Wealth of wind and water

Wealth of wind and water


Property
“Wharekarori” will go to auction on April 28.

“Wharekarori” will go to auction on April 28.

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Intense interest surrounds a well-known Crookwell property which has been listed for auction later this month.

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A well-known Crookwell property with links to the early development of pasture improvement in NSW has been listed for auction later this month, amid intense local interest.

The property, “Wharekarori”, is a local landmark, fronting as it does the main Crookwell-Goulburn road, and owned for more than 60 years by one of the district’s leading pastoral families.

Now a property of 596 hectares (1474ac), it was bought in 1953 (then a somewhat larger 800ha) by Gerald and Hazel Seaman, both now deceased, and is being sold now by their family.

“Wharekarori” has been listed for sale with Ray Croker and Paul McIntosh of Elders Goulburn and will go to auction on April 28.

The property is situated just over 10 kilometres from Crookwell.

The property is situated just over 10 kilometres from Crookwell.

What it will fetch is anybody’s guess, given its uniqueness as a commercial-scale holding in an area increasingly being bought up for lifestyle farms, and the fact that it is home to an historic wind farm.

In earlier times, “Wharekarori” formed the northern end of “Gundowringa”, the (originally) 9000 acre property regarded as the NSW birthplace of pasture improvement in the 1920s under the visionary ownership of Charles Prell.

A three-way family split of “Gundowringa” in 1933 saw “Wharekarori” created as a separate property for Stanley Prell, who sold it six years later to a Larkin interest, from whom Seamans bought it in 1953.

Mr Seaman continued the pasture development work initiated by the Prells and brought “Wharekarori” to a high pitch of production, carrying Merino sheep and cattle to stocking rates of 12.5 DSE/ha.

The name “Wharekarori” is thought to be a corruption of  Wharekauri, a Maori placename to which Charles Prell may have taken a shine while selecting New Zealand foundation stock for his Gundowringa Corriedale stud.

Situated just over 10 kilometres from Crookwell and less than 2.5 hours’ drive from Sydney, “Wharekarori” is a property of mostly gently undulating country, falling away at the south to Third Creek.

“Wharekarori” has been owned for 60 years by one of the district’s leading pastoral families.

Soils are predominantly basalt, and arable areas have been cropped over the years to potatoes, as well as oats and other fodder crops.

Pastures today are a mix of native and introduced grasses and clovers, currently showing abundant growth (as pictured with selling agent Paul McIntosh) in the wake of recent well-timed rains.

The property is lightly stocked with 2000 Merino sheep owned by a neighbour who has been leasing “Wharekarori” (although it is offered for sale with vacant possession).

Situated as it is just east of the crest of the Great Dividing Range, “Wharekarori” is well watered by a reliable 800mm average rainfall, spring-fed dams and a permanent creek.

The brick-and-tile homestead, one of three built by the Prells on “Gundowringa” in the 1930s, has four bedrooms.

Working structures include a four-stand shearing shed with steel sheep yards, steel cattle yards, machinery and hay sheds, workshop and vehicle shedding.

Looming high on a ridge behind all this are the eight wind turbines – the first wind farm in NSW when established in 1994 – which return a gross annual rental of about $15,500.

  • Contact Paul McIntosh, 0409 056 287.

- PETER AUSTIN

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