Productive retreat on capital’s doorstep

Productive retreat on capital’s doorstep

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A substantial grazing property at Bungendore has hit the market.


A substantial grazing property at Bungendore, handy to Canberra and also to the South Coast, has hit the market as part of a long-established local family’s succession planning.

William and Julia Rutledge, who live on a smaller property nearby, are selling their “Lockhart”/“Massey Creek” aggregation of 893 hectares (2207ac) – a sizeable area in a region increasingly characterised by smaller holdings.

The contiguous properties have been held by the Rutledges for about 30 years and were worked in conjunction with the same owners’ adjoining Gidleigh Station until that property was sold in 2005.

Since then “Lockhart”/“Massey Creek” has been operated as a cattle breeding concern, with an Angus herd producing high-quality weaners for annual autumn sales.

It was previously owned by an interesting partnership of former Australian National University immunologist and vet, Professor Bede Morris, and King Gee Clothing co-founder Bob Adcock.

Earlier still, the property for many years was part of the extensive local landholding of the Edmonds family, whose roots in the Bungendore district go back to the 1880s.

The properties have been listed for sale with Inglis Rural Property and are being offered by expressions of interest with buyers having the option of lodging bids for the whole, or as separate portions.

Situated 14 kilometres south-east of Bungendore and 45 minutes from Canberra, “Lockhart”/“Massey Creek” is a property of mostly undulating country of brown granite formation, with areas of basalt. 

The country rises from alluvial flats flanking Massey and Butmaroo creeks, to open grazing slopes and timbered hills.

“Lockhart”, the smaller and more developed of the two blocks, comprises 366ha (905ac), mostly cleared and much of it arable, with areas of improved pastures including phalaris and cocksfoot.

Remnant timber includes yellow and grey box, stringybark and gum, and the pasture country has a long history of topdressing.

A classic bluestone homestead of three or four bedrooms, thought to date to the early Edmonds era and recently renovated, is set in a private garden setting complemented by a newly-built garage.

Other homesites also offer building potential, some in elevated positions with views to Lake George.

Working structures include a set of partly under-cover steel cattle yards (adjacent to a former vet room where Bede Morris did his artificial insemination work), a large machinery shed with roller doors, and hay shed.

The larger “Massey Creek” portion of 526ha (1301ac) comprises open, undulating natural grazing country rising to about 160ha of timbered hill, bare of improvements.

Average rainfall is 640 millimetres and the two properties are watered by creek frontages plus dams and (in the case of “Lockhart”) reticulation from a well and an equipped bore.

Carrying capacity is estimated at 80 to 100 grown cattle on “Lockhart” and 100 to 120 head on “Massey Creek”, with considerable scope to lift production through further pasture work.

The property also offers lifestyle appeal by virtue of its unspoiled natural bushland, historical features and proximity to Canberra and the coast, as well as having future subdivision potential.

Expressions of interest for “Lockhart”/“Massey Creek” close on December 12.

Offers of around $2.5 million are expected for “Lockhart” and around $1.5m for “Massey Creek”.


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