THERE is something far more valuable than gold to be discovered at Eddington.
Every long weekend, the tiny hamlet of Eddington on the Loddon River is flooded with gold fossickers seeking a fast fortune, but the locals know Eddington's real wealth is in its productive river flats, abundant water and tight-knit community.
Ian McPherson is one of those locals.
- Property: cropping/grazing
- Size: 42ha
- Price: $900,000-$975,000
- Agent: McCormick & Co, Melbourne
- Contact: John Baker, 0412 402 763
- For sale by tender, closing February 24, 12.30pm
His family was one of the first to settle the district in 1852 and has farmed there ever since.
So when it came time for Ian and wife Judy to buy a rural property to retire to and Willawong - 42ha of cropping and grazing country fronting the river - was on the market, the choice was easy.
"I've driven past this property for many years and when I retired in 1992 I bought it. I thought this was the best block of land within 100 miles of Bendigo and so does everyone else," Ian said.
Ian and Judy built the property's red-brick house, designed to accentuate the space and magnificent views, in 1996.
The house features interior brick walls, a timber kitchen and open-plan living with large windows to take in wide views of the landscaped gardens and broad riverbend beyond.
There are three bedrooms (the main with ensuite), central bathroom, home office, double carport, north-facing patio and established gardens, including stone walls and extensive vegie patch.
"The farm pays for itself, but this really is a lifestyle property; I can sit in the loungeroom and be looking down the river," Ian said.
The property joins a reserve with access to the river and Laanecoorie Reservoir, making waterskiing, boating and fishing a reality.
Part of the farm has been laser-levelled for flood irrigation and water is available via a 76 megalitre licence.
The soils are generally sandy loams, making Willawong ideal for cropping and lucerne production.
Ian and Judy have turned off up to 500 prime lambs a year in the past and now finish 150 stud White Suffolk rams each year for auction.
A former banker, Ian has juggled farming with his professional life most of his career, and now the McPhersons plan to move to Melbourne to be closer to their grandchildren.
The couple will miss their rural retreat, but are reassured by Eddington's easy access from Melbourne.
"Eddington is a lovely little hamlet; a great community at the centre of the golden triangle and its history. With so many sports on offer and things to do, it would be perfect for raising a family," Ian said.
Willawong is 1km east of Eddington, 45km west of Bendigo and can be reached from Melbourne, via the Calder Highway, in about two hours.