Agents are fond of using the line that “rarely does a property of this quality hit the market”, but in the case of “Weedalga” at Crookwell, such purple prose would be easily justified.
This 418 hectare (1034ac) property, which will go to auction in Crookwell on April 20 through Professionals Goulburn, is a standout offering on several counts.
Almost a perfect square in shape, it is one of just a handful of 400ha-plus properties within a 10 kilometre radius of Crookwell, and nearly all of it is rich, red, arable, high-rainfall basalt country.
Little wonder, then, that it has remained in the same family hands for 70 years, and is being sold now only to allow for the occupying co-owner’s retirement and the wind-up of a family partnership.
Situated just 8km from Crookwell near the crest of the Great Dividing Range, “Weedalga” has a long history of pasture improvement and prime lamb production, cattle breeding and potato-growing.
The property started life as a soldier settler block of about 160ha, which was taken up by Svendt Lund, a Danish-born immigrant who had served for four years with the AIF and lost a leg in the process.
Under Lund’s ownership, “Weedalga” became an early proving-ground for improved pasture establishment, along with the nearby (and better known) “Gundowringa” property of C.E. Prell. It was also home to a successful Romney Marsh stud.
Lund left the district in 1946 and “Weedalga” was promptly snapped up by local grazier Angus McIntosh, who had bought the adjoining “Morruba” property in 1937 to provide for his daughter Christina.
The enlarged property, which took the name “Weedalga”, thus became home to Christina (“Chris”) and her husband Joe Cummins, and in due course their large family of six sons and three daughters.
Those three daughters, Margaret (Ridland), Lorraine (Haynes) and Janelle (Parsons) are now the co-vendors, along with their brother Neville, who has worked the property since Joe’s death in 1988.
Under Cummins ownership, “Weedalga” built a reputation as a reliable source of “top drawer” prime lambs, as well as market-topping vealers from dairy-cross dams.
Over the years, under a regular topdressing program, the property has typically carried 1700-1800 first-cross ewes and 60-70 cows, plus supplementary cultivation of seed potatoes.
It is now stocked with 1600 ewes and leftover lambs under a leasing arrangement which expires before the contract settlement date of July 2.
Well suited to sheep and cattle breeding and fattening, or stud use, the property offers scope for more intensive production through pasture upgrading and supplementary cropping.
It is amply watered by a reliable 750-800mm rainfall and 21 dams, including a large dam of 25 megalitres earlier used for irrigation.
A feature of “Weedalga” is its well-maintained stone and double-brick homestead of five bedrooms, incorporating period features, spacious living areas, hallways, sunrooms and modern inclusions.
Working structures include a two-stand shearing shed and sheep yards (connected to paddocks by fenced laneway), three-bay garage/workshop, enclosed machinery shed, hay shed and silos.
Bidding for “Weedalga” is expected on the high side of $3.5 million, with competition expected variously from local and outside interests for its lifestyle, productive and “land bank” attributes.