Big is better at Little Topar

Big is better at Little Topar

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Serious pastoral investors unfazed by the ongoing drought have an opportunity to acquire a substantial Western Division aggregation right next door to a well-known outback landmark.

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Serious pastoral investors unfazed by the ongoing drought have an opportunity to acquire a substantial Western Division aggregation right next door to a well-known outback landmark.

Landmark Harcourts has listed for sale the Langidoon/Metford aggregation which straddles the Barrier Highway just west of the Little Topar Roadhouse, 65 kilometres east of Broken Hill.

The properties are owned by Andrew and Kathy Wall, who are selling in order to build up (for homecoming sons) two other properties they own in the Macquarie Valley and south-west Queensland.

They bought the 35,555ha (87,858ac) Langidoon in 2000, and eight years later annexed the adjoining Metford of 25,018ha (61,821ac), giving them a combined 60,573ha (149,678ac).

The addition of Metford gave them dual frontage to the Barrier Highway as well as private access to Langidoon, which is situated 25km north of the highway.

Buyers are being invited to lodge bids for the aggregation as a whole or for the individual properties (provided both are sold), via an expressions of interest program winding up on May 21.

Serious investors are likely to opt for the aggregation as a whole, because of the mix of complementary land types involved across the spread, plus the Langidoon access convenience.

However, the two component parts also stack up as viable free-standing properties, each with abundant reticulated water plus quality accommodation and working infrastructure.

The mostly soft sandy country ranges from open plains of Mitchell and other grasses, burrs and clovers to lightly timbered areas, stands of saltbush and bluebush, box swamps, lakes and tree-lined creeks.

Although still in drought, parts of the property received useful storm rains in January which stimulated pasture growth.

Average rainfall is 223mm and the properties are securely watered by seven equipped bores piping to tanks and troughs, plus numerous dams and several seasonal creeks with large floodout areas.

Prior to the drought, the two properties - managed as a single operation - typically carried 7500 breeding ewes, plus maidens and progeny, for average shearings of 16,000 sheep, and up to 23,000.

Numbers are now reduced in response to the season but the properties are still carrying 5000 breeding ewes and last year's shearing yielded a clip of 218 bales.

Sheep and wool income is augmented by an annual goat muster, which last year resulted in 2122 head being sold for an average return of $69/head.

The main Langidoon homestead is of double-brick construction with three bedrooms and generous family living space, ducted air-conditioning and outdoor covered entertaining area.

It is complemented by a two-bedroom manager's residence, while Metford also comes with a three-bedroom brick residence, making the aggregation an attractive package for an extended family.

Both properties have an elevated shearing shed with five working stands, flanked by steel sheep yards with three-way draft, plus shearers' quarters and several outlying sets of yards.

Other structural improvements include machinery and vehicle sheds, plus on Langidoon a well-maintained airstrip and all-steel aircraft hangar.

Sales of comparable pastoral properties in the Broken Hill area last year indicated a range of prices mostly from about $140/ha to $170/ha including improvements.

By PETER AUSTIN.

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