Bidding reached fever pitch on two South East properties that sold at auction for a magical $10.5 million on Friday at Kingston.
Setting a new record for the area, the home of successful Granite Ridge Angus stud at Avenue Range, along with a second property Marlan Plains at Reedy Creek, used for backgrounding steers, made $11,275 a hectare.
After just 5.5 weeks on the market, the properties totalling 1110ha, including heritage scrub, attracted Australia-wide interest from those looking for a drought-proof investment.
The significant water licence of 670 megalitres of artesian water and 1304ML of underground water was a major attraction, along with the "outstanding presentation" of the properties, according to Elders Mid South East real estate agent Grant Schubert.
"When you deliver something of high quality to the market like this it reflects in who stands up - we had people from within five kilometres, 50km and interstate," he said.
"Usually, on auction day, you have a rough idea of who the top two or three (buyers) are, but it could have been any one of the six and then there were people that wanted to act on individual properties that didn't even get a chance."
Granite Ridge will remain intact, with the buyer also securing the stud cattle and prefix for an undisclosed price. This includes 400 autumn- and spring-calving cows, 82 heifers, embryos and next year's sale bulls.
Vendors Colin Flanagan and Pat Ebert said they would be "forever grateful" to Mr Schubert and Elders SE livestock manager Laryn Gogel who negotiated the sale of the cattle.
"It was well above our expectations - we couldn't believe how the auction took off," Mr Flanagan said.
"We have done a lot to the places and have spent a fair bit of money on the breeding side chasing good bulls, so it is nice to feel we have been rewarded for it."
The couple will offer their expertise in the transition period.
"I was hoping it would stay together, but there are plenty of people disappointed that there is not a dispersal sale. The phone has been running hot," Mr Flanagan said.
Among their stud highlights in the past decade have been a state Angus bull sale record of $52,000 with Granite Ridge Kaiser K26 and the consistently strong bull sales they have achieved with NSW based Michael Glasser as the auctioneer.
Mr Flanagan said it was a difficult decision to sell, but it was time, with none of their children interested in taking it over.
"Even on sale day we weren't sure but it was a particularly hard lead up to the bull sale this year," he said.