A substantial mixed farming aggregation in the Central West is expected to appeal to serious investors wanting enterprise diversity and scope for further development.
“Sunshine” is an aggregation of 4814 hectares (11,891ac) built up since 2000 by owners Evan and Sharon Mickan.
Flanking, and partly within, the ephemeral Lake Cowal, “Sunshine” is ideally suited to a mixed grazing and dryland farming operation while also offering irrigation potential for high-value crops like cotton.
The property has been listed for sale by Gary Johnston of Johnston Rural Group in Forbes, with expressions of interest closing on February 28.
Strategically situated 65 kilometres west of Forbes and a similar distance from West Wyalong and Condobolin, “Sunshine” incorporates the homestead portion of historic Moora Moora Station.
Moora Moora Station, originally comprising about 8000 acres (3200ha) was taken up in 1871 by Thomas McCormack, an Irishman whose family had earlier settled at Wheeo, in the Crookwell district.
It remained in McCormack hands until sold in 1949 to brothers Fred and Tom Anderson, and in 1984 to the Stewart family of Wirrinya, before being bought by the present owners in 2000. By then it had been whittled down to a block of 6000 acres, to which the Mickans later added two lake blocks, plus another portion of the original “Moora Moora”, to make up the present aggregation.
Described as mainly level country with some small hills and about 70 per cent arable, “Sunshine” boasts a range of soil types from heavy self-mulching to red sandy loams and lakebed.
Just under half the total area is subject to periodic inundation from Lake Cowal and its “overflow” lake, Nerang Cowal, providing ideal conditions for crop and pasture production when waters recede. The last lake water disappeared from the property about 12 months ago, but recent storms have promoted useful pasture growth.
About 1300ha of the property is timbered and used for grazing, leaving about 3500ha of dryland farming country which is cropped in rotation to cereals, oilseeds and pastures.
Average rainfall is 480mm and the property receives licensed stock and domestic water from two Jemalong Irrigation outlets, augmented by 23 dams.
Now carrying about 3500 Merino ewes, the property as an all-grazing proposition has an owner-estimated carrying capacity of about 20,000 DSE.
The original “Moora Moora” homestead is long gone, but still in use is the 1950s weatherboard homestead built by the Anderson brothers.
Set in expansive lawns amid mature trees, the five-bedroom home with ducted air conditioning is flanked by an in-ground pool and covered entertaining area, plus a four-car garage.
Working structures include the six-stand shearing shed, sheep and cattle yards, steel machinery shed and workshop. A renovated cottage alongside the woolshed provides additional accommodation for extended family, guests or staff.
Offers for “Sunshine” are expected in a range around $11 million.