Tubbo Station back in play

Tubbo Station back in play

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Hard on the heels of last month's listing of the historic Eastern Riverina property, Brewarrana, another iconic Murrumbidgee River station has hit the market.

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Hard on the heels of last month's listing of the historic Eastern Riverina property, Brewarrana, another iconic Murrumbidgee River station has hit the market.

This time it's Tubbo Station - at 14,875 hectares (36,757 acres) more than four times the size of present-day Brewarrana, and just as rich in history dating back to the early days of Riverina pastoral settlement.

Tubbo is owned by the UK-based Pritchard-Gordon family, who are selling for succession reasons, having also recently offloaded their Kameruka Estate holding near Bega.

Both properties were acquired by the late Giles Pritchard-Gordon, a shipowner with global pastoral interests who died in 2011.

The family have listed Tubbo for sale with LAWD and it is being offered by expressions of interest with a closing date of July 1 and price expectations upwards of $40 million.

Tubbo has changed hands only three times since being put together in the mid-19th century by the enterprising Scotsman, John Peter, on whose watch it became a vast spread of more than 300,000 acres.

After Peter's death (leaving no children) in 1878, the property was retained by his wider family, trading as Tubbo Estate Company, until the 1980s, when (by then much reduced in size) it was bought by Commonwealth Funds Management (CFM).

In 1998 it was bought by entrepreneur/businessman Rodney Price to become the pastoral centrepiece of his Four Arrows rural portfolio, all of which went up for sale in 2009 when Price hit the financial rocks.

Tubbo, then a larger holding of 28,170ha including 3000ha of developed irrigation and huge water entitlements, was broken up into several parcels, the main homestead section selling to the present owners in 2011.

With carrying capacity estimated at 39,000 DSEs, Tubbo is operated primarily as a sheep breeding and woolgrowing concern supplemented by cattle breeding or agistment.

Another major income stream comes from a 539ha solar farm on the property which generates $559,810 in rental earnings under a long-term lease.

Situated straddling the Sturt Highway 10 kilometres from Darlington Point and 63km west of Narrandera, Tubbo enjoys a long 20km frontage to the Murrumbidgee River along its northern boundary.

The mostly level, open country is composed of red-brown earths ranging to black, brown and red self-mulching clays, supporting a rich mix of perennial and annual grasses, clovers and medics.

Average rainfall is just under 400mm and apart from the river, the property is watered by 17 bores feeding a network of holding tanks and troughs.

Since 2011 the property has carried on average 8450 Merino breeding ewes (of South Australian Ridgway bloodlines, and available to an incoming owner) and 450 breeding cows.

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Cow numbers were reduced during the drought in 2019 and since then cattle numbers have been augmented by agistment.

A feature of Tubbo is its gracious six-bedroom homestead, built in 1910 on the river banks, renovated in 2011 at a cost of $450,000 and today a rich blend of period touches and modern comforts.

Complementing the homestead are two cottages, while the original 1880s 23-stand woolshed (now with eight stands in use, unequipped) comes with 16-room quarters and kitchen/mess. Other station infrastructure includes steel cattle yards, steel sheep yards, machinery and storage sheds, steel grain sheds, stables and silos.

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