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Rocky Springs, Mount Surprise

FREEHOLD calf factory, location, magnificent water, basalt soils Mount Surprise

Auction 13th November, The Ville, Townsville

ID #10486

Land Size

17650 hectares

Property Description

Interested in this property or have any questions? Please contact me:

Henry Slaney

  • T: 07 4787 1811
  • M: 0429 872 985
  • AH: 07 4787 2985

AUCTION: 11am, 13th November, The Ville, Townsville

Rocky Springs is one of very few FREEHOLD pastoral enterprises in North Queensland. The combination of location, access, water, soils, pasture and rainfall all make this property a compelling inclusion in any cattle production portfolio.

Location:

Rocky Springs is a very well located and easily accessible property. The property is positioned immediately adjacent to the eastern side of Mt Surprise township (population 300-400 people) and runs east with 20km double frontage to the highway (Savannah Way). Rocky Springs is approximately 400 km NW of Charters Towers and 330 km SW of Cairns.

 With mobile phone service (4G & 3G) on most of property, rural power, STD phone, twice weekly mail service and internet Rocky Springs is a convenient and comfortable place to live. Mt Surprise Township is approximately 15km from Rocky Springs homestead and has a Primary School, Police Station, Hotel, Motel and Caravan Park accommodation, Grocery store and Post Office and various businesses catering for the healthy tourism trade.

The town is visited three times per week by a passenger bus from Cairns, several weekly freight services from Cairns and the Tablelands, and the weekly Cairns-Forsayth-Cairns historic tourist train which traverses part of the NW section of the property during the tourist season. It is also on the major route – Highway 1, Savannah Way — for caravan travellers between the Gulf of Carpentaria and tropical north Queensland. Mt Surprise is serviced by a weekly health clinic, visited by either the Royal Flying Doctor Service or a nurse from the Tablelands, plus the Georgetown Hospital is approximately 100km away.

The freehold nature of the property, and it’s proximity to town and other tourist attractions, lends itself to the establishment of a tourism business should that be of interest. A short drive beyond Rocky Springs lie the Undara Lava Tubes, Cobbold Gorge and the gem fossicking area at O’Brien’s Creek.  Major regional centres of Atherton and Mareeba are within 250km. Ravenshoe is within 160km, Georgetown is 100km.

 Rocky Springs has easy all-weather access to the Live Export destinations of Mourilyan Harbour (250km), Townsville (450km) and Karumba (470km) ports, as well as Townsville JBS Meatworks (440km) and the Tolga Abattoir. Registered scales and clearing dip at Sugarbag Yards (70km) toward Mt Garnet. Nearby Saleyards include Innisfail, Malanda, Mareeba and Charters Towers, while restocker destinations include the Atherton Tablelands, Tropical North Coast, Hughenden Mitchell grass downs and the Clermont buffel country.

Area & Tenure:

Area 17650ha (43,595.5acres)       Freehold

Homestead complex:

The complex is located centrally on the property and approx 15km from Mt Surprise township. It consists of the homestead, cottage, and three sheds. 

Homestead:

A comfortable, lowset home consisting of 5-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms, office, open plan and airconditioned kitchen/dining and living area and a large veranda on two sides. The home has internet, Foxtel, phone and mobile phone coverage.

 Workers Quarters:

A comfortable 2-bedroom building, open plan kitchen/living and dining area with an airconditioned main bedroom with ensuite, large living area and veranda. The Quarters has internet, Foxtel, STD phone and mobile phone coverage.

Sheds:

  1. Steel frame, 5-bay, used for vehicles and workshop. Full length skillion roof used to house cars and working dog cages.
  2. Steel frame, 4-bay, used for machinery and hay.
  3. Timber frame, 4-bay, used for hay and lick storage.

 Solar Power: Erected on the roof of the main shed is a Solar Power unit (16 solar panels). This compliments the Ergon mains powers supply.

Country:

The overall topography of the property is described as flat to undulating basalt country interspersed by basalt ridges, fertile creek frontages, spring fed and seasonal creeks. A small area of granite ridges is located toward the SE property boundary.

 The land types range from timbered red and black basalt soils (approx 30000 acres) to alluvial creek frontages with sandy duplex soils (approx 10000 acres) to granite ridges (approx 4000 acres).

 Elizabeth Creek runs east-west through the length of the property and in doing so provides yearlong spring fed stock water and fertile grazing frontages. To the NE corner of the property is the spring fed Fossilbrook creek which flows south to Springfield Station. Seasonal creeks include Whitewater, Sandy and Blackfella creeks.

 The basalt soils are timbered with Box, Ironbark, Bloodwood, Moreton Bay, Cabbage Gum, Black Tea Tree, Cocky Apple and Whitewood and dominant native pasture grasses include Black Spear, Forest Blue, Golden Beard, Plum Sorghum and Giant Spear Grass. Due to the shallow water table Black Tea Tree ‘clumps’ are present throughout the property. Creek frontages are timbered with large Paperbark and granite soils are timbered with Ironbark and associated Wattles, Quinine and Ironwood.

 Among Rocky Springs many and varied landmarks is “Big Oasis” and “Elizabeth Creek Gorge”.

Big Oasis is a 100 acre feature located in the NE of the property. This area has a very shallow water table thus providing a ‘wonderland’ of year-round green couch pastures, shady Oak & Fig Trees and is a meca for cattle in the dry season.

 The spectacular Elizabeth Creek Gorge, which in places is several hundred meters wide and in others just a few meters, is quite unique. The year-round flow of spring water along the creek offers a myriad of scenic recreational and camping spots and is a wildlife haven.

 Improved Pastures:

A feature of Rocky Springs is the variety and coverage of improved pasture species. Since the 1980’s the vendors have diligently seeded species such as Gayndah, Biloela and USA Buffel Grass, Gatton Panic, Urochloa, Seca, Siran and Verano Stylos and now estimate a coverage of approximately 70% of the property. The coverage has been aided by conservative stocking rates and rotational grazing management.

Leuceana has been established on 40ha (100ac) since about 2010 and now provides reliable fattening capability. The nearby DPI Redlands Leuceana trial and the success of rocky Springs leuceana establishment would indicate there may be potential to plant many thousands of acres more. 

 Regulated Veg Management Area:

The ‘Veg Map’ shows approx 1000 acres (Vendor estimate) of ‘white Category X area’ immediately adjacent the cattle yards and Homestead area. This aligns with smaller holding / management paddocks. There appears to be other smaller Category X areas around the property.

Water:

The water supply both below and above ground is quite unbelievable!

 Rocky Springs has two major flowing permanent spring fed creeks, Fossilbrook and Elizabeth. Elizabeth Creek runs the length of the property. There is also a smaller spring, White Chalk Spring, which provides a gravity fed flow harnessed into a tank and trough stock water supply.

 Man-made waters in the areas not serviced by the creek/spring network include 7 bores equipped with mains power or solar pumps. Though still a viable water source, nine (9) windmills have been made redundant due to extensive use (65km) of polypipe joining a comprehensive network of bores, tanks and troughs to make an almost infallible stock water supply throughout. Though individual bores vary, as a general rule the bores are about 30 metres +/- in depth.

Of notethe vendors had a surveyed water plan from Byramine that is 558m above sea level to the house that is 490m above sea level. Didn’t go ahead as vendors had already invested in several bores connected to mains power.  The 1% slope of the Great Dividing Range will allow for 70% of the property to be gravity fed from O’Sullivans Bore, which is about 560m above sea level, and also the Bore on the Highway near Round Mountain.

Bores:

  1. House – mains power, submersible pump,1200gals/hr, supplies house, yards and paddock waters via gravity from several tanks (1 x 20000gal, 1 x 4000gal, 1 x 3000gal, 2 x 2000gal).
  2. Ted’s Hole Bore (Powerline Bore) – mains power, submersible pump, 800gals/hr, pumps stock water to several tanks (3 x 20000gal, 1 x 7600gal). Also connected to House supply pipeline.
  3. Highway Bore – mains power, submersible pump, 800gals/hr, stock water via 20000gal tank which gravity feeds to 2 x 5000gal tanks.
  4. Round Mountain Bore – 3-phase mains power, submersible pump, located north and in close proximity to the highway, rated at 30-50000gal/hr, pumps to a borrow-pit. Approx 1km of polypipe could connect this water to O’Sullivans bore line.
  5. O’Sullivans Bore – solar powered, submersible pump, 5000gals/hr stream but pumping restricted to 2000gals/hr, interconnected to polypipe line of House, Ted’s Hole and Highway bores.
  6. Red Tableland Bore – solar powered, submersible pump, 1000gals/hr, not currently connected but could be connected to pipeline network.
  7. Little Oasis Bore – solar powered, submersible pump, pumps to 2 x 5000gal tanks, independent from other bores and pipelines.

 

Irrigation Licenses:

Two irrigation licenses (Fossilbrook Ck & Elizabeth Ck) apply to the property. Neither have been activated.

Rainfall:

Rocky Springs station records indicate a reliable annual average rainfall of approx 764mm (30 inches).

Cattle Numbers:

Included in the sale are approximately 3000 good quality Brahman and Brahman cross branded cattle (including 1200 breeders).

 The herd is predominantly Brahman with recent introduction of a smaller influence of Brangus and Euro Bulls. The herd is good quality and extremely quiet and is a credit to the property management. The cattle are mustered with bikes and extensively handled with dogs. No helicopter mustering is used.

Carrying Capacity:

After 30+years on the property the vendor estimates Rocky Springs has a sustainable carrying capacity of approximately 3500 mixed cattle or 2800 LSU. Currently the property is a breeding unit supplying dry cattle to the vendors other fattening properties near Innisfail. However, due to the pasture improvements and Leuceana they believe Rocky Springs could also be a Breeding & Fattening enterprise in its own right.

 Fencing:

Rocky Springs is entirely boundary fenced with boundaries professionally surveyed (a requirement for Freehold tenure upgrade).Internally the property is subdivided into 18 main paddocks plus 7 additional holding paddocks using 3 and 4-barb construction. Additionally, there is extensive use of electric fencing using Solar (2) and Mains (4) powered energizers to subdivide barb-fenced paddocks… in all there are 50+ paddocks.

Yards:

The main yards are located on the main access road into the property is the cattle yards, approx 500 head working capacity plus cooler, pound draft, branding cradle, vet crush, operational cattle dip (Barricade S), water troughs throughout. The branding crush and vet crush are under cover with a unique forcing gate into the main crush. Steel & Timber construction. There is an old yard site to the north of the property known as Byramine Yards.

Airstrip:

A 1200m airstrip was constructed in 1980’s and used for the aerial seeding programme for many years. Not currently maintained.

 Molasses storage: 150 tonne storage.

 Quarry: There is a significant and partially developed gravel quarry located on the property.

Plant & Machinery: Contact agent

Disclaimer: The above report has been prepared by Slaney & Co based on information supplied by the property owner and other credible sources. Every endeavour has been made to verify its accuracy. Whilst we trust the information to be correct, we make no warranties or guarantees, and prospective purchasers must rely on their own enquiries & research. © Copyright Slaney & Co

 

 

 

AUCTION: 11am, 13th November, The Ville, Townsville

Rocky Springs is one of very few FREEHOLD pastoral enterprises in North Queensland. The combination of location, access, water, soils, pasture and rainfall all make this property a compelling inclusion in any cattle production portfolio.

Location:

Rocky Springs is a very well located and easily accessible property. The property is positioned immediately adjacent to the eastern side of Mt Surprise township (population 300-400 people) and runs east with 20km double frontage to the highway (Savannah Way). Rocky Springs is approximately 400 km NW of Charters Towers and 330 km SW of Cairns.

 With mobile phone service (4G & 3G) on most of property, rural power, STD phone, twice weekly mail service and internet Rocky Springs is a convenient and comfortable place to live. Mt Surprise Township is approximately 15km from Rocky Springs homestead and has a Primary School, Police Station, Hotel, Motel and Caravan Park accommodation, Grocery store and Post Office and various businesses catering for the healthy tourism trade.

The town is visited three times per week by a passenger bus from Cairns, several weekly freight services from Cairns and the Tablelands, and the weekly Cairns-Forsayth-Cairns historic tourist train which traverses part of the NW section of the property during the tourist season. It is also on the major route – Highway 1, Savannah Way — for caravan travellers between the Gulf of Carpentaria and tropical north Queensland. Mt Surprise is serviced by a weekly health clinic, visited by either the Royal Flying Doctor Service or a nurse from the Tablelands, plus the Georgetown Hospital is approximately 100km away.

The freehold nature of the property, and it’s proximity to town and other tourist attractions, lends itself to the establishment of a tourism business should that be of interest. A short drive beyond Rocky Springs lie the Undara Lava Tubes, Cobbold Gorge and the gem fossicking area at O’Brien’s Creek.  Major regional centres of Atherton and Mareeba are within 250km. Ravenshoe is within 160km, Georgetown is 100km.

 Rocky Springs has easy all-weather access to the Live Export destinations of Mourilyan Harbour (250km), Townsville (450km) and Karumba (470km) ports, as well as Townsville JBS Meatworks (440km) and the Tolga Abattoir. Registered scales and clearing dip at Sugarbag Yards (70km) toward Mt Garnet. Nearby Saleyards include Innisfail, Malanda, Mareeba and Charters Towers, while restocker destinations include the Atherton Tablelands, Tropical North Coast, Hughenden Mitchell grass downs and the Clermont buffel country.

Area & Tenure:

Area 17650ha (43,595.5acres)       Freehold

Homestead complex:

The complex is located centrally on the property and approx 15km from Mt Surprise township. It consists of the homestead, cottage, and three sheds. 

Homestead:

A comfortable, lowset home consisting of 5-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms, office, open plan and airconditioned kitchen/dining and living area and a large veranda on two sides. The home has internet, Foxtel, phone and mobile phone coverage.

 Workers Quarters:

A comfortable 2-bedroom building, open plan kitchen/living and dining area with an airconditioned main bedroom with ensuite, large living area and veranda. The Quarters has internet, Foxtel, STD phone and mobile phone coverage.

Sheds:

  1. Steel frame, 5-bay, used for vehicles and workshop. Full length skillion roof used to house cars and working dog cages.
  2. Steel frame, 4-bay, used for machinery and hay.
  3. Timber frame, 4-bay, used for hay and lick storage.

 Solar Power: Erected on the roof of the main shed is a Solar Power unit (16 solar panels). This compliments the Ergon mains powers supply.

Country:

The overall topography of the property is described as flat to undulating basalt country interspersed by basalt ridges, fertile creek frontages, spring fed and seasonal creeks. A small area of granite ridges is located toward the SE property boundary.

 The land types range from timbered red and black basalt soils (approx 30000 acres) to alluvial creek frontages with sandy duplex soils (approx 10000 acres) to granite ridges (approx 4000 acres).

 Elizabeth Creek runs east-west through the length of the property and in doing so provides yearlong spring fed stock water and fertile grazing frontages. To the NE corner of the property is the spring fed Fossilbrook creek which flows south to Springfield Station. Seasonal creeks include Whitewater, Sandy and Blackfella creeks.

 The basalt soils are timbered with Box, Ironbark, Bloodwood, Moreton Bay, Cabbage Gum, Black Tea Tree, Cocky Apple and Whitewood and dominant native pasture grasses include Black Spear, Forest Blue, Golden Beard, Plum Sorghum and Giant Spear Grass. Due to the shallow water table Black Tea Tree ‘clumps’ are present throughout the property. Creek frontages are timbered with large Paperbark and granite soils are timbered with Ironbark and associated Wattles, Quinine and Ironwood.

 Among Rocky Springs many and varied landmarks is “Big Oasis” and “Elizabeth Creek Gorge”.

Big Oasis is a 100 acre feature located in the NE of the property. This area has a very shallow water table thus providing a ‘wonderland’ of year-round green couch pastures, shady Oak & Fig Trees and is a meca for cattle in the dry season.

 The spectacular Elizabeth Creek Gorge, which in places is several hundred meters wide and in others just a few meters, is quite unique. The year-round flow of spring water along the creek offers a myriad of scenic recreational and camping spots and is a wildlife haven.

 Improved Pastures:

A feature of Rocky Springs is the variety and coverage of improved pasture species. Since the 1980’s the vendors have diligently seeded species such as Gayndah, Biloela and USA Buffel Grass, Gatton Panic, Urochloa, Seca, Siran and Verano Stylos and now estimate a coverage of approximately 70% of the property. The coverage has been aided by conservative stocking rates and rotational grazing management.

Leuceana has been established on 40ha (100ac) since about 2010 and now provides reliable fattening capability. The nearby DPI Redlands Leuceana trial and the success of rocky Springs leuceana establishment would indicate there may be potential to plant many thousands of acres more. 

 Regulated Veg Management Area:

The ‘Veg Map’ shows approx 1000 acres (Vendor estimate) of ‘white Category X area’ immediately adjacent the cattle yards and Homestead area. This aligns with smaller holding / management paddocks. There appears to be other smaller Category X areas around the property.

Water:

The water supply both below and above ground is quite unbelievable!

 Rocky Springs has two major flowing permanent spring fed creeks, Fossilbrook and Elizabeth. Elizabeth Creek runs the length of the property. There is also a smaller spring, White Chalk Spring, which provides a gravity fed flow harnessed into a tank and trough stock water supply.

 Man-made waters in the areas not serviced by the creek/spring network include 7 bores equipped with mains power or solar pumps. Though still a viable water source, nine (9) windmills have been made redundant due to extensive use (65km) of polypipe joining a comprehensive network of bores, tanks and troughs to make an almost infallible stock water supply throughout. Though individual bores vary, as a general rule the bores are about 30 metres +/- in depth.

Of notethe vendors had a surveyed water plan from Byramine that is 558m above sea level to the house that is 490m above sea level. Didn’t go ahead as vendors had already invested in several bores connected to mains power.  The 1% slope of the Great Dividing Range will allow for 70% of the property to be gravity fed from O’Sullivans Bore, which is about 560m above sea level, and also the Bore on the Highway near Round Mountain.

Bores:

  1. House – mains power, submersible pump,1200gals/hr, supplies house, yards and paddock waters via gravity from several tanks (1 x 20000gal, 1 x 4000gal, 1 x 3000gal, 2 x 2000gal).
  2. Ted’s Hole Bore (Powerline Bore) – mains power, submersible pump, 800gals/hr, pumps stock water to several tanks (3 x 20000gal, 1 x 7600gal). Also connected to House supply pipeline.
  3. Highway Bore – mains power, submersible pump, 800gals/hr, stock water via 20000gal tank which gravity feeds to 2 x 5000gal tanks.
  4. Round Mountain Bore – 3-phase mains power, submersible pump, located north and in close proximity to the highway, rated at 30-50000gal/hr, pumps to a borrow-pit. Approx 1km of polypipe could connect this water to O’Sullivans bore line.
  5. O’Sullivans Bore – solar powered, submersible pump, 5000gals/hr stream but pumping restricted to 2000gals/hr, interconnected to polypipe line of House, Ted’s Hole and Highway bores.
  6. Red Tableland Bore – solar powered, submersible pump, 1000gals/hr, not currently connected but could be connected to pipeline network.
  7. Little Oasis Bore – solar powered, submersible pump, pumps to 2 x 5000gal tanks, independent from other bores and pipelines.

 

Irrigation Licenses:

Two irrigation licenses (Fossilbrook Ck & Elizabeth Ck) apply to the property. Neither have been activated.

Rainfall:

Rocky Springs station records indicate a reliable annual average rainfall of approx 764mm (30 inches).

Cattle Numbers:

Included in the sale are approximately 3000 good quality Brahman and Brahman cross branded cattle (including 1200 breeders).

 The herd is predominantly Brahman with recent introduction of a smaller influence of Brangus and Euro Bulls. The herd is good quality and extremely quiet and is a credit to the property management. The cattle are mustered with bikes and extensively handled with dogs. No helicopter mustering is used.

Carrying Capacity:

After 30+years on the property the vendor estimates Rocky Springs has a sustainable carrying capacity of approximately 3500 mixed cattle or 2800 LSU. Currently the property is a breeding unit supplying dry cattle to the vendors other fattening properties near Innisfail. However, due to the pasture improvements and Leuceana they believe Rocky Springs could also be a Breeding & Fattening enterprise in its own right.

 Fencing:

Rocky Springs is entirely boundary fenced with boundaries professionally surveyed (a requirement for Freehold tenure upgrade).Internally the property is subdivided into 18 main paddocks plus 7 additional holding paddocks using 3 and 4-barb construction. Additionally, there is extensive use of electric fencing using Solar (2) and Mains (4) powered energizers to subdivide barb-fenced paddocks… in all there are 50+ paddocks.

Yards:

The main yards are located on the main access road into the property is the cattle yards, approx 500 head working capacity plus cooler, pound draft, branding cradle, vet crush, operational cattle dip (Barricade S), water troughs throughout. The branding crush and vet crush are under cover with a unique forcing gate into the main crush. Steel & Timber construction. There is an old yard site to the north of the property known as Byramine Yards.

Airstrip:

A 1200m airstrip was constructed in 1980’s and used for the aerial seeding programme for many years. Not currently maintained.

 Molasses storage: 150 tonne storage.

 Quarry: There is a significant and partially developed gravel quarry located on the property.

Plant & Machinery: Contact agent

Disclaimer: The above report has been prepared by Slaney & Co based on information supplied by the property owner and other credible sources. Every endeavour has been made to verify its accuracy. Whilst we trust the information to be correct, we make no warranties or guarantees, and prospective purchasers must rely on their own enquiries & research. © Copyright Slaney & Co

 

 

 

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