Successive generations of the Wright family have made it a priority to retain shade trees and establish native timber shelter belts on “Knockalong”.A SOUTHERN Monaro grazing property that provided settings for the nationalistic artworks of one of Australia’s most illustrious female painters has been listed for private sale.
The property, “Knockalong”, boasts more than a century of Wright family ownership but is now being sold by Rowan Wright and his wife Maggie to provide for intergenerational succession.
It was Mr Wright’s grandfather, Edgar Wright, who unwittingly brought “Knockalong” into the public gaze when he married the acclaimed artist Hilda Rix Nicholas in 1928, and took her there to live.
During the next 20 years, Rix Nicholas would paint some of her best-known works featuring Edgar and other members of her new extended family in heroic pastoral scenes amid the grassy hills of “Knockalong”.
The artist retained her Rix Nicholas name, perpetuating the memory of her first husband, George Matson Nicholas, who was killed on the Western Front in 1916, tragically just five weeks after their wedding.
Such was the influence of “Knockalong” on Hilda Rix Nicholas’s later life that when she died in 1961 aged 76, she was buried at her own request on a hill overlooking the property.
The link to Hilda Rix Nicholas is one of several unique selling points of “Knockalong”, which has been listed for sale by Stewart Lee of Stewart Lee and Company, Bombala, with an asking price of $1.1 million.
Other enticements include its history of conservative, ecologically aware management, its Keyline water retention system and its spectacular scenery, including views to Mt Kosciuszko.
Situated in the Tombong Valley 20 kilometres north-west of Delegate, and 250km south of Canberra, “Knockalong” is a property of 1573 hectares (3887ac) long dedicated to the growing of high-quality wool.
Described as undulating to hilly, with slate-derived soils, the property is cleared for grazing except for a retained native forest area comprising about five per cent of the total area, plus shade trees and shelter belts.
Pastures are mostly native grasses including good stands of microlaena, interspersed with remnants of earlier-sown introduced pastures of phalaris, cocksfoot and sub-clover.
Estimated carrying capacity is 3100 DSE although since the drought the property has been lightly stocked as a rehabilitation measure, to encourage ground cover, restore eroded sites and enhance water retention.
It is now carrying just 1880 Merino wethers and consequently has abundant pasture, following two months of exceptional rainfall.
A Keyline irrigation system, installed by the present owner’s father, Rix Wright, consists of five connected dams with combined capacity of 100 megalitres, gravity-feeding water via earth channels to selected pastures.
Average rainfall is 600mm and more than 40 other dams plus five troughs provide ample stock water across the property’s 42 paddocks.
About 11km of new electric subdivision facilitates a rotational grazing program adopted by the present owner to encourage the growth and spread of the more desirable native grasses.
The homestead, built in the 1960s to a Rix Wright design, is a split-level weatherboard structure of three bedrooms with open-plan kitchen/living area, ducted gas and wood heating, timber floors and solar hot water.
Working improvements include a four-stand shearing shed, timber sheep and cattle yards, three-bay machinery shed, four-bay carport, storage sheds and silos.
The property is being offered as a whole, in which capacity it would ideally suit an investor seeking an ecologically benign grazing property with all necessary infrastructure, but it can also be sold in three blocks.
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