A well-known pastoral spread just listed for sale in South-West Queensland has historic links to the 'cattle king', Sidney Kidman, and to a Bourke property due to be auctioned next week.
Tilbooroo (sometimes spelt Tilberoo) is a 33,281 hectare (82,240ac) leasehold property situated just west of the Paroo River near Eulo, 134 kilometres north-west of Cunnamulla.
It is owned today by the Hall family, who bought it in 1998 and are selling now to allow for the retirement of Bob and Jill Hall, who have shifted to Toowoomba leaving their son Ben in charge.
The property has been listed for sale by expressions of interest through Elders St George and Landmark Quilpie.
Offers are closing on July 25 and NSW buyers are likely to be among the bidders.
Tilbooroo was a vast station of some 180,000ha with a long frontage to the Paroo when purchased in 1909 by Sidney Kidman from the London Bank.
Jill Bowen in her book Kidman, The Forgotten King, records that Tilbooroo at that time was carrying 12,000 sheep and 3000 cattle.
But, Kidman despatched the sheep and ran only cattle.
This switch sat awkwardly with the traditional Australian shearing song, 'Flash Jack from Gundagai', one verse of which begins: 'I've shore at Big Willandra and I've shore at Tilberoo'!
Despite this, cattle were favoured by subsequent owners until 1934, when Tilbooroo was bought by NSW wool scourer John Jordan, who converted it back to sheep and even established a Merino stud.
This was the same Jordan who six years earlier had bought a portion of Lissington Station at Bourke which he renamed Mundiwa, and which next week will go to auction for owners Graham and Susan Coddington.
Despite its woolgrowing focus under Jordan ownership, Tilbooroo continued to run cattle in favourable seasons, such as 1951 when the station trucked 705 prime bullocks in one hit to Flemington.
Jordan and his son Frank held Tilbooroo for 30 years, and by the time the property came back on the market in 1964, it had been scaled back to its present size.
Present owner Bob Hall considers the Tilbooroo country best suited to sheep, but useful for cattle in favourable seasons.
The property is now destocked in readiness for sale, but in recent years has run Dorpers successfully, and in earlier times 12,000 to 14,000 Merino sheep producing woolclips of up to 600 bales.
Described as 'sweet', open gidyea grazing country of brown to red loam with patches of mulga, Tilbooroo supports a productive mix of Mitchell and other native grasses, salines and winter herbage.
The mix of country makes the property well suited to sheep, cattle and goat production, with carrying capacity in normal seasons estimated at 12,000 dry sheep (or 5000 ewes) and 300 cows.
Average rainfall ranges from 330-355mm and the property is watered by an as-new capped bore reticulating to tanks and troughs, plus seven earth tanks.
Offers for Tilbooroo are expected in a range of $75-$125/ha ($30-$50/ac).
By PETER AUSTIN.