ONE of the most respected pastoral spreads in South West Queensland, Noorama Station, has been listed for sale as the final act in the wind-up of Bydand Pastoral Company’s once-formidable rural portfolio.
The 105,000 hectare (260,000 acre) Noorama Station is an aggregation of five properties located in Cunnamulla’s famed “salad bowl” region, not far north of the NSW border. It was put together in the mid-2000s by Mike Gordon, the former childcare centre magnate who sold that business in 2004 to return to his jackarooing roots and build the Bydand grazing empire.
Starting with the purchase of the huge Upper Manning cattle property, Cooplacurripa, he then headed to Queensland where he scooped up Mt Margaret at Quilpie and the properties now aggregated as Noorama. He also bought Bundemar Park” at Trangie.
All but Noorama have been re-sold, the most recent being Cooplacurripa to China’s Rifa Salutary last year, and now Noorama itself is on the block to enable Mr Gordon to concentrate on Bydand’s newer business of agricultural project management.
The property has been listed for sale by Elders’ Dick Allpass (Brisbane) and Richard Gemmell (Dubbo) by “offer to purchase”, with no asking price disclosed. Noorama had an earlier history beginning in 1879 as a company property, when it was one of a brace of Queensland stations held by the former North British Australian Company.
The offer of Noorama Station comes as Hassad Australia lists the major Cunnamulla property Clover Downs. CLICK HERE to read that story.
By the turn of the century on Noorama the company was carrying just over 40,000 sheep and 240 cattle on Noorama, a leasehold then of about 95,000ha, later reduced by closer settlement (before being built up again since 2005). Mr Gordon bought and developed Noorama to be a breeding base for his other properties, supplying Merino wethers to Mt Margaret and crossbred lambs to Bundemar Park.
In recent years it has been leased to Minnamurra Pastoral Company, carrying a flock of 25,000 Pooginook-blood Merinos and 1000 Angus cows mated to Speckle Park bulls.
Situated about 110km south-east of Cunnamulla, Noorama comprises a useful mix of country from open Mitchell-grass plains and flood-out coolabah to timbered sandhills, gidyea and brigalow.
Described as sweet grazing country which fully lives up to its salad bowl tag, the property has a history of supporting a stocking capacity of around 80,000-plus dry sheep equivalents, shared between sheep and cattle breeding, backgrounding, finishing and agistment.
The property is watered by three creek systems, from which overflows provide beneficial flooding in season, and 11 equipped bores piping to tanks and troughs.
In keeping with the property’s scale and status, the head station boasts a high standard of improvements including an architect-designed homestead/management complex set amid four hectares of landscaped lawns. Also within the homestead complex are guest quarters, a modern, six-bedroom jackaroos’ quarters with in-ground pool, tennis court and entertaining area, and a four-bedroom overseer’s residence. Additional quarters for staff or shearers are provided in the form of a relocated mining camp complex of 15 buildings with accommodation for 40 people.
Working improvements include four shearing sheds with accompanying sheep yards of up to 5000 head capacity, two main sets of cattle yards each of 400-head minimum capacity, machinery shed, workshop and aircraft hangar.