‘Drought-proof’ rural SA farm set for huge result

Spring Creek’ at 1131 Coonatto Rd, Melrose will be auctioned on Thursday, November 28, at 1pm.
Spring Creek’ at 1131 Coonatto Rd, Melrose will be auctioned on Thursday, November 28, at 1pm.

A drought-proof rural property in the southern Flinders Ranges could fetch big money at its auction next month.

Known as Spring Creek, the 253.3ha property at 1131 Coonatto Rd, Melrose, comes with unrestricted water supply and reliable and versatile production capacity.

It will be auctioned at Melrose Town Hall, on Thursday, November 28, at 1pm.

Commercial Insights: Subscribe to receive the latest news and updates

Vendor John Knight says the property has been in his family for more than 40 years.

Spring Creek’ – 1131 Coonatto Rd, Melrose

“We lived in Alice Springs. My Dad worked in the pump business and had a plane that he would fly all over,” he says.

“Every Christmas we’d all get in the six seater and fly down to Melrose to visit family.”

The view of the land, and the waterways which include the actual Spring Creek, appealed to the man who had spent his career finding water sources.

“In 1974, when this property came up, dad bought it.” Knight says.

Spring Creek’ – 1131 Coonatto Rd, Melrose

The Spring Creek ‘floods out’ into the Spring Creek property, and below the land is the rich Willochra Basin underground springs. Although at the time, there wasn’t much to see by the naked eye, Mr Knight recalls.

“It was a scrub block, with absolutely nothing on it,” Knight says.

However in 1982 his father, with the help of a teenage John and a ‘mate of Dad’s from the Territory, a real bushie,” started dropping the bores, seven in all, and the land and the lifestyle turned a corner.

The supply of water to the property is now so plentiful, that the term ‘drought proof’ is not hyperbole.

Spring Creek’ – 1131 Coonatto Rd, Melrose

Ray White South Australia’s Geoff Schell says the property’s unique set up has resulted in widespread interest from across Australia.

He says the sale will include unrestricted underground water supply, four centre pivot circles, well planned fencing and stock management infrastructure, and a six-room stone homestead in an attractive garden setting.

“Spring Creek would work so well with a pastoral property, because it would be an ideal drought reserve for fodder production and to help retain valuable breeding stock,” he says.

“Thousands of tonnes of quality hay has gone north and into NSW from the Mid North region of SA over the last two years.”

Spring Creek’ – 1131 Coonatto Rd, Melrose

Schell says the vendors have been more than custodians of the property.

“They have developed and improved the property and livestock, while enjoying not only the success of their farming enterprise, but also the lifestyle, the community and the heritage of the area,” he says.

“They never tire of the majestic view of Mt Remarkable on their doorstep, or of the grandeur of the massive red gums. They feel a connection to the area, and the water that feeds it.

“There are a lot of properties that are gems in South Australia, but Spring Creek is quite exceptional. There really are few properties like it.”

This article from The Advertiser originally appeared as “A drought-proof farm in rural Australia? You betcha!”