Historic Keilira Station stays in McBride hands

By property editor Linda Rowley, February 23, 2024

THIS week’s property review includes this wrap up of recently completed sales.

and a separate article on interesting recent listings across the country.

 SA’s historic Keilira Station stays in McBride hands

 Jock Richmond pays $40m for Riverina grazing asset

 Burgess Rural adds North Billabong to its portfolio

 Four locals pay $30m for Riverina aggregation


SA’s historic Keilira Station stays in McBride hands

The iconic South Australian sheep and cattle station Keilira will remain in McBride hands after the A.J. & P.A. McBride family company purchased it from a partnership of five family members.

The 3345ha Keilira is situated 34km east of Kingston and described as one of the most prominent grazing properties of significant scale in the state’s south-east.

Colliers Agribusiness agents Jesse Manuel and Tim Altschwager and Grant Schubert from Elders handled the sale on a walk-in walk-out basis, but were unable to disclose the buyer or the price paid.

In a statement, AJ & PA McBride announced the latest acquisition.

“Keilira Station is the perfect addition as it continues the family’s journey as premier wool growers and takes a step forward in reaching an annual production goal of 10,000 bales of wool.”

“In addition to wool, the property will continue with its prime lamb and beef cattle enterprises.”

“It has been an exciting start to 2024 and the company is looking forward to seeing what it can do at Keilira.”

The sixth-generation A.J. & P.A. McBride family-owned company is one the country’s biggest wool producers. It runs 375,000 sheep (producing 8328 bales annually) on nine properties in South Australia and has a mixed farming and grazing property on the border of South Australia and Victoria.

The McBride website said Keilira Station is a good fit for the company as it sits between the existing Nepowie and Ashmore properties in the Avenue Range.

“This range, along with the Fairview Drain which intersects the property, provides an ideal mix of high country and well-drained black soil flats and sandy hills planted to lucerne.”

“The dominant enterprise is a Merino flock which produces around 400 bales. This enterprise is supported by a Merino/White Suffolk lamb flock and an Angus Herd.”

The country comprises more than 2000ha (60 percent) of heavy grazing flats and more than 1200ha (40 percent) of undulating hills capable of grazing 28,000DSE.

Keilira is situated in a reliable winter rainfall district with a long-term average of around 540mm a year. The station also holds 900ML in water entitlements.

Over the years, the McBride family has undertaken a range of infrastructure developments and pasture renovations to drive efficiencies and increase production, including satellite yards.

A significant amount of fencing has been replaced following the Keilira bushfires almost three years ago.

The property features the original homestead and outbuildings including an old stone shearing shed which is now used as a workshop and storage shed.

There are three homes, a shearers' quarters, a six-stand shearing shed with yards, cattle yards and numerous sheds.

Jock Richmond pays $40m for Riverina grazing asset

Victoria’s Jock Richmond, Rose Grange Pastoral, has paid around $40 million for the Shaw family’s blue-ribbon asset in the southern Riverina of New South Wales.

The 1643ha Wantagong Station is located 20km east of Holbrook and produces beef cattle, wool, prime lamb and fodder.

Mr Richmond is a fourth-generation producer who runs 12,000 ewes and 500 cows on the 3200ha Trawalla near Little River, but also holds extensive sheep and cropping interests in southern NSW.

Elders agent Nick Myer was unable to disclose the price paid; however, when Wantagong was listed for sale in September last year it was offered with a $40m price guide on a bare basis.

At the time, Mr Myer described Wantagong as one of the region’s most historic and notable rural holdings.

“It is one of the finest properties in the tightly held Wantagong Valley with an exceptional reputation for its operational versatility and productive capacity.”

Over the past 50 years, Wantagong had been strategically managed and developed over two generations of ownership by the Shaw family, with ongoing investment into strategic infrastructure projects, pasture improvement, soil amelioration and water development.

It has a circa 1951 homestead, extensive staff accommodation, numerous sheds, grain storage, a four-stand shearing shed, multiple sheep and cattle handling facilities, fully integrated solar systems and biodiversity initiatives.

Burgess Rural adds North Billabong to its portfolio

Australian investment company Burgess Rural has added southern New South Wales property North Billabong to its portfolio.

The 1089ha are situated 32km north-east of Holbrook and 63km south-east of Wagga Wagga and is suited to a range of agricultural endeavours including wool, prime lamb, cattle and/or cropping pursuits.

According to its website, Burgess Rural has been investing in agriculture since 1979 and manages properties in Central Victoria and the New South Wales’ Riverina spanning 9119ha and running more than 24,000 ewes.

Elders agent Nick Myer was unable to disclose the price paid, but when it was listed in October last year North Billabong was anticipated to make around $18 million bare.

Once home to the original Australian Hotel and Cobb and Co staging station, the property was offered to the market after being extensively developed by the local Meurer Pastoral Co.

Mr Myer said the property was completely transformed.

“During their tenure, significant investment has been made into pasture improvement, soil fertility and a quality standard of fencing incorporating a centralised laneway system for ease of stock movement.”

The country features heavy carrying alluvial Little Billabong Creek flats to gently undulating land estimated to conservatively run 15,000DSE.

North Billabong is located in a 700mm average annual rainfall region and has abundant natural water, supplied by 3.5km of dual frontage to the Little Billabong Creek, multiple dams, a solar bore and numerous wells.

In addition, a 140ML irrigation licence is available from the Little Billabong Creek.

Infrastructure includes a recently renovated circa 1856 homestead, sheep yards (4000 head capacity), steel cattle yards, two machinery sheds, a hay shed, a workshop and 200 tonnes of grain storage.

Four locals pay $30m for Riverina aggregation

A blue ribbon livestock, winter and summer dryland, irrigated cropping and fodder enterprise in the Riverina region of New South Wales has been split up and sold to locals.

The 3626ha Gundagurra is located 14km east of Deniliquin and was offered for sale by prominent locals Russell Tait and Vicki Meyer who own and operate Deniliquin Freighters.

The aggregation comprises six productive adjoining blocks amalgamated by the vendors over a 20 year period. They comprise:

 433ha Gundagurra

 281ha Bluebell

 436ha Boundary Park

 371ha Prosperity

 1262ha Gollops Run

 842ha Pretty Polly

Nutrien Harcourts agent James Sides said Gundagurra was split into four lots and sold to near neighbours and locals.

While he was unable to disclose the price paid, during the marketing campaign the property was anticipated to achieve around $30 million.

Mr Sides, who fielded inquiries from local corporate and family operators as well as Sydney and Melbourne investors, described Gundagurra as the best holding he has listed in his 27 year career at Deniliquin.

“Impressive from the front gate to the back, the property has been expertly managed and superbly maintained.”

Gundagurra features quality infrastructure, 52km of boundary exclusion fencing, abundant water, 1000ha of drought proof irrigation and 3000ha of highly fertile, alluvial, self-mulching and soft loam cropping country.

Over the past 15 to 20 years, Gundagurra has been running 3800 sheep and 230 cows and calves plus replacements on healthy Tuppal Creek fattening country, containing lucerne, oats and rye.

Additional livestock are turned off annually on a rotation basis, with young trade lambs and vealers grown out for a period of 12 to 18 months season permitting.

This week’s property review includes some interesting recent listings

 Northern NSW’ family offers two versatile holdings

 Well-watered and grassed country in NSW’s central west

 Versatile grazing on Walgett’s Springvale


Northern NSW family offers two versatile holdings

Gowrie’s Wilson family has listed almost 2000ha of blue-ribbon grazing and farming country in northern New South Wales, some of which has been held since 1930.

The 1260ha Lowestoft Aggregation and 612ha Woodlands are located about 10km apart, halfway between Nundle and Tamworth.

Ian Morgan Livestock agent Ben Goodman has been appointed to sell the two properties separately via an expressions of interest process closing on March 18.

“While the two properties complement each other, the family is selling them individually. There has been good inquiry from New South Wales and Queensland producers seeking a sound mixed farming operation.”

Lowestoft Aggregation

The 1260ha, situated 19km from Wallabadah, comprise four properties – 401ha Lowestoft, 277ha Darra, 185ha Middle Goonoo Goonoo and 396ha Sugarloaf – aggregated over a 50-year period.

As a whole, the holding runs 370 cows and calves, 1000 composite ewes and fattens between 1600 and 1700 prime lambs annually.

It also grows cereal crops for fodder, as well as wheat, barley and sorghum on around 164ha which could be expanded by a further 356ha.

Before the cropping area was increased, the Lowestoft Aggregation ran 600 cows and calves and 500 Merino ewes on country that is a mix of valley floors and creeks with soft undulating rolling hills to timbered hills.

Mr Goodman said Lowestoft offers some of Tamworth's finest grazing country.

“The aggregation consistently produces high quality livestock which are sold to feedlots, abattoirs and saleyards.”

Lowestoft is situated in a 711mm annual rainfall district and watered by five equipped bores. The four holdings have their own water supply but are also connected to each other for back-up water.

There are 30 dams plus creeks with permanent and non-permanent waterholes.

Infrastructure includes three homes, five sheds, two cattle yards, sheep yards, a two-stand shearing shed and silos.


The 612ha Woodlands is located 8km from Currabubula, 11km from Duri and 28km from Tamworth.

It was purchased by the Wilson family in 2014 for additional cropping and grazing opportunities and is currently being used as a fattening depot for trade cattle or the family’s breeder cattle.

Woodlands is growing 282ha of barley, wheat and sorghum with a further 81ha considered arable.

Mr Goodman said there is an absolutely outstanding stand of sorghum with a high yield potential.

Woodlands is watered by three bores and six dams.

Improvements include cattle yards, numerous sheds, six silos (two are new) with 426 tonnes of capacity.

Well-watered and grassed country in NSW’s central west

The Warrabah sheep yards and wool shed.

The Heriot family is seeking offers of more than $8 million for a mixed grazing and farming enterprise in New South Wales’ central west.

The 3214ha Warrabah is located 21km east of Quambone and 50km west of Coonamble.

After failing to sell at auction in October last year, the property received 330mm of rain just before Christmas and a further 140mm in January.

Ray White Rural Scone agent Hamish Firth said this has resulted in a mountain of feed, mostly buffel.

“Warrabah is presenting very well and is attracting good inquiry from producers seeking an asset with mixed farming capabilities.”

Mr Firth said there is an additional opportunity for farming.

“Last year 890ha were growing oats and that area is ready for planting, but the farming capacity could be increased by a further 1214ha.”

Around 2.6km of exclusion fencing has been installed on the northern boundary, with an additional 5km of exclusion fencing material purchased for the next stage.

Warrabah is supported by more than 430mm of rainfall a year, and watered by two bores and nine dams with Negara Creek frontage.

Infrastructure includes a five-bedroom home, two three-bedroom cottages, two sheds, a four-stand shearing shed, steel cattle yards and three silos with a total capacity of 160t.

Versatile grazing on Walgett’s Springvale


One of the largest freehold grazing properties in the Walgett area of New South Wales’ north-west has been listed with a $5.8m price tag.

Springvale Is located near Cumborah, 49km north-west of Walgett and 54km south-west of Lightning Ridge.

The 9053ha holding has been owned by Jon Pocknell for around 20 years. Mr Pocknell has been running a sheep, beef and goat operation with the long-term carrying capacity estimated at 2000 ewes, 50 cows and calves and up to 1000 rangeland goats harvested annually.

The country comprises black self-mulching grey loam types that run into red loams and timbered red and stoney ridges.

There are significant areas of mulga and coolabah growing a diverse mix of pastures including Mitchell and buffel, as well as a 20ha saltbush plantation.

Springvale is watered by three unequipped bores and a 11ML irrigation licence.

The vendor has recently renewed 30km of boundary fencing and is in the process of upgrading the remainder.

Infrastructure includes a five-bedroom home, a four-stand shearing shed, steel sheep and cattle yards and two goat yards.

The sale of Springvale is being handled by Kellys Property Sales agent Dianne Kelly and Moree Real Estate agent Paul Kelly.


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