For only the second time in more than 130 years, the New England grazing property “Alfreda” has come up for sale, this time to allow its owners, Hugh and Janniene MacDonald, to retire.
Before the MacDonalds bought “Alfreda” 19 years ago, the property was held since 1885 by four generations of the Wright family, most recently by Chris and Margot Wright.
Comprising today of 784 hectares (1937ac), it was originally part of a large aggregation and became one of several properties hived off to provide for Wright family members.
“Alfreda” has been listed for sale with Nellie Hayes of Ray White Rural Glen Innes and will go to auction in Brisbane on December 15. Situated near Ebor, 88 kilometres east of Armidale and 123km from Coffs Harbour, “Alfreda” represents a substantial grazing property in a renowned, high-rainfall cattle breeding region.
Although in earlier years the property ran Merino sheep, it is now managed exclusively for cattle, variously carrying 400 breeding cows or up to 600 dry cattle for fattening. For many years under earlier ownership a Hereford stronghold, the property now runs mostly Brahman-type cattle, with progeny being grown out for sale as two-tooths. Described as gently undulating country of soft trap and basalt soils, the property is cleared except for retained shelter timber and has a long history of pasture improvement.
Introduced pastures of fescue, ryegrass, cocksfoot and clovers have been established over many years, and productivity maintained by regular topdressing with Monash organic fertiliser.
A feature of “Alfreda”, and the Ebor district in general, is its reliably high rainfall of around 1000mm, most of it falling during the summer months.
Stock water is sourced from double frontage to a permanent creek and 21 dams, many of them spring-fed.
The spacious two-storey homestead is of timber construction, set in established gardens amid mature trees and shrubs, approached by a tree-lined drive.