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Historic Kadlunga Estate, Mintaro

Updated: Mar 2, 2022


Kadlunga, a well-known homestead and estate built in the 1850s, is located near Mintaro, 126 kilometres north of Adelaide and 19 kilometres south east of Clare, and is primarily a cropping, sheep breeding and cattle operation.

  • The house has seven bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, large living areas, a dinning room plus a tennis court and swimming pool.

First Settler

James Stein was a pioneering European settler of South Australia’s mid north and founder of the now heritage-listed Kadlunga estate.

James Stein (pictured above) was born of Scottish wealth  — his father was a London banker and member 1796-1802 of the House of Commons,  and his sister was the Countess of Fife.
James Stein, (pictured above) was born of Scottish wealth — his father was a London banker and member 1796-1802 of the House of Commons

In 1838 James Stein, aged 33, and his personal companion, 17 year old John Price, convened an expedition from Bathurst NSW to the colony of Adelaide, with approximately 5000 sheep and 5000 cattle.

  • His party consisted of 30 Englishmen (and a number of Hindustani coolies??) headed by Evelyn Pitfield Sturt, brother of explorer Captain Charles Sturt.

  • By c1838, Stein's expedition was pasturing in the Upper Wakefield River district.

  • In 1839, an official report from Edward John Eyre to John Ainsworth Horrocks documents an interesting aspect of the survey of the area:

    • In their the survey of the Upper Wakefield and the twin rivers Hutt and Hill, surveyor brothers William and John Hill refer to Stein and the British flag at Flagstaff Hill, 10 km east of Mintaro.


Burra and Mintaro Runs

In 1840, Stein was recorded as having two Runs, one at Burra and the other at Mintaro (the Mintaro Run).

[Colonial spelling was Mintadloo. The Ethnologist of the SA museum interpreted the aboriginal word Mintingadlu as based on Minti meaning net and Ngadlu meaning water, a place of various streams criss-crossing.]

  • Stein and Sturt, in 1840, were assessed as being at Kadulunga, 3 km west of Mintaro with 2600 ewes, 400 wethers, numerous cattle and some crops.

  • The homestead is approached by an avenue a mile in length, planted with a variety of ornamental trees.

  • Many other plantations can be seen from the house, and the whole property shows that considerable care and money has been spent in improving and beautifying it.

  • All these trees were felled by recent NT Owners, the Edmunds !

Kadlunga Station in the 1800s
Kadlunga station in the mid north as started by James Stein in the 1840s with homestead built about 1857
Kadlunga Homestead, Mintaro SA
Kadlunga Homestead, Mintaro SA
Kadlunga

Kadlunga was a half-way house for the mule teams on their journey from Burra copper minefields to Port Wakefield. The scion of a Scottish whisky distilling family that fell into financial troubles, James Stein arrived in Sydney in 1833 and became a squatter, a pioneer grazier, in New South Wales.

  • In 1841, after the discoveries by John Hill and Edward John Eyre in South Australia's mid north, Campbell and Stein pioneered their own sheep runs.

  • Stein's run extended from Mount Horrocks, through Farrell Flat around the headwaters of the Wakefield River, stretching over surrounding rolling hills and plains to include parts of Burra Creek.

Stein established this homestead on a tributary to the Wakefield River, in a valley beneath Mount Horrocks, and named it Kadlunga,

  • possibly an Aboriginal word for 'sweet hills', after the abundant honeysuckle located there at the time,

  • OR the aboriginal name for 'hills and water'

  • OR now understood to mean 'netted water' (Fish Nets?)

  • The property was also known as Katalunga in its early period.

The original picturesque stone homestead buildings of Kadlunga estate, founded by Stein, were listed on the Register of the National Estate in 1978.

  • Stein built the original homestead, completed in 1857, constructed of random coursed bluestone.

  • That house was incorporated into the 1919-20 alterations, when the house was virtually rebuilt.

  • Since the rebuilding little has been altered, having been in the Melrose family since 1916. The building is in good condition and is well cared for.​

  • The two-storey homestead was renovated in 1919-20, and was surrounded by park-like grounds, which a previous recent owner (the Edmunds) has cleared, to local dismay.

In 1841, after the discoveries by John Hill and Edward John Eyre in South Australia's mid north, Campbell and Stein pioneered their own sheep runs.

  • Stein's run extended from Mount Horrocks, through Farrell Flat around the headwaters of the Wakefield River, stretching over surrounding rolling hills and plains to include parts of Burra Creek.

  • Among Stein’s shepherds were several “Afghan” men, also called “coolies”, originally brought as servants from India by E.B. Gleeson, a settler at nearby Clare. They are reputed to have named Burra Burra Creek.

  • In 1845 William Strear, a shepherd employed by Stein, found the copper ore that led to discovery of the boom Burra copper mines, although Stein gained no personal profit.

Kadlunga Homestead 1901
Kadlunga Homestead 1901

In 1842, Stein's occupational lease and staff were as follows —:​

  • T. Diprose, Base Station, Princess Royal, a fortification painted by landscape artist S.T. Gill.

  • J. Logan, head camp, Logan Gap and Logan's Creek Reserve. He returned to England in 1860.

  • E. Sturt, head camp, Kadulunga Springs, section 173.

  • M. William, outstation, Apoinga.

  • T. Semple, outstation, Burra Creek, Burra 1839.

    • Two other Semple brothers arrived in SA. The married brother squatted at Mintaro.

  • J. Farrell, outstation, at a permanent lagoon between Farrell's Flat and Merildren. Farrell's Flat is thought to be named after Rev. James Farrell who served the Anglican Mission at Mintaro.​

  • Tie Tee Wies, outstation, Mintaro Reed Beds, a market gardener whose descendants remained in Mintaro until the 1880s.

  • W. Tateham, outstation, Wakefield River, Auburn, married with 3 children, took up employment with Joseph Gilbert on his Crystal Brook run.

    • Tateham was the first person to purchase a Mintaro town lot under the direction of Gilbert who laid out the town of Mintaro. Tateham and his family departed to the Victorian goldfields, where he died.

  • L. Levett, a shepherd at Mintaro. His daughter Sarah, born in 1843, was recorded at the Mintadloo Run Anglican Mission in Mintaro.

  • G. Kite, married with 6 children, head drover based at Mintaro and later the pound keeper at Kite Street, Mintaro and a bullock contractor.

  • H. Huxtable, married with 5 children, bootmaker, saddler, based at Mintaro. His descendants remained in Mintaro until the 1920s.

Carrying increasing debt, Stein became insolvent in 1848 and died destitute in 1877.

The original picturesque stone homestead buildings of Kadlunga estate, founded by Stein, were listed on the Register of the National Estate in 1978.

  • Stein built the original homestead, completed in 1857, constructed of random coursed bluestone.

  • That house was incorporated into the 1919-20 alterations, when the house was virtually rebuilt.

  • Since the rebuilding little has been altered, having been in the Melrose family since 1916. The building is in good condition and is well cared for.

Stein established this homestead on a tributary to the Wakefield River, in a valley beneath Mount Horrocks, and named it Kadlunga, possibly an Aboriginal word for 'sweet hills', after the abundant honeysuckle located there at the time.

  • However, the property was also known as Katalunga in its early period.

Gulf Road

From 1849 to 1857 bullock and then mule teams travelled the Gulf Road between Burra and Port Wakefield carting copper ore to the port, and returning with coal and other supplies, covering 10 miles per day.


The Mintaro Belt, a wooded section of the Gulf Road, had a backlog of copper ore 'bullocky' jinkers negotiating around Mt Horrocks, through the Kadlunga property.

  • Because of this backlog of waiting trains of ore, the Mintaro Belt became an economic boom for Mintaro saddlers, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, chaff-cutters, also with soup kitchens and a sly grog shop.

The Gulf Road (illustrated above with the two seasonal routes in blocked markings) passed 2km north west of Mintaro (far-right of above map) through Kadlunga which was now owned by the English and Australian Copper Co, land also claimed by James Stein.

  • Stein's legal battle with the two major mine companies of Burra over Princess Royal and Kadlunga continued for several years to no avail, and eventually financially devastated him.

  • History's only acknowledgment of James Stein is a street in Mintaro named after him.​

Renovation
  • The two-storey homestead was renovated in 1919-20, and was surrounded by park-like grounds.

Previous Owners

Sir Samuel Way
The property belonged to Sir Samuel Way.

Sir Samuel Way, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia purchased the property in 1881.

His Kadlunga Station later became a merino sheep stud and Percheron horse stud, successively owned by

  • John Chewings (1859-1937), geologist and anthropologist, who was born at Woorkongoree station, near Burra, third son of John Chewings, pastoralist, and his wife Sarah, née Wall.

  • (Sir) Samuel Way (1836-1916), chief justice and lieutenant-governor of SA. In 1872 he also bought Montefiore, a North Adelaide mansion where he spent the rest of his life; while at the Bar he also bought Sea View, a farm near Noarlunga;

  • on his property at Kadlunga he grazed the improved Shropshire sheep which he had introduced into Australia.

  • He was delighted when a great pastoralist greeted him in Sydney not as the chief justice, but as 'the breeder of Shropshires'.

Alexander John Melrose, (1860-1938), pastoralist, was born at Rosebank, near Mount Pleasant.

In 1884 he began management of another Melrose property, Ulooloo, which was a combination of two stations, Kadlunga and Wookongarie, in the mid-north.

With the Kapunda grazier, Henry Dutton, Melrose purchased the 12,900 hectare North Booborowie station in 1897 for £98,000, taking responsibility for its management.

Melrose was also a significant shareholder in the Broken Hill Proprietary Co. Ltd.

In 1910 the government, anxious to achieve closer settlement and provide farmers with a greater amount of good land, had purchased the North Booborowie property.

  • Provided with ample wealth, Melrose became a prominent philanthropist, giving generously to a number of charities and institutions.

  • His best known bequest was £10,000, given to the Waite Agricultural Research Institute in 1927 to finance its chemistry laboratory. Melrose was knighted in 1928 and the following year the laboratory at the Waite Institute was named in his honour.

Kadlunga for Sale 2016

South Australian wool grower Hamish Gosse is selling his family's historic Kadlunga homestead and 2367-hectare property in the Clare Valley with an asking price of $22 million.

  • Mr Gosse told The Advertiser his grandfather Alexander Melrose, purchased the property for four pounds, seven shillings and six pence an acre.

  • Mr Gosse, in his 70s, is selling the Mintaro property – with stock of 4900 merinos, more than 100 Charolais cattle and about 60 hectares of vineyards – on a walk-in, walk-out basis, with all stock and plant intact, Elders agent Ian Jaensch said.

  • "He just wants to move on," Mr Jaensch said. "Hamish is looking to get out."

Homestead and land package
  • The two-storey stone homestead, built about 1857, has 2367 hectares of land as part of the sale.

  • The property, 130 kilometres north of Adelaide, has 36 dams, 15 bores and wells and two water licenses, with an annual average rainfall of 600 to 650 millimetres.

  • It has been in Mr Gosse's family since it was acquired by his grandfather, South Australian politician Alexander Melrose, in 1916.

Draught horse pulling sled and driver, with dogs
A draught horse on the site.

The two-storey stone homestead, built about 1857, has six upstairs bedrooms, three recently modernised bathrooms, a sunroom, office, sitting room, servery/kitchen, entrance hall and large cellar.

  • The adjoining garden has an inground swimming pool and tennis court.

  • The land, comprising 22 separate titles, has between 1000 and 1200 hectares in wheat, beans and canola crops.

  • The vineyard, established in 1998, is planted with merlot, cabernet and shiraz grapes and is leased to Treasury Wine Estates until 2028.

  • The wool production is high-yield – more than 70 per cent, depending on seasons – with the flock averaging about 18 micron.

  • Outbuildings include a cottage; sheep yards and a stone shearing shed; cattle yards; and hay and machinery sheds.

  • Plant and equipment includes two tractors, a trailer and Loxton Slasher for mowing and windrowing.

“It’s a substantial place, it’s like a little town really ... there are four inhabitable places on it ... you have a wonderful lifestyle and property that would give you enough income to live on.”

  • Elders Real Estate agent Ian Jaensch said the property was productive, as well as historic.

  • “It’s an iconic, well-known property ... it is hard to secure this sort of property in the Clare/Mintaro/Burra area. It has assured rainfall and it has a diversity of uses; grazing, cropping land and the vineyards,” he said.

“Because it such a high spot, the Broughton and the Wakefield rivers start here, it is an extraordinary neck of the woods.”

“It is unique because it retains its own water, on a lot of properties the water runs off to the

The vineyard at Kadlunga.
The vineyard at Kadlunga.

next door neighbour, but at Katalunga it stays there.


Kadlunga has been in Mr Gosse's family since it was acquired by his grandfather, South Australian grazier Alexander John Melrose, in 1916.

  • His grandson Hamish Gosse is now selling the successful commercial property having built up beef, grazing, wool and wine businesses at the Mintaro farm. The iconic station is being offered in a private sale with a $22 million price tag.

  • The younger John Melrose, had a help, Margaret Armstrong, who lived in a small cottage nearby. Margaret was involved with our Clare National Trust museum for some time.

  • Margaret Armstrong was an excellent seamstress and made replica dresses for our sesqui-centenary in 1986. These are in our Clare Museum at Victoria Road Clare.

Stately home & working farm for sale for $22 million
  • His grandson, South Australian grazier Hamish Gosse, sold his family's historic station property in the Clare Valley for an asking price of $22 million.

Mr Gosse, in his 70s, was selling the Mintaro property – with stock of 4900 merinos, more than 100 Charolais cattle and about 60 hectares of vineyards – on a walk-in, walk-out basis, with all stock and plant intact,

Elders agent Ian Jaensch said "He just wanted to move on, Hamish was looking to get out."

Hamish Gosse then moved to a small property named Montrose.

The two-storey stone Kadlunga homestead had 2367 hectares of land as part of the sale. 

The property has 36 dams, 15 bores and wells and two water licenses, with an annual average rainfall of 600 to 650 millimetres.


The two-storey stone homestead has six upstairs bedrooms, three recently modernised bathrooms, a sunroom, office, sitting room, servery/kitchen, entrance hall and large cellar. The adjoining garden has an in-ground swimming pool and tennis court.

The land, comprising 22 separate titles, has between 1000 and 1200 hectares in wheat, beans and canola crops.

  • The vineyard, established in 1998, is planted with merlot, cabernet and shiraz grapes and is leased to Treasury Wine Estates until 2028.

  • The wool production is high-yield – more than 70 per cent, depending on seasons – with the flock averaging about 18 micron.

  • Outbuildings include a cottage; sheep yards and a stone shearing shed; cattle yards; and hay and machinery sheds.

  • Plant and equipment includes two tractors, a trailer and Loxton Slasher for mowing and windrowing.

Kadlunga ownership changes twice

The Backstory:

$5m price tag for Cappeedee Station

A BUMPER growing season and high commodity prices for sheep and grain has made it prime time for selling station country in South Australia.

  • A 400-millimetre average rainfall and sound on-farm infrastructure would also have attributed to the quick sale.

  • Earlier this month, 185,600 hectare Kalabity Station, via Olary, was snapped-up by a local grazing family for about $5m,

  • while last month S Kidman & Co sold 1.2m-ha Quinyambie Station, via Broken Hill, for between $8m and $10m to Mutooroo Pastoral Company, Cockburn.

Overseas fund-backed Hewitt Cattle Australia spent about $50 million in 2016 buying adjoining Ambalindum and Numery stations, more or less due east of Alice Springs on the edge of the Simpson Desert. The properties were owned by Tim and Emily Edmunds, Hale River Pastoral Co. Numery was listed for sale around February last year.

  • Landmark State real estate manager Simon McIntyre said the sales were a reflection of the strength within the local market.

Kadlunga sold to NT Pastoralists (for $22 m.)

The historic Clare property was bought by Northern Territory cattle farmer Tim Edmunds

"IN his own words, he’s found a rare and precious gemstone – with a price to match."


Prominent Northern Territory cattle farmer Tim Edmunds is packing up his young family and relocating from Alice Springs to South Australia’s picturesque Clare Valley to polish his new treasure.

  • Mr Edmunds and his family are the proud new owners of the historic property and homestead Kadlunga, situated just west of Mintaro.

  • The sale was settled on Friday, a little over a year after it hit the market with a $22 million price tag.

  • Mr Edmunds said the prospect of owning one of the state’s best-known farming properties, and the opportunity to restore an iconic homestead, was irresistible.

More Backstory:

The Collinsville Station and merino stud

In 1889, John Collins purchased 50,000 acres of rugged, inhospitable pastoral country 26 miles north-east of Mount Bryan, in the mid-north of South Australia.

  • Within a year, John Collins had introduced his first Merinos and launched the Collinsville Stud. The enterprise was officially registered in 1895 after he purchased a draft of ewes from the Koonoona Stud, near Burra.

  • These sheep were sent from a relatively mild climate to the harsh terrain of Collinsville Station, at the beginning of what was to be Australia’s severest drought. 

  • After eight years on limited rations of saltbush, bluebush and herbage, the surviving sheep emerged as an outstanding foundation flock.

  • Famous for setting the record price of $450,000 for the sale of a ram – the highest in the world – Collinsville is one of the most recognised Australian pastoral stations and significant merino studs in Australia.

  • Art Collins, John Collins’ sixth son, took over the stud in 1918 and spent his life building an unmatched reputation among wool-growing nations, possibly the largest merino stud in S.A.

  • Remembered as the most influential Merino breeder of the 20th Century, Art was committed to building a large-framed, heavy fleeced sheep able to withstand the most rigorous of conditions and still achieve a high lambing percentage.

  • He succeeded in developing an animal that has had more influence on the national flock than any other bloodline.

  • Art’s dedication saw Collinsville achieve the unequalled feat of winning the awards for both the grand champion ewe and ram at every capital city show in the country. Collinsville exhibited sheep at all the main shows in Australia, and established a thriving market for its sale stock both at home and overseas.

Collinsville merino breeding empire sold to Adelaide businessman George Millington

Story by NIGEL AUSTIN, RURAL EDITOR, The Advertiser - September 12, 2014 9:00pm


GEORGE Millington has enjoyed the highs of business in Adelaide, but he is now throwing himself wholeheartedly into breeding merino sheep.

  • "I have a passion for breeding livestock," Mr Millington says.

  • "I think the opportunity to buy what is an iconic South Australian business, or Australian business for that matter, in Collinsville is just a fantastic opportunity.

  • "When [the owners] put the station on the market, knowing they didn't have succession plans, I approached them and said, 'were they interested in selling the stud at the same time', and they were."

He will run the two studs on Cappeedee station, near Hallett in the Mid North, which he bought in 2010.

  • The sale of Collinsville follows 19 years of ownership by Paddy and Helen Handbury, who bought the stud empire in 1995 after it went into receivership in 1991, helping to ensure its survival as one of the nation’s great suppliers of superior merino genetics.

Mr Millington is also buying the 56,093ha Collinsville station, 49km north-east of Burra, but not the Booborowie properties where the Handbury family has been running the two sheep studs.


Shock Re-Sale of Kadlunga

Historic S.A. Kadlunga station sells in large off-market deal ($40 m.)

Story by Ingrid Fuary-Wagner Jun 11, 2019

Historic S.A. Kadlunga station homestead, Mintaro, Clare Valley
Historic S.A. Kadlunga station homestead

A historic homestead and farm in South Australia’s Clare Valley has sold in one of the largest off-market sales in the state.

  • Kadlunga, a well-known homestead built in the 1850s, and the surrounding farmland was sold by Northern Territory farmers, the Edmunds family, after they bought the 2340-hectare farm in 2017.

  • The family acquired an additional 1600 hectares of surrounding farmland during their ownership and made improvements to the homestead and farming infrastructure.

  • The property had not been for sale, but a local farming family who own and operate the nearby merino Collinsville Stud, approached the owners.

The farm, which is located near Mintaro, 126 kilometres north of Adelaide and 19 kilometres south east of Clare, is primarily a cropping, sheep breeding and cattle operation.

  • A sale price was not disclosed but based on the previous vendor’s asking price of $22 million for about 2300 hectares in 2016, it is calculated the property, which has since expanded to 3900 hectares, could have sold for about $40 million.

"It's a once in a life-time opportunity to try and grab it," Mr Millington says.

  • "And to bring a stud back here and have Collinsville still based in South Australia I think it's fantastic."

  • Current stud manager Tim Dalla and station manager Tony Connell will stay on at Collinsville.

The sale was negotiated off-market through buyers agents Phil Keen and Tom Russo from Elders, but both declined to comment on the specifics of the transaction.

  • Mr Russo said some of the surrounding cropping land that was not of strategic importance to the new operation would be sold off.

  • “Given the quality of this land, and the tightly held nature of the district, this is a genuinely rare and compelling opportunity for existing farmers in the district and potential new entrants looking for instant scale”, Mr Russo said.

The Edmunds boomerang back into Central Australia ($38 m.)

AS reported in a separate story tonight, prominent Northern Territory cattleman Tim Edmunds has offloaded the historic Kadlunga aggregation in South Australia after just two years ownership, as he prepares to expand his pastoral footprint in Central Australia.

Tim Edmunds has entered into a long-term contract with Tony Davis to purchase the 259,000ha Narwietooma (pictured) and the 308,000ha The Derwent and Glen Helen Stations near Alice Springs, for $38.5 million with stock, plant and equipment sold for an undisclosed sum.

  • In January 2016, Mr Edmunds and his wife Emily decided to leave the tightly held Alice Springs region after after a lengthy period, selling their Hale River Pastoral Co assets.

  • Those properties – 300,000ha Ambalindum Station, 135km north-east of Alice Springs and the adjoining 202,200ha Numery Stationwere sold to the Canadian pension fund, Hewitt Cattle Australia for $50 million including 13,000 head of cattle.

After the sale, Mr Edmunds admitted it was difficult to leave Central Australia, but the time was right to move on.

  • Two years ago, the couple secured a 4000ha aggregation of five mixed farming properties centred on Kadlunga in South Australia’s picturesque Clare Valley, considered some as the state’s finest farmland.

  • The $22m sale included 4900 Merinos, more than 100 Charolais cattle and 60ha of vineyards – negotiated on a walk-in, walk-out basis, with all stock and plant intact.

As reported separately tonight, the Edmunds have sold Kadlunga for an undisclosed price to George and Sophie Millington who own and operate the Collinsville Merino Stud near Hallett.

  • What has become clear is that Tim and Emily Edmunds are not done with Central Australia, and the Kadlunga sale evidently provided the cash reserve to further re-invest in the region.


References:

  1. Stately home & working farm for sale for $22 million

  2. Kadlunga Station in 1896 - SA Register (Adelaide, SA) Wed 18 Mar 1896 Page 6

  3. James Stein pioneers sheeps runs from Kadlunga in mid north; dies destitute in 1877

  4. Kadlunga Station, South Australia by McGann - National Library of Australia

  5. Kadlunga estate listed on the Register of the National Estate

  6. Mintaro, South Australia /Kadlunga - From Wikipedia

  7. Central Australia’s mini-property boom, as Numery aggregation sells for $50m Jon Condon, March 13, 2017

  8. $5m price tag for Cappeedee Station - Stock Journal ALISHA FOGDEN 26 Aug 2010

  9. Kadlunga sold to NT Pastoralists - Advertiser story by Tom Bowden 31 Mar 2017

  10. The Collinsville Station and merino stud - Wikipedia

  11. Collinsville merino breeding empire sold to Adelaide businessman George Millington NIGEL AUSTIN, The Advertiser - September 12, 2014

  12. Historic S.A. Kadlunga station sells in large off-market deal - Ingrid Fuary-Wagner Jun 11, 2019

  13. The Edmunds boomerang back into Central Australia - Beefcentral.com Linda Rowley, June 12, 2019

  14. Hale River Homestead at Old Ambalindum

  15. Hale River Holdings buys Narwietooma, Glen Helen and Derwent Stations in NT for $38.5m - ABC Rural




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I worked at Kadlunga, as a trainee Woolclasser - for Hamish Gosse in 1974. A magic place to work and fine wool Merinos. Eugeine Fahey was the Boss Of the Board and a mentor for we young blokes. I saw Hamish one day, dressed in a Tweed Jacket and Moleskins .... on the board - my first sight of UK gents. Mintaro, is the most beautiful place to me still to this day... and the Magpie and Stump Pub, is also MAGIC ! Thanks Hamish - Jeff Hollywood

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