New England’s gentler side

New England’s gentler side


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The attractive “Birralee” homestead is just one of six dwellings on the “Kia-Ora” aggregation, all recently renovated.

The attractive “Birralee” homestead is just one of six dwellings on the “Kia-Ora” aggregation, all recently renovated.

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THE call of the open road is behind the recent listing of a major grazing aggregation in the Southern New England, which has caught the eye of local and offshore investors alike.

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THE call of the open road is behind the recent listing of a major grazing aggregation in the Southern New England, which has caught the eye of local and offshore investors alike.

Graham and Dianne Reid have decided to offload their “Kia-Ora” aggregation between Bendemeer and Uralla, to free them up for a long-planned three-year caravanning expedition across Australia.

Despite its formidable 6197-hectare (15,315 acre) scale, the aggregation is to be marketed as a whole, and has been listed for auction on June

19 with Daniel McCulloch of Davidson Cameron Real Estate, Tamworth.

The owners, who live at Evans Head on the North Coast and regularly commute to the property, built the present aggregation in a series of moves starting with the purchase in 2005 of Birralee Station.

Previously owned by Arthur Ackling, “Birralee” comprised about 2100ha, to which the Reids later added “Kia-Ora” and part of “Banalasta”, both then owned by Rolf Blickling (who retains the balance of “Banalasta”).

Since building the aggregation, the Reids have invested heavily in development of the property, pouring back most of the farm earnings into land clearing, topdressing, fencing, water and infrastructure upgrading.

The end result is a well-equipped property which combines serious levels of livestock production with ease of management and appealing lifestyle features.

Situated fronting the New England Highway roughly midway between Tamworth and Armidale, “Kia-Ora” is a property of mostly undulating, granite-type country as well as creek flats and some steeper areas.

Its location abutting the south-western slopes of the New England tableland means it enjoys a high rainfall (about 800 millimetre average) without the winter temperature extremes of the tablelands proper.

About 280ha is regularly cultivated for fodder cropping, while the balance of the property is mostly native pasture country, aerially topdressed since the present owners took over.

Another initiative of the Reids was to implement a cell grazing system, which involved major investment in subdivision fencing and water. There are now more than 100 paddocks, watered by more than 150 dams.

All of this supports a cattle breeding and backgrounding operation ranging in scale up to 1800 cows with progeny grown out and finished in an on-farm feedlot.

However, alternative enterprises are possible as the property is situated in a renowned woolgrowing area and has a past history of sheep production, and the necessary infrastructure.

One other enterprise already established (on the “Banalasta” portion, by the former owner) is a 400ha eucalyptus oil plantation, serviced by a large on-farm irrigation dam of more than 1000 megalitres capacity.

Working improvements spread across the three properties are extensive, and include six sets of cattle yards, three shearing sheds (one modern, with raised board), sheepyards, machinery and hay sheds and silos.

The main “Birralee” homestead, which is used by the Reids when in residence, is a large weatherboard home of five bedrooms with open-plan kitchen/living area, reverse-cycle air conditioning and established garden.

It is just one of three homesteads and three cottages on the aggregation, all of them renovated by the present owners, and in use.

The vendors are understood to be genuine sellers, and as a price guide, comparable grazing country in the area has been selling recently in a range from about $1500-$2000 per hectare ($600 to $800 per acre).

Contact Daniel McCulloch, 0429 613 332.

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