A South West Slopes 'dress circle' property with a colourful ownership history has been listed for sale for the first time in more than 70 years.
The offering of the 922 hectare (2278ac) Bindinyah has generated widespread local and outside interest as properties of this scale and quality in the prized Cootamundra district rarely hit the market.
Owned by Andrew Bell, who is selling for family succession and retirement reasons, Bindinyah has been listed for sale by expressions of interest by Miller and James of Temora.
It was the present owner's father, Fred Bell, from Goulburn, who established the family at Bindinyah when he bought the original block for a princely 12 pounds 10 shillings ($25) in 1947.
Four other adjoining blocks were progressively added, making up the present aggregation for which offers are invited as a whole, or in sections (provided the lot goes).
Complementing the main Bindinyah block of 699ha are Belvedere (71ha), Braeside (70ha), Beracha (41ha) and Boomi Park (40ha), the latter with potential for subdivision into 20 two-hectare blocks.
How the property got its name is a story in itself.
The main Bindinyah block was known as OK when the present homestead was built for the then owner, George Gill, in 1911.
The next owner, in 1918, was Ralph Withycombe.
Mr Withycombe followed in 1925 by Steve White, whose father (also Steve) had taken up Merribindinyah near Bethungra in the 1840s.
Steve White Jnr sold Merribindinyah in 1922 and took a trip to England before retiring in Sydney, only to find city living not to his taste.
So in 1925, he returned to the Cootamundra district and bought OK, which he renamed Bindinyah as a welcome reminder of his former home.
Situated only five kilometres east of Cootamundra in an area of rich red basalt soils, Bindinyah is described as open, mostly undulating country rising to low hills.
An estimated 90 per cent of the total area is arable, of which 215ha is now under canola (optional) planted into lupin stubble.
This canola crop is thriving on the 220mm of rainfall recorded so far this year.
Pastures include some 400ha of lucerne, 30ha of kikuyu and native grasses intermixed with phalaris and clover, currently a mass of feed oblivious to the 750 head of agistment steers now on hand.
Although well suited to mixed farming, with historical wheat yields of eight-plus tonnes per hectare and canola 3.5 tonnes per hectare, the property is now considered best suited for fattening - perhaps as a complement to a breeding property elsewhere.
Alternatively it could itself revert to a sheep and cattle breeding operation, with potential carrying capacity estimated at 18 DSE/ha.
Average rainfall is 650mm and the property's 44 paddocks are watered by reticulation from a bore as well as pipeline connections to the Goldenfields Water scheme.
Working improvements are substantial and include six machinery sheds, hay sheds, chemical sheds, seven self-emptying silos, steel sheep and cattle yards and a three-stand shearing shed.
The double-brick 1911 homestead, unoccupied since the owner relocated into Cootamundra three years ago, is in sound condition.
It comes with a renovated kitchen, evaporative air conditioning and period features.
Recent sales in the district suggest a likely bidding range for Bindinyah of $12,500-15,000/ha ($5000-$6000/ac).
By PETER AUSTIN.