Belara, Benah, Stonehaven stay in NSW hands

Linda Rowley, March 22, 2024

Stonehaven in the Holbrook district has sold to a farming family from the south-west slopes. Photo: Elders

THE appetite for mixed-farming expansion in New South Wales is alive and well, as evidenced by the recent sale of Belara at North Star, Benah at Coonamble, and Stonehaven at Holbrook.


Boggabilla’s Richard Littlewood, Burringbar, has paid $13.7 million at auction for Golden Triangle property Belara in the north-west of NSW.

Located 18km north-east of North Star and 31km south of Goondiwindi, the 1506ha property was offered by Marcus and Charlotte Riddell after 11 years of ownership.

Ray White Rural agent Tim Gleeson said the property exceeded the vendor’s expectations after attracting strong interest, with seven registered bidders and four active on the day.

Belara is located in the prized Golden Triangle region. Photo: Ray White Rural

The level to gently sloping brigalow, belah and wilga country on Belara is described as typical for the area.

The soil types range from soft reddish loams to mostly soft chocolate self-mulching scrub soils suited to growing both winter and summer cereal crops including cereals, oilseeds and pulses.

Around 85 percent, or 1280ha, is cultivated with the balance comprising open grazing country, timber clumps and shade lines.

Belara is watered by two equipped bores plus four dams.

Improvements include a four-bedroom home, a four-bedroom cottage, workers accommodation/granny flat, numerous sheds and 2925 tonnes of grain storage.


A versatile mixed-farming enterprise on the central-western plains of NSW has sold prior to auction for more than $10.5M.

The 3505ha Benah is located in the tightly held Hollywood district, 41km south-east of Pillaga and halfway between Coonamble and Baradine.

Developed and managed by the Hanigan family for nearly 40 years, Elders agent Mike Clifton said Benah enjoys a reputation for consistently producing high-yielding crops and outstanding Angus cattle.

“Benah is an outstanding property ready to produce from day one without the need for any further short to medium term capital improvement,” Mr Clifton said.

While he was unable to disclose the buyer or the price paid, the property was offered with a price guide in excess of $10.5M and is believed to have been purchased by a local producer.

Around 80pc of the country is arable with the level to slightly sloping country comprising mostly red sandy loams.

At the time of sale, Benah was presenting with a full moisture profile.

Around 1851ha was prepared for 2024 planting, with 484ha long-fallowed.

Crops generally sown include wheat, oats, barley, canola, chickpea and lupins.

The pastures are running 260 breeding cows and replacement heifers together with 500 weaners and yearlings and 13 bulls.

Benah is a well-developed winter-cropping and cattle operation. Photo: Elders

With further pasture development and a reduced cropping program, Benah could comfortably support a 600-cow breeding and fattening operation.

The infrastructure is described as first class and includes a five-bedroom home, two cottages, eight sheds, two shearing sheds, sheep and cattle yards and 12 silos with more than 1300t of grain storage.

Situated in a 500mm average annual rainfall region, Benah is also securely watered by an artesian bore and eight dams.

The sale included 350 large bales of oaten hay cut in 2020.


A farming family from the south-west slopes of NSW is expanding its existing operations with Stonehaven in the renowned Holbrook district.

Last year, 1295ha were offered to the market via expressions of interest by fourth-generation dairy farmer Travis Cox and wife Julia after purchasing the property in 2019 for in excess of $11M.

Elders agent David Gittoes was unable to disclose the buyer or the price paid, but said despite last year’s testing market conditions (lower commodity prices, rising interest rates, and BOM’s forecast for an El Niño), the price met the vendors’ expectations.

Situated 19km north of Holbrook and 76km south of Wagga Wagga, Stonehaven once formed part of the historic 28,300ha Kinross Station held by generations of the Ross family.

In 2016, more than a 100 years of Stonehaven ownership ended when Neil and Jacqui Ross sold and moved to Albury for education reasons.

The country is a balance of productive alluvial creek flats to gentle rising red loam to low granite hill grazing making it suitable for grain, fodder and livestock production capable of running more than 1000 cows.

Mr Gittoes said when the vendors purchased the property it was in good condition, but they took it to the next level.

“They finished fully renovating the house, which was substantial, and completed the pasture improvement with lime and fertiliser inputs, because as ex-dairy farmers, they know how to grow grass!”

Located in a secure 675-700mm rainfall district, Stonehaven features quality water infrastructure, including 22 dams, a fully reticulated water trough system and two bores.

Improvements include a circa 1920, seven-bedroom home, a seven-stand shearing shed, sheep yards, steel cattle yards, cattle feed containment yards, six silos and various sheds.


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