When he was a boy, growing up in the Big Smoke, Ross Allen used to look forward to holidays when he stayed on the Dubbo district property of his uncle, Joe Reynolds.
The property, “Maranoa”, was drawn by Mr Reynolds after the Second World War as one of a number of soldier settler blocks excised from Merrinong Station.
And adjoining “Maranoa”, fronting the Collie road 43 kilometres north of Dubbo, was a property called “Cardew”, which started life in the early 1900s as a subdivision from Burroway Station.
It had been held for more than a century by successive generations of the Roberts family, and when it eventually came up for sale in 2003, Mr Allen bought it, to revive happy childhood memories.
He and his wife Belinda, who live in Sydney, have held the property as absentee owners since then, managing it as a supplementary source of income derived from sharefarming and agistment activities.
They are selling “Cardew” now as a step towards retirement, and have listed the property for sale by auction later this month with Peter Dwyer and Danny Tink of Peter Milling and Company at Dubbo.
It will be an auction closely watched, due to the property’s prime location in a renowned and tightly held mixed farming area that was once home to some of our better-known pastoral stations.
Apart from “Merrinong” and “Burroway”, the famous “Bundemar” stud property long held by the Body family was close by, and like the others, yielded many blocks for closer settlement.
More recently, though, the trend to subdivision has been reversed, as new investors with deep pockets have built up substantial aggregations from smaller holdings.
Clyde Agriculture put together a land parcel it called “Bundemar Park” in 2002, and in 2011 this was bought by Hassad Australia and now forms part of Hassad’s 22,000ha “Old Bundemar” aggregation that also includes “Maranoa”.
The interest in this region shown by prudent investors testifies to its reputation as productive and versatile country well suited to sheep and cattle breeding and fattening, and cropping.
“Cardew” is described as comprising open, level to slightly undulating country of heavy chocolate to red loam soils, timbered originally by belah, rosewood, wilga, box and pine.
All but about 15 per cent of the property is considered arable, and an area of about 190ha has been fallowed in readiness for winter crop.
A successful purchaser will be given immediate access for preparing the coming season’s crop, upon the exchange of contracts.
Average rainfall is 525mm and the property is watered by eight dams and two equipped bores supplying tanks and troughs, plus frontage to the semi-permanent Bugabadah and Millpulling creeks.
An old-style but comfortable weatherboard homestead of five bedrooms is complemented by basic working improvements including a two-stand shearing shed and yards, steel cattle yard panels, steel-framed machinery shed, lockable storage shed, hay shed and silos.
The home also has a kitchen, lounge/dining with wood heater and air conditioning, office, bathroom and laundry.
Tanks attached to the home and sheds supply the water for household use and for crop spray needs.
“Cardew” will go to auction on February 23 with bidding expected around $2700/ha ($1100/ac).