The Holbrook property’s homestead features Californian architectural influences.FOR more than a century, generations of the Ross family have owned and worked the Holbrook property called “Stonehaven”, although for much of that time as part of “Kinross”, their home station.
“Kinross” was taken up in 1867 by Alexander Ross who was later joined by his father and brothers from South Australia, establishing a pastoral empire that in its heyday sprawled across some 90,000 acres.
“Stonehaven” was hived off as a separate holding from “Kinross” in 1933 and is today a property of 2630 hectares (6500 acres) owned by Neil and Jacqui Ross, who are selling to move to Albury for education reasons.
Their decision puts into play one of the last remaining large holdings in the highly regarded and tightly held Holbrook district, guaranteeing intense local and widespread interest in the upcoming sale.
At stake is a large and strategically situated parcel of prime mixed farming land in a secure rainfall region, with a long history of successful sheep and cattle breeding and finishing, fodder and grain production.
The property has been listed for sale with Meares and Associates of Sydney and will be offered by online auction on November 23-25.
Situated 15 kilometres north-west of Holbrook with Hume Highway frontage, “Stonehaven” is equidistant (75km either way) between the major regional centres of Wagga Wagga and Albury.
The property comprises mostly open valley country ringed by low hills, timbered by remnant shade and shelter trees of yellow, white and grey box and river red gum, augmented by planted shelter woodlots.
Soils are mainly of granite origin with alluvials lining the flats, and about 75 per cent of the total area is considered arable. Of this, about 2000ha has been farmed.
About 1200ha has been established to improved pastures (principally phalaris and clovers), most of which was topdressed this year, leaving some 400ha of native pasture country and about 140ha of shelter timber.
Present management revolves around a winter cropping program of about 800ha centred on wheat and canola, supplemented by sheep and agisted cattle, although a number of alternative production mixes are possible.
The owner estimates an overall carrying capacity of about 20,000 DSE, which could support a cattle breeding operation of 1000 cows rearing calves to yearling stage, plus an 800ha cropping program.
In earlier times the property has carried 14,000 sheep and 400 breeding cows, and the key infrastructure is in place for either enterprise.
Average rainfall is 600mm and the property is well watered by a double frontage to Sawyers Creek, three bores supplying 20 troughs, and 32 dams.
Fenced laneways facilitate stock movement to the central facilities which include a near-new set of steel cattle yards with CIA crush and covered work area, and the seven-stand woolshed (1930s vintage) with steel yards, bugle draft and covered drench race.
Other working structures include the seven-room shearers’ quarters (unused since the 1990s), machinery and hay sheds, workshop and silos.
A lifestyle feature of “Stonehaven” is the attractive brick homestead, built in the 1920s with Californian design influences and renovated in recent times to suit modern-day needs.
The six-bedroom home is set in established gardens with an in-ground pool and outdoor entertaining area, and has a formal lounge, dining and billiard rooms and a self-contained wing containing two of the bedrooms.
Three older cottages not currently in use offer further accommodation options.
n Contact Meares and Associates, (02) 9362 8111.
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