A substantial property just listed for sale in the Upper Hunter is likely to appeal to an investor seeking a proven low-cost sheep or cattle breeding base as an adjunct to a more intensive operation elsewhere.
Alternatively, Scotts Creek stacks up as a stand-alone proposition with runs on the board for wool and weaner cattle production, while also offering a scenic location and scope for further development.
Scotts Creek is owned by none other than former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull through his Wilcrow Pty Ltd investment company, and is operated in conjunction with his East Rossgole property near Aberdeen.
Comprising about 2000 hectares (4900ac), it was bought in two sections, the main Scotts Creek portion of 1680ha in 1994 and a later addition of the 320ha Bullock Gully.
For family succession reasons the property has now been listed for sale by Sydney-based Meares and Associates.
It will be offered at on-line auction on June 12-13 with price expectations in a $6.25-$6.75 million range.
Situated about 12 kilometres from Blandford and Murrurundi and 60km from Scone, Scotts Creek sits in the (usually) well-watered south-eastern foothills of the Liverpool Ranges.
The country rises from small areas of alluvial flats to moderate and steep hills of black to chocolate basalt intersected by sheltered valleys and topped by fertile plateaus. Elevation ranges from 560m to 900m.
Average rainfall over the past 25 years is 813mm and only in three of those years - one, obviously, being last year - has the property recorded less than 600mm.
Scotts Creek is owned by none other than former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull through his Wilcrow Pty Ltd investment company.
Stock water is supplied by 17 dams, most of them cleaned out during the recent dry time, supplemented by springs and seasonal creeks (including the Scotts Creek after which the property is named).
Pastures are native grasses and trefoil to which clovers have been added over the years in conjunction with aerial topdressing.
The property has an estimated carrying capacity in normal seasons of 10,000-12,000 DSE and in recent years has carried 500 to 600 breeding cows plus 1000 to 1500 Merino sheep.
Cows are typically calved in spring, with the weaners either moved to East Rossgole for growing out, sold to backgrounders or sold at local annual weaner sales.
Like most properties in NSW, Scotts Creek is now lightly stocked due to the drought, and has on hand just 263 Angus/Hereford-cross cows, 80 weaners, 246 Merino ewes and 117 first-cross lambs.
A three-bedroom manager's residence is complemented by essential working improvements including two sets of cattle yards, a six-stand shearing shed, sheep yards, machinery sheds and workshops.
By PETER AUSTIN.