Scale and potential on Crookwell River

Scale and potential on Crookwell River


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One of the more substantial grazing properties in the tightly-held Crookwell district will go up for sale next month.

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One of the more substantial grazing properties in the tightly-held Crookwell district will go up for sale next month in what is being seen as a timely test of local broadacre values.

On offer is the well-known Binda Road property, “Mt Henry”, which has been listed for sale by Col Medway and Richie Inglis of CBRE on behalf of owners James and Natasha McCormack.

The McCormacks bought the 690 hectare (1704ac) property in 2009 (initially in partnership with Natasha’s parents, Stan and Becky Charnock) as a breeding extension to their nearby home base, “Red Hill”.

It had previously been owned since the 1920s by successive generations of the Norris family, who operated “Mt Henry” in conjunction with their “Sunnyside” property at Wheeo.

Having recently bought more country adjoining “Red Hill”, the McCormacks are selling “Mt Henry” now to enable them to concentrate on their enlarged main operation.

The offering is likely to appeal to investors and lifestyle buyers alike, given its scope for improvement, its favoured location and its subdivision potential.

Situated 11 kilometres north-west of Crookwell fronting the sealed Binda (and Bathurst) road, “Mt Henry” also boasts a 6km give-and-take frontage to the permanent Crookwell River.

Described as 75 per cent arable, the country rises from river flats to gentle slopes of granite-type soils, with some granite tors, timbered by scattered shade trees of yellow box, red gum and stringybark.

In addition, about 2km of native tree shelter belts have been established by the present owners.

Perennial native pastures including microlaena and danthonia are supplemented by sub-clovers and annual grasses, although the property also lends itself to improved pasture establishment. 

Existing pastures have been kept productive by annual topdressing with superphosphate augmented by turkey manure, supporting a year-round average stocking rate of 6300 DSE.

Before the drought the property typically carried 150 cows (calves sold as weaners in the autumn), 420 crossbred ewes raising prime lambs, and 1250 Merino ewes mated to Border Leicesters.

When a tight winter was looming in May, cattle numbers were reduced to 80 breeders, and remaining livestock are now in peak condition.

Average rainfall is 850mm and the property’s 24 main paddocks are amply watered by river frontages and 19 dams.

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Working improvements include a three-stand shearing shed with steel sheep yards, a second set of outlying sheep yards and steel cattle yards.

There is also two machinery sheds (one lockable, with concrete floor).

A brick veneer home of three bedrooms (currently rented) is set in an elevated position near the road, with open-plan kitchen and living area, reverse-cycle air conditioning and slow combustion heating.

The property’s generous road frontages make it well suited to subdivision (80ha minimum allowable lot size for a dwelling entitlement), although a successful buyer may well wish to maintain “Mt Henry” as a viable grazing concern.

Offers are invited for “Mt Henry” both as a whole, and in two blocks: “Mt Henry North” of 462ha, with 1.6km of river frontage, and “Mt Henry South” of 228ha with 4.4km of frontage and all buildings.

Expressions of interest close on November 15, with offers for “Mt Henry” as a whole expected to approach or exceed $5 million.

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