Four years ago, retirement-bound Newcastle businessman Gill Wedmore and his wife Beth made a “tree change” decision and took up residence on a 446-hectare property at Willow Tree.
The property, “Mt Boo”, had previously had five owners since being subdivided off the Australian Agricultural Company’s giant “Warrah” holding in 1912.
Two years later the Wedmores were able to annex two adjoining blocks, “Little Boo” and “Alroy”, bringing their combined area to a substantial 737ha (1822ac).
And now that package has hit the market as “Mt Boo Aggregation” to allow the owners to complete their wind-down to retirement. Richard Cudmore of Ruralco Davidson Cameron at Quirindi has listed the property for private sale with a price tag of $4.5 million.
Billed as “the ultimate mixed farming property”, the “Mt Boo Aggregation” combines rich soils with a useful balance of farming and grazing land, quality improvements and ease of management.
Situated 20 kilometres west of Willow Tree on the south-east slopes flanking the Liverpool Plains, “Mt Boo” occupies one side of a valley intersected by Big Jacks Creek.
Just over 300ha of the total area is arable, with rich black basalt soils, and lends itself to lucerne or other pasture establishment, or cropping.
The balance of the property is open, undulating grazing country of natural pastures rising to lightly timbered steeper slopes.
Soils are regularly tested and fertiliser is applied as needed, most recently last year when the property was topdressed with super.
Before the owners had the good fortune to reduce stock numbers earlier this year (thinking, rightly as it turned out, that dry times were ahead) they were running a cattle breeding program with Speckle Park/Angus cows, and breeding prime lambs from Wiltipoll ewes.
The cows have now gone, and the property is lightly stocked with about 230 young heifers and 350 ewes.
In earlier times, under previous ownership, “Little Boo” was often in the news as the home of the successful DSK Angus stud of Chris Knox and Helen Alexander (now at Coonabarabran).
Average rainfall is 850 to 875 millimetres and the property is well watered by three equipped bores, 15 dams and Big Jack’s Creek, which has permanent waterholes.
The property is subdivided into 28 paddocks with 20 kilometres of new fencing, including a 4.5km laneway servicing most paddocks.
A feature of “Mt Boo Aggregation” is the main homestead, built in the classic country style in the 1920s and extensively renovated by the present owners.
Thought to have been built for the Saunders family, the three-bedroom weatherboard home has an open-plan kitchen/living area, formal dining room and separate large living room with bay windows.
Wide verandahs flank the home on all sides, and polished floorboards and a central hallway are original features, while ducted reverse-cycle air conditioning adds modern comfort.
Adjacent to the homestead is a double lock-up garage and office with self-contained granny flat.
A second three-bedroom home, also recently renovated, serves as a manager’s residence but could alternatively suit extended family usage.
Working structures are extensive and include three machinery sheds, two sets of steel cattle yards, under-cover sheep yards, a shearing shed (now used for storage), hay shed and silos.