Station properties in the so-called 'corner country' of far north-west NSW rarely hit the market, and because there aren't many of them to start with, every offering is a significant event.
Such is the case with Whyjonta Station, which has been listed for sale by expressions of interest by Landmark Russell, Cobar, ending 15 years of Molloy family ownership.
Steve and Jan Molloy moved to the area from the Riverina in 2003, initially leasing country before buying Whyjonta in 2005, since when they have experienced a seasonal roller-coaster typical of the region.
Comprising 55878 hectares (138360ac) of Western Lands leasehold, Whyjonta started life in 1924 as a subdivision of Kidman's Yantara Station when it was taken up by the Caldwell family.
Its area was augmented by the addition of about 7200ha in the early 1970s from adjoining Mt Wood Station, when the latter was being trimmed prior to incorporation into Sturt National Park.
The Caldwells ran mainly sheep, and in the rain-blessed 1950s were despatching woolclips of 200 bales to Adelaide for sale.
Subsequent owners included Harold Higson (a former Kidman station manager), who also ran cattle, and Graham Betts, who ran all cattle before selling to the present like-minded owners.
The present owners have typically run between 800 and 900 Droughtmaster-cross breeders, growing progeny to around 300 kilograms, and augmenting this income with an annual goat muster of some 1000 head.
Having received just 50mm of rain so far this year (despite bigger falls nearby), the property is now destocked, all remaining breeders having been agisted near Wanaaring.
But the seasons will change, as they always have, and Whyjonta is overdue for a return to the bounteous seasons that favoured the Molloys for a run of years with abundant feed and surface water.
Situated 60 kilometres south-east of Tibooburra, Whyjonta is 395km north of Broken Hill (by a now nearly all-sealed highway) and 372km north-west of Bourke.
The country ranges from level, open plains to undulating sandy loam rises with scattered timber and grey alluvial flood-out areas, carrying a productive mix of native grasses, edible bush and seasonal herbage.
Serious investment by the present owners in water infrastructure and 110km of new fencing has greatly enhanced the property's operational efficiency.
Some 70km of poly pipe delivers water to 40 troughs, fed by two capped flowing bores and three sub-artesian bores, complemented by 15 earth dams.
As well, the property is endowed with large areas of natural lakes which are filled in season from creek systems to the west and north-west.
First-rate stock handling infrastructure includes a main set of steel cattle yards to work 800 head, with crows-nest draft, CIA crush and scales and under-cover race, plus a second out-station set of yards.
Other working improvements include a four-stand shearing shed with Lyco woolpress and steel yards to work 3000 head.
There are also machinery, hay and fuel sheds, workshop, four-bay stables and round yard.
The three-bedroom homestead, built in 1976, has gauzed verandahs all around.
It features a modern kitchen, evaporative and reverse-cycle air conditioning, gas heating, cool-room and barbecue area.
Whyjonta is being offered for sale on a walk-in, walk-out basis, with offers closing on April 15.
- Agent: David Russell, 0418 636 050. Landmark Russell, Cobar.