Goats, sheep and grass at a ghost town

Marian Macdonald
By Marian Macdonald
November 29 2021 - 8:30pm

Smack bang in the centre of New South Wales sits the ghost town of Shuttleton and the 4983-hectare property bearing its name is up for sale for the first time in a century.

Adjacent to Kidman Way Highway, it's 30 kilometres west of Nymagee Village or just under an hour's drive south of Cobar.



In Betts family ownership since the 1920s, Shuttleton has plenty of history.

The farm even has its own cemetery with headstones dating back to 1904, when the town briefly sprang to life with a copper mining boom.

Today, though, the property is purely agricultural, carrying around 1000 breeding ewes or equivalent and each year sells about 800 rangeland goats heavier than 22 kilograms.

Nutrien Russell agent David Russell said there was plenty of scope to increase Shuttleton's productivity.

"If you couldn't get 800-1000 saleable goats off the place each year, you'd have to be asleep in the kitchen," he said.

"There's a mountain of natural grass there, too."

The potential was even higher for those keen to invest in pastures, he said.

A property vegetation plan allowing for the clearing of native vegetation extends until 2030.

About 1200ha is raked and pulled, with the balance cleared.

Mr Russell said the soils were predominantly red loam, semi-open timbered country with pine, rosewood, kurrajong and box flats.

Creeks rise up to a hill range to the east side of the property.

"Shuttleton has picturesque hills, valleys, natural semi-open kurrajong, box flats and a variety of edible scrub," Mr Russell said.

Eight earthen dams, six of them fully fenced, supply Shuttleton's water.

Sheep infrastructure includes an old-style three-stand shearing shed, overhead lister electric wool room and an undercover sheep area.

It's matched with all-steel and mesh sheep yards with a three-way draft, which Mr Russell said was all in good working order.

Storage includes a 13x17 metre hay shed, 8x8m lockup garage with 13x3m bay garage attached and a 40 tonne silo.

Shearers quarters comprise five single rooms with a gas and fuel stove.



An additional transportable four-bedroom home offers added accommodation.

The cypress-pine weatherboard and iron Shuttleton homestead was built around 1930 and features four large bedrooms and two sleepouts.

Mr Russell said the property was close enough to mining sites to lease out the houses.

"There are plenty of possibilities for Shuttleton," he said. "It would be a great starters or add-on block."

Shuttleton will be auctioned on December 8 and Mr Russell said it had already attracted a lot of inquiry.

He couldn't offer a price guide for the property but said, "most country around here makes $80-$100 an acre".



Contact Nutrien Russell agent David Russell on 0418 636 050.

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Marian Macdonald

Marian Macdonald

National rural property writer

Writing for farmers in the Stock & Land, The Land, Queensland Country Life, Stock Journal and FarmWeekly, farming in Gippsland.

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