7 October 2022

Historic Daisy Bank dairy farm sale the end of an era for pioneering Bega family

| Katrina Condie
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Rolling hills

The rolling green hills of Daisy Bank Farm in Bega, where milk production has occurred for more than 165 years. Photo: Webster Nolan.

The sale of the Bega Valley’s historic Daisy Bank property will bring to an end five generations of dairy farming for the well-known D’Arcy family.

The 400-acre property on the banks of the Bega River was originally purchased in 1854 by John D’Arcy, a young immigrant from Tipperary, Ireland who established a dairy and pig farm.

A pioneer of the far south coast dairy industry, Mr D’Arcy was one of the founding members of the Bega Co-Operative Creamery Company in 1899, now famously known as Bega Cheese.

After 168 years of family ownership, the incredible property in the heart of the Bega Valley will go under the hammer in Sydney on Tuesday 11 October and is expected to fetch about $8 million.

Dave Nolan from Webster Nolan Real Estate said this was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a landmark property steeped in unique heritage and history”.

He said Daisy Bank continued to operate as a dairy farm and the herd of around 300 head of Friesian cattle was being offered for sale separately.

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The highly productive dairy operation runs using innovative technology in the form of a Lely Robotic Milking System and a Lely Robotic Calf Feeding system.

Mr Nolan said the alluvial river flats and productive grazing hills would also make the property ideal for operating a beef cattle enterprise.

However, he said, the property’s potential lies in the homestead and historic buildings which could be converted into a wedding or events venue or holiday accommodation subject to council approval.

The impressive two-storey, five-bedroom Daisy Bank homestead was completed in 1889 and is a replica of the family’s original home in Ireland. The home is built of handmade bricks that were shipped from Sydney to Tathra, then taken by a smaller boat up the Bega River to the property.

The bacon factory and ham smokehouse, built in 1870, were constructed of solid granite stone and, while they ceased operating in 1923, both buildings still stand, in excellent condition as a monument to the pioneering family.

Mr Nolan said the imposing main residence was built on the hill overlooking the picturesque Bega Valley and was modelled on the family home in Ireland to “meet a promise to the founder’s wife”.

“The house is brimming with original features including ceiling roses, cornices, skirting boards and working fireplaces in seven rooms,” Mr Nolan said.

Other original features include a stained glass window on the staircase landing, etched glass in several of the internal doors and windows, and carved cedar surrounds.

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A tree-lined driveway leads up to the house which is surrounded by English-style cottage gardens.

The property also boasts a four-bedroom manager’s residence plus a third home site, subject to council approval, and features a 540-megalitre Bega River irrigation licence, with about 222 acres under irrigation.

The sale includes two machinery sheds, three silos and three silage pits.

Mr Nolan has been inundated with interest in the magnificent property which he said offered a wide range of opportunities.

Daisy Bank is located five minutes from the Bega township and 25 minutes from Merimbula airport on the Sapphire Coast.

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