Former soldiers’ block has pioneer links

Former soldiers’ block has pioneer links


After 10 years of holding and further improving the Orange district grazing property “Big Panuara”, owners David and Sandy Blunt are getting itchy feet.


After 10 years of holding and further improving the Orange district grazing property “Big Panuara”, owners David and Sandy Blunt are getting itchy feet.

They plan to spend 12 months travelling around Australia before retiring to the North Coast, well away from the rigorous winter chills of the Central Tablelands. 

But their departure leaves a rich opening for a new owner who, like the Blunts a decade ago, seeks a versatile, well improved grazing property in a climatically safe region close to a major centre.

Situated just half an hour’s drive south-west of Orange, “Big Panuara” is a property of 420 hectares (1038ac) which started life as a post-war soldier settlement block in 1950.

It owes its name to the Panuara Estate of which it was the largest of the nine blocks subdivided for returned servicemen following the Second World War.

The 1950 ballot for the Panuara “fat lamb blocks” (as they were then designated) generated huge interest, with more than 800 returned servicemen lodging applications.

“Panuara” had been owned by Goldsbrough Mort and Company as part of its Angullong Station aggregation, and earlier still formed one paddock of the huge “Errowanbang” run of William Lawson.

Today an easily-managed property in a tightly held region, “Big Panuara” has been listed for on-line auction sale by Stephen Townsend of Townsend Real Estate in Orange.

Comprising mostly gently undulating country with some hilly parts, “Big Panuara” has a mix of basalt, limestone and sedimentary soils giving a range of pasture growth responses to rain events.

Shade and shelter trees of yellow and white box, red gum, apple and kurrajong dot the paddocks, which are well covered by native pastures  augmented by introduced clovers, lucerne, ryegrass and fescue.

About 100ha is now under grazing oats, and lime has been applied as needed to selected paddocks, plus MAP or DAP fertiliser when new crop or pasture is being established.

This supports a stocking capacity estimated by the owners at 220 cows and calves but currently made up of 116 cows and calves, 55 yearling cattle, 20 sale bulls (Angus/Black Limousin cross), 1100 Merino and crossbred ewes and 1500 lambs.

Average rainfall is 750mm and the property is well watered by Cobblers Creek and a solar-powered bore and 19 megalitre dam reticulating to troughs in all paddocks.

Livestock management is facilitated by an all-weather road that runs as a fenced laneway from the front to the back of the property, servicing 90 per cent of the 30 main paddocks.

The original soldier settler’s cottage has been extended and recently renovated and today presents as a comfortable five-bedroom home.


It has an open-plan layout, modern kitchen, polished timber floors, slow combustion heating and reverse-cycle air conditioning.

It is complemented by a four-bedroom Hardiplank cottage now undergoing renovation and well suited as a manager’s residence or second family home.

Working improvements include a set of new steel cattle yards, three-stand shearing shed with steel sheep yards, new hayshed, three-bay machinery shed and silos.

The on-line auction for “Big Panuara” closes on October 23, with recent sales in the region indicating a likely bidding range of $9625-$10,000 a hectare ($3850-$4000/ac).


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