Homestead rises from the bottom of a mighty dam

Homestead rises from the bottom of a mighty dam

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The first Cooradigbee homestead was buried by the waters of Lake Burrunjuck. Pictures: Meares and Associates.

The first Cooradigbee homestead was buried by the waters of Lake Burrunjuck. Pictures: Meares and Associates.

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Cooradigbee Homestead really should be blowing up bubbles from the bottom of the Burrunjuck Dam.

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Cooradigbee Homestead really should be blowing up bubbles from the bottom of the Burrunjuck Dam.

The original homestead was in the way when the nation-building Murrumbidgee irrigation scheme was at first conceived and then built in 1909 with the dam the centrepiece of NSW's first major irrigation push.

This homestead at the junction of the Goodradigbee and Murrumbidgee rivers was abandoned for a new imposing structure on the dam banks.

Now this century-old home/resort is for sale on a 40 hectare site after being carved off the large fine wool growing enterprise by Helen and Ian Cathles at Wee Jasper.

It is worth recording the contribution the Cathles have made to not only goats and wool growing but Australian agriculture.

MORE READING: Macquarie is just dripping with history.

Helen was the former chair of both the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions and Australian Superfine Wool Growers' Association, among other organisations.

Fully restored, this five-bedroom, five bathroom home is expected to sell for between $2-3 million.

But even the agents at Meares and Associates don't really know what to expect when it is sold through an online auction on December 15-16.

They admit its "difficult to narrow down" an expected selling price because of the uniqueness of the property.

The original Cooradigbee was one of the first properties taken up in the historic Wee Jasper Valley in 1831.

William Dutton took up the land grant after the explorers Hume and Hovell first walked the valley floor seven years earlier.

The Cathles bought the 3035ha (7500ac) Cooradigbee in 1988.

The stylish rammed earth home with its original ceilings and flooring has been restored by the owners, and extended in 2000.

Located 90 minutes from Canberra and about four hours from Sydney, it offers a rural lifestyle retreat and a business opportunity.

The large family home has also been a conference centre, a resort, and more recently a licenced café/restaurant.

It has a full commercial kitchen, three spacious living/entertaining rooms and a billiard/games room.

Agents say it is a wonderful destination for all water sports - sailing, boating, fly fishing, water skiing, bush walking or trail riding in the hills, or just collecting fossils (dating back 400 million years).

For more information contact Chris Meares 0414 770703.

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