One man’s asset rationalisation program has flushed onto the market a well-developed cattle breeding and fattening property in one of the best watered locations in NSW.
Roger Grant was a significant landholder in the Nundle district until 2010 when he sold his core cattle breeding property, “Koobah”, following earlier sales of “Alkoomie”, “Keeva” and “Glen Ayr”.
A few years later he bought “Prestwick”, a historic property of 1171 hectares (2893 acres) near the top of the Great Dividing Range east of Tamworth, which he saw as offering investment potential.
But now, with most of that investment done, “Prestwick” is also on the selling block, which will leave the Tamworth-based cattleman with “Lloma” at Loomberah as his sole remaining grazing interest.
“Prestwick” has been listed for sale with Meares and Associates of Sydney and will go to on-line auction on April 4-5, with bidding expected in a range from $5-$5.5 million.
The offering is likely to appeal to established graziers seeking a high-rainfall cattle breeding base.
But it will also appeal to city buyers for whom the property’s scenic location and lifestyle features would be additional drawcards.
Situated near the villages of Niangala and Weabonga, 35 kilometres south of Walcha and 58km from Tamworth, “Prestwick” occupies a choice chunk of Southern New England high country.
With an elevation range from 1200 metres to 1400m, the property enjoys a high average rainfall of 900-1000mm.
And it is abundantly watered by 31 dams and spring-fed creeks.
The country is predominantly rich red basalt and ranges from sheltered, open valleys to timbered hills – the latter mostly on the western fringe, where the property flanks the trout-rich Mulla Creek.
It is believed the original run was taken up by the explorer/botanist Allan Cunningham, who passed through the area in 1823.
He erected a homestead (still standing) for his family in 1842.
About two-thirds of the total area (or 785ha) is cleared for grazing, of which just over 500ha is sown down to an improved pasture mix of phalaris, cocksfoot, ryegrass and clovers.
The balance of the property is green timber, of which about 200ha has future potential (subject to approval) for clearing and pasture development.
With an estimated carrying capacity of 500 breeders, selling calves as weaners, or 400-450 and growing calves out, the property has recently been carrying 420 Angus cows and heifer replacements.
Excellent structural improvements and fencing are a feature of “Prestwick”, following substantial recent upgrading and investment by the present owner.
Working improvements include a new set of steel cattle yards incorporating modern design features and capacity to work 500 head.
There is also a new five-bay machinery/hay shed and two other machinery sheds.
The weatherboard homestead, part of which dates back to 1868, underwent substantial renovation and extension in 1972 and is now configured as a duplex of two wings, set in landscaped gardens.
One wing, of two storeys, is occupied by the owner and has three bedrooms, polished timber floors, air conditioning, slow combustion heating and large, east-facing verandahs.
The other wing is used as a manager’s residence and has four bedrooms, tiled floors, separate living and dining rooms and slow combustion heating.
BY PETER AUSTIN