Wondaree sale leads NSW property movements

Emma Alsop, October 28, 2022

Irrigated cropping portfolio is off the market after a NSW producer opted to purchase one property and lease the remaining two parcels. Photo: QPL Rural

A NEW South Wales producer has finalised a deal to buy a portion and lease the remaining parcels of Darlington Point irrigated cropping property Wondaree Farms.

The recent transaction is a sign that the Riverina region property market is still buoyant, despite flooding and road-access issues.

The 2022-hectare Wondaree Farms first came to market in September last year with an asking price of reportedly over $30 million.

It is an aggregation of three parcels, with the new owners purchasing Boondilla (656ha) and leasing Wondaree (745ha) and Old Ringwood (621ha).

QPL Rural agents Jason Haines and Craig Pellow handled the transaction on behalf of the unnamed vendors who had owned the property for about five generations.

Mr Haines said the dual lease-sale arrangement benefited both parties.

“This suits the vendor in order to slow down a little bit, but still be involved in the industry,” Mr Haines said.

“Both parties are very happy with the transaction.”

He said the new owners have also purchased the bore water attachment for the Boondilla property and are leasing the water assets of the other parcels.

Water entitlements and infrastructure are a key feature of Wondaree Farms, which included access to Lower Murrumbidgee Groundwater and Murrumbidgee Surface water systems.

Wondaree has 1103ha developed to row cropping suitable to grow cotton, maize, wheat and canola.

There is a further 98ha of producing vineyards, with the opportunity to expand.

Improvements included a 760-tonnes grain drying and silo complex, machinery sheds and four properties with workers quarters.

Point Farms back on market

As Wondaree sells, similar Darlington Point irrigated cropping portfolio, Point Farms, has come on the market.

The 2142ha aggregation currently produces cotton, wheat, canola and almonds.

It features 1458ha of flood-irrigated row cropping, with an additional 42ha of partly developed irrigation, serviced by an 8338-megalitre Zone 1 Lower Murrumbidgee bore water lease and 3370ML of delivery entitlements on Kerarbury channel via Coleambally Irrigation Cooperative Limited scheme.

The portfolio was listed for sale by CBRE in October 2020, with price expectations of $50-60M.

The vendors, Agrinova Pty Ltd, were offering the enterprise for sale, lease or as a joint venture.

Ray White Rural Forbes agent Kim Watts is handling the current listing.

Point Farms is being offered via expressions of interest closing November 18.

Avalon sold at auction this week to a syndicate of two local producers. Photo: Ray White

Competitive auction for dryland farming

North of Darlington Point, in the Condobolin district, mixed dryland farming operation, Avalon, sold under the hammer on Wednesday to neighbours the Waters and Smith families.

The 4900ha property sold for $5.925M or about $1210 per hectare.

Ray White Condobolin agent Paddy Ward handled the transaction and said the sale price was well above price expectations of about $900/ha.

“It was a huge sale…it exceeded all the expectations,” Mr Ward said.

This positive result could be attributed to the strong and “spirited bidding” at the auction.

“There was 10 registered bidders and six active bidders and 43 total bids.

“It was a very competitive auction.”

He said this outcome was despite recent flooding in the Condobolin district, which restricted access to the auction location.

“Every road was closed going into town, except one, and they were all still there.”

Mr Ward sold the property on behalf on the Couchman family, who have owned Avalon for more than 40 years.

Only about 1100ha of the properly is currently considered arable; although there is scope to further develop another 2023ha to cropping.

It has a history of producing wheat and oats and is currently running around 350 cows and calves.


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