $12m including cattle

A producer seeking to expand his current operations has secured far north Queensland’s Kutchera prior to auction for in excess of $12 million, including more than 4500 cattle.

Spanning 81,000ha in the Savannah Gulf region, Kutchera is situated between the Ethridge and Gilbert Rivers, 90km west north west of Georgetown and 500km west of Cairns.

For the past 20 years, the reliable, safe breeder country has been owned by Jim and Jean Haynes from Keswick at Julia Creek.

Matthew Kennedy from Kennedy Rural said Kutchera was a low-cost operation set up for easy management and is boasting an enormous body of grass – stretching from one end of the station to the other.

With an average annual rainfall of 800mm, the property has abundant stock watering points, 30 dams ranging in size from 5000 to 15,000 cubic metres, 17 bores and five permanent lagoons.

It also boasts 5247ha of creek frontage, with five systems running through the property providing abundant seasonal water.

The country is flat to undulating comprising 30,745ha of sandy forest, 36,589ha of sand ridges and 8419ha of lancewood.

Kutchera can run between 4600 and 7000 head of mixed cattle.

The safe calf breeding property Kutchera in Far North Queensland was listed walk-in, walk-out for $10m.

Young’s North Dananbilla makes serious gains

A record $11.5 million ($18,608/ha) has been paid for Young’s North Dananbilla Aggregation on New South Wales’ South West Slopes.

The 618ha holding comprises the adjoining 359ha North Dananbilla, 198ha Bank Block and 61ha Greenacre, that are operated as one. They have been held by Brad and Joy Allen who are now retiring.

It was purchased by a Sydney-based landholder with existing country in the Southern Tablelands for expansion.

The productive and versatile soils are situated 21km north east of Young and 50km south west of Cowra.

Well fenced and watered, the livestock, cropping and fodder enterprise is estimated to run 10 DSE per hectare and has the opportunity to increase the carrying capacity with further pasture development.

The sale of the North Dananbilla Aggregation was handled by Richard Gemmell from Elders.

Coonamble’s Cresline changes hands after almost a century

A New South Wales Central Tablelands family seeking expansion has paid $9.112 million ($3076/ha) for Coonamble’s Cresline, in the state’s central west.

It was offered to the market after 92 years of single family ownership by Don McKenzie who is retiring.

Located 36km north of Coonamble and 196km north of Dubbo, the 2937ha property features versatile mixed grazing and farming suited to sheep, wool, cattle, cropping and fodder production. Around 603ha of crops (wheat, barley and oats) were included.

The country consists of productive self-mulching grey loams, red clays and sandy loams, with year-round production of summer grasses, winter clovers and medics.

Cresline boasts quality improvements and is currently being run as a Merino sheep and wool enterprise, with the addition of lamb production, cereal cropping and cattle.

It has been running 3000 breeding ewes plus progeny, together with cattle in season.

Cresline is well watered by bores, tanks, troughs and enlarged desilted dams, with a seasonal creek providing beneficial overland flooding.

Richard Gemmell from Elders also handled the sale of Cresline and Donadabu (featured below).

Bland’s Donadabu remains in local hands

A local farming family has paid $4.365 million ($9105/ha) for the productive mixed farming enterprise Donadabu in the Bland district of south western New South Wales.

The 479ha holding is located 20km from Quandialla and centrally located 55km from Temora and West Wyalong.

Donadabu is suited to sheep, wool, prime lambs and cropping on level open ‘Bland’ country consisting of deep red loams and grey self mulching soils. It is well fenced and watered by dams and is supported by an annual rainfall of 525mm.

Held since 1958, John and Janet Curry are selling to finalise a family partnership.

Condamine’s Number Four exceeds price expectations

The Brennan family has paid $6.8 million ($4480/ha) bare of stock and plant for highly regarded and tightly held grazing and farming country on Queensland’s Western Downs.

The Brennans hold around 3035ha around Boonah and Beaudesert, in the state’s south-east, and 4653ha around Taroom.

Number Four is situated 75km west of Condamine, 80km from Roma and 125km west of Dalby – centrally located to saleyards, feedlots and grain depots.

The 1518ha holding is suitable for cattle backgrounding or fattening, or grain growing. The vendor Andrew Bassingthwaighte has 982ha under cultivation (sown to oats and sorghum) with the balance being established to buffel grass.

The country consists of developed brigalow, belah scrub country with a centrally located artesian bore servicing the property through tanks and troughs.

Peter Dowling from Dowling Livestock & Property said the auction was well supported especially by locals, and the price exceeded expectations.

The 1518ha Number Four is suitable for cattle backgrounding or fattening, or grain growing.

CQ’s The Peaks makes $5.7m

Central Queensland’s The Peaks has sold under the hammer for $5.7 million to Kane and Sharon Booth from Mareeba.

The 2680ha reliable breeder property is located at St Lawrence, 115km from Sarina and 150km from Mackay.

Carmen Pringle and Gary Bourne purchased The Peaks ten years ago and converted it from a tree farm to a highly productive grazing operation.

It consistently carries 450 cows plus progeny and was offered with 300 cows, 100 calves at foot and seven Brahman bulls.

Kent Street from Ray White Rural said The Peaks was well improved, well fenced and easy to manage.

“There is an abundance of grass and it has the ability to cut hay or grow some crops. Further fencing and rotational grazing would further enhance its carrying capacity.”

The Peaks has about 1000ha of cleared coastal country that consist of large flats running into gently undulating cleared valleys, all of which are heavily grassed.

There is a further 400ha of grazed iron bark ridge country, with the balance timbered ranges.

It is watered by two bores, 14 dams and permanent holes in the Freshwater Creek. It also holds a 25ha irrigation licence.

NSW government pays top dollar for Koonaburra

New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service has paid $9.185 million for one of the largest and most diverse western division land leases in the Cobar Shire.

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

It was listed for $6.5 million on a walk-in walk-out basis, but sold for a staggering $8.35m plus GST.

The low-cost mixed grazing operation was offered for sale by the Hughes family after 14 years of ownership. They had been running 9000 Dorpers and up to 3000 cattle seasonally, as well as harvesting feral goats.

Boasting a 355mm rainfall, Koonaburra Station 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.

Some of the holding’s original buildings are still standing, including the shearing shed, the standalone and renovated meat house and the old harness and buggy shed.

The entire property is a low point of an ancient water system, thought to be full of water for around 20,000 years – similar to Mungo National Park to the south.

Other attributes which appealed to the state government included the pristine vegetation, including saltbush and native grasses, and the abundance of native birds and animals.

David Leeds from Border Real Estate handled the sale.

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

Western division land lease makes $4m

A producer from Forbes has paid around $4 million WIWO (livestock and some plant) for Ashleigh Downs in New South Wales’ central west.

The 21,367ha holding is located 130km north east of Ivanhoe and 140km south west of Cobar, in the Western Lands Division of New South Wales.

The country comprises mostly timbered grazing, mallee country and some cleared open flats. Around 2175ha has been cleared and mostly raked for cropping.

The Roberts family, who has held Ashleigh Downs for 50 years, has been running 1200 Aussie White ewes plus progeny and goats, although the property has traditionally run 3500 Aussie white ewes and finished 5000 goats.

David Leeds from Border Real Estate said assuming 1.5DSE/ha for the Aussie Whites and 1DSE for the goats, Ashleigh Downs demonstrated a total carrying capacity of 8500 DSE.

It is located at the bottom end of the Thule Creek which traverses the property and when full, floods out over most of the flats providing for significant banks of feed/crop to be grown.

The property is serviced by 13 water tanks (most of which are set up to trap goats) and two solar equipped bores.

Locals secure tightly held Flinders Ranges country

Tightly held grazing country in South Australia’s spectacular Flinders Ranges will remain in local hands after being divided and sold, some for the first time in 114 years.

Owned by the Stokes family, the four properties span 5127ha.

A neighbour paid $1.48 million for the largest block – the 2419ha Blue Hills on the Wilochra Plain, 21km south east of Quorn. The well improved breeding country runs 600 ewes and 400 replacements and is watered by three bores and three dams. It was expected to sell for around $1m.

A local family paid $800,000 for the 2174ha Hills (Lot 2). Located 21km north of Quorn, the scenic country has access to Warrens Gorge. Naturally watered by two springs, the vendor has been running 800 wethers.

Another local family paid $500,000 ($100,000 above expectations) for the 440ha Top Place (Lot 3), 23km from Quorn in the picturesque Arden Vale Valley. Featuring the gum lined Mount Arden Creek, it is watered by a permanent bore.

The smallest, Lot 4 is the 94.5ha Long Paddock, which was passed in at auction and has now been listed for sale. Situated 27km north of Quorn, it features the gum lined Mount Arden Creek and is watered by a solar equipped bore

Tim Wooley and Simon McIntyre from Nutrien Harcourts handled both the marketing and sale of the Quorn aggregation.




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