Productivity near the coast

Productivity near the coast

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Properties of commercial scale - apart from mega-stations - rarely hit the market in the tightly-held hinterland belt of the Mid North Coast, which makes Merriwonga a special offering.

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Property of the week

  • LOCATION: Mid North Coast
  • FOR AUCTION: November 17
  • LAND: 321ha (794ac)
  • AGENTS: Peter Colless, 0419 246 720, NSW Farms and Property. David Nolan, 0447 278 236, Webster Nolan Real Estate.

Properties of commercial scale - apart from mega-stations - rarely hit the market in the tightly-held hinterland belt of the Mid North Coast, which makes Merriwonga a special offering.

Merriwonga is the 321 hectare (794 acre) grazing and lifestyle property of the Rhodes-White family.

It is for sale now to wind up the estate of the late Mareah Rhodes-White, who died earlier this year aged 83.

She and her late husband Robert had moved to NSW in 1979.

This was a downsizing move after selling their substantial cattle property at Clermont, in Central Queensland.

The Merriwonga block they bought in 1979 comprised just 125ha, to which they added the adjoining blocks, Reg's in the 1980s, and Johnson's in 2003, to make up the present aggregation.

Merriwonga has been listed for sale by NSW Farms and Property at Wingham in conjunction with Webster Nolan Real Estate.

The property will go to auction in Sydney on November 17.

Situated at Wootton, 27 kilometres south of Nabiac and 6km from the M1 Motorway, Merriwonga is just over three hours' drive from Sydney.

It is within half an hour of popular Mid North Coast beaches.

Described as gently undulating with fertile black loam soils, the property is about two-thirds cleared and sown to an improved pasture mix of kikuyu, setaria and white clover.

The balance of the area is timbered by a typical North Coast native forest mix of flooded gum, tallowwood, grey gum and blue gum.

Pasture productivity has been maintained by an annual application (until two years ago) of more than 200 cubic metres of chicken manure.

The owners brought with them from Clermont the core of their Droughtmaster cattle herd, from which they continued to breed, running typically from 100 to 120 cows and replacements and selling steer calves as weaners.

There is scope to ramp up production by further pasture establishment and a targeted topdressing program.

Average rainfall is a hefty 1259mm and the property's 22 paddocks are amply watered by 40 dams and the semi-permanent Ferney Creek.

A feature of Merriwonga is the homestead, built in 1984 of rendered cement blocks and set on an elevated site in expansive landscaped gardens fringed by a diverse mix of trees and shrubs.

The four-bedroom home (two upstairs) has formal and family living areas, tiled floors, a library with bay windows, covered outdoor entertaining area and a kitchen with Rayburn wood stove and gas cooktop.

Adjacent to the home is a single garage and workshop with upstairs loft and a separate double garage, both with concrete floors and lockable doors.

Complementing the main homestead are two well maintained cottages, each with two bedrooms, on the Reg's and Johnson's blocks.

Working improvements include two sets of steel cattle yards, each with crush and covered work area, two lockable storage sheds and a three-bay machinery shed.

The property is likely to appeal both to city-based "tree-changers" (especially in this pandemic-aware era) and landed couples (like the immediate past owners) wanting a semi-retirement haven.

Bidding for Merriwonga is expected within a range from $2.85-$3.25 million.

BY PETER AUSTIN.

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