Clifton Hills, the world’s second largest farm sells to Australian pastoralists – ABC Rural
Two Australian families have bought what is considered to be the world’s second largest farming property, at more than 16,500 square kilometres.
Australian farmers and businessmen Viv Oldfield and Donny Costello have bought Clifton Hills, in South Australia’s far north, under the banner of Crown Point Pastoral Company.
The property comes with 18,000 cattle and, to put it into perspective, is about 4000 square kilometres larger than the greater Sydney region.
Mr Oldfield is a prominent race-horse trainer who owns property in the Northern Territory and South Australia, and also owns outback trucking company Tanami Transport.
He says Clifton Hills was just the right property to buy at the right time.
“It just happened to be that it came available,” Mr Oldfield said.
Mr Oldfield is no stranger to large pastoral purchases.
In April, he bought Maryvale Station in the Northern Territory for $15 million.
In 2016, he and three other pastoralists shot to national prominence when they put in a bid for S Kindman and Co properties, which was ultimately bought by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting.
Clifton Hills was sold on a “walk-in, walk-out” basis.
Mr Oldfield says he does not have any plans to make any drastic changes to the properties infrastructure.
Corporate vs family pastoralism
Outgoing Clifton Hills managing partner Dave Harvey says the public may be distracted by the power and wealth of foreign investors and S Kidman and Co.
“I think in the past, entities like Kidmans had tended to capture the limelight about large holdings of land and cattle by a family,” Mr Harvey said.
“There are a lot of families out there that have really substantial holdings of land and cattle and do it really well.
Mr Harvey thinks Australia’s pastoral families are the ones really interested in pastoral properties, more so than corporations or foreign investors.
“I think it is these family-based businesses that are the ones out there looking for cattle properties at the moment,” he said.
“There’s not so much interest from the corporate sector, in fact I’d stick my neck out and say that the corporate sector is on a little bit of a divestment phase if anything.
“We see Terra Firma trying to sell their Consolidated Pastoral Company somehow, somewhere, and other corporates, which have been in the cattle business in the past 10 years, some of them are withdrawing.”
Mr Harvey and Mr Oldfield declined to reveal how much Clifton Hills sold for.