Demand for SA pastoral properties has hit a new level with Flinders Ranges gem, Martins Well Station, sold at auction yesterday for nearly $6 million.
The 1050 square kilometre (105,000 ha) property, located 90 kilometres north east of Hawker, has been owned by Darrel and Kathy Fargher since 1984.
It was offered on a “walk-in walk out” basis including nearly 6000 Merino sheep and 489 Poll Hereford cattle.
The auction at the Standpipe Motor Inn, Port Augusta drew a crowd of 130 people including 15 registered bidders from across Australia and overseas.
After an opening bid of $4m, bidding quickly rose to the knock down price of $5.975m.
The new owners are Hong Kong-based company, MF Jebsen Group, whose roots are German-Danish.
Their main activities are property, insurance, shipping, travel and tourism.
The family owned SME, which has ag interests throughout the world, has a “farming with nature” focus.
The Jebsen Group will focus on regeneration and rehabilitation of indigenous flora and fauna on Martins Well and look at eco and outdoor adventure tourism opportunities.
Landmark Harcourts auctioneer Simon McIntyre believes the sale, which equates to around $385 a dry sheep equivalent, is a state pastoral record.
It was the most interest the company had received for a pastoral property in 20 years.
“We had in excess of 25 interested parties from four states and overseas,” he said.
Mr McIntyre attributed the interest to its outstanding water supply including 16 bores, two wells and a permanent waterhole in the centre of the station, as well as well-maintained infrastructure and previous management.
“Darrel’s motto was do it once and do it right and that was reflected in how the property was presented.”
“It was not one of those properties that needed any money spent on it tomorrow.”
Being walk in and walk out was an added attraction with the top quality flock and herd.
“Without it (livestock) would be like selling a car without the motor and it would be near impossible to find that number of sheep to stock it.”
“There are instant benefits for the new owners with lambing takes place soon after possession.”
Mr McIntyre said the successful auction reflected the strong demand for rural property, with strong commodity prices and low interest rates and lack of supply.
“The rewards are there in agriculture with a lot receiving great returns in the last couple of years,” he said.