Travellers along the (now all sealed) road from Goulburn to Oberon today pass through a locality known locally as Curraweela, just before dropping down to the Abercrombie River.
The district takes its name from a property, which occupied an area of fringe country between the prized “Richlands” estate of the “Camden Park” Macarthurs, and the rugged Abercrombie hills.
In 1906 this “Curraweela” property was purchased by Shouldham (or Shouldan – spellings vary) Craig, from the estate of Roderick McKay, who had died the previous year.
McKay was one of three brothers who had emigrated from Scotland in the mid-1800s, becoming pioneer settlers in the Taralga district, at Bannaby and Yalbraith.
Roderick never married, and when his health declined towards the end of his life, he was cared for by his niece Flora Craig, the daughter of his brother Murdoch, at “Woodbrook”, Yalbraith.
And following Roderick’s death aged 70 in 1905 it was Flora’s husband, Shouldham, who stepped up to buy “Curraweela” from McKay’s estate the following year.
Now, more than a century later, the 434 hectare (1074ac) core of that original “Curraweela” property is being sold by Craig’s fourth-generation descendants, thereby creating a rare vacancy in this tightly-held corner of the historic Taralga district.
The property has been listed for sale by (former Yalbraith boy) Ray Croker of Elders Goulburn and will go to auction on August 18, with bidding expected above $1.2 million.
Competition is likely to come from local land-hungry grazing interests and from Sydney buyers seeking a private rural retreat with productive and environmental attributes within easy distance.
Situated 18 kilometres north of Taralga and 62km from Goulburn, “Curraweela” is about 1.3km off the main Goulburn-Oberon road.
The property is easily within 2.5 hours’ drive of Sydney.
The property comprises a mix of country, from gently sloping pasture-improved paddocks of heavy basalt and granite loam soils, to the timbered hills that account for around half the total area.
During its long ownership by Shouldham Craig, “Curraweela” formed part of a substantial grazing aggregation of more than 3000 hectares, extending from Yalbraith to the Abercrombie River.
But upon his death in 1939 the properties were divided between his six children, and it was Alick who inherited the property now for sale as “Curraweela”.
From Alick, the property passed to his son John, and upon his death to his widow, Edna, who died last year. Her four sons are now selling to wind up the estate.
Now lightly stocked, the property has an estimated carrying capacity of 1350 DSE and in past years has typically carried 35-40 cows and about 400 ewes, producing prime lambs.
A feature of the property is its secure water supply, thanks to a reliable high rainfall (average about 750mm), seven dams and more than 4km of frontage (mostly double) to a permanent creek.
The property is subdivided into 11 paddocks and fencing has been well maintained.
Structural improvements are modest at “Curraweela”. They include a one-bedroom cottage, two-stand shearing shed, sheep and cattle yards and a machinery shed.
However, the property offers numerous potential sites for a substantial homestead, and ample scope for productive investment.