Despite its modest origins, the dairy sector in Australia has evolved into a thriving and prosperous national enterprise that provides more than $3 billion to the Australian economy.
The number of certified dairy farms in Australia has grown to roughly 5,800. The average number of cows on a dairy farm has grown from 93 in 1985 to 261 in 2017, according to the latest statistics.
Australian dairy cows now number over 1.5 million, and they generated 9 billion liters of milk in the last year.
Learn more about the biggest dairy farm in Australia in the sections below.
Top 10 Biggest Dairy Farm In Australia
||Land area, ha
||Number of cattle
||Location (nearest town)
||Number of employees
||Williams Cattle Company
||Coober Pedy, South Australia
||Clifton Hills Pastoral Company
||Birdsville, South Australia
||North Australian Pastoral Company
||Сamooweal, Northern Territory
||Paraway Pastoral Company
||Indigenous Land Corporation
||Kununurra, Western Australia
||S. Kidman & Co Pty Ltd
||Via Leigh Creek, South Australia
||Gambamora Industries Pty Ltd
||Katherine, Northern Territory
||North Australian Pastoral Company
||Australian Agricultural Company
||Tennant Creek, Northern Territory
||Mutooroo Pastoral Company
||Broken Hill, South Australia
1. Anna Creek
The biggest dairy farm in Australia is Anna Creek. It was named after a daughter of John Chambers by Col Warburton, who found it in 1858.
When Julius Jeffreys, John Warren, and William Bakewell initially bought Anna Creek Station in January 1863, it was situated near Strangways Springs. Between 1864 and 1866 “The Great Drought Years,” the partnership’s herd of 7,300 sheep was at its peak. Because of the dingoes’ assaults on the sheep, the station’s attention shifted to cattle.
This particular station was moved to its current location around 1872. Anna Creek Station was run by John Hogarth until 1893, and then by Thomas Hogarth until 1913. Francis Warren, Francis Warren’s younger brother, stayed with him until 1918. In 1918, it was sold to Malcolm Reid and Leslie Taylor, who ran the station until the present day.
Kidman Holdings purchased Anna Creek in 1935, joining the previously held Stuarts Creek Station and The Peake Station (since 1902).
For more than a century, the McLean and Nunn families managed the vast pastoral block from their home in Anna Creek.
Williams Cattle Company purchased Anna Creek Station and The Peake Station in December 2016.
2. Clifton Heights
In the year 1876, the station was opened. As early as 1881, J. H. Howie controlled the land and brought in 1,000 cattle from Aramac Station. As early as 1883, Andrew and J. Broad were the proud owners of the land, often shipping cattle to the Adelaide market for sale. At this point in time, Mr. Turnbull had taken over management of the property from Mr. Broads, who still owned the land. A total of 14,000 head of cattle covered an area of 4,000 square miles (10,360 square kilometers).
As of 1904, H.C. Trew, the station’s manager, stated 2,099 square miles of land had been flooded by the Georgina and Diamantina rivers and the property was carrying 2,000 cows.
Early July 1912 saw the sale of Clifton Hills by Elder Smith & Co. on behalf of the owners. G and E.A. Brooks, the buyers, already owned a considerable amount of property north of Adelaide, including Buckland Park. With a total area of 3,566 square miles (9,236 kilometers), the property was stated as having 9,000 head of cattle and 168 horses at the time of its sale.
- and E. A. Brooks, owners of neighboring Clifton Hills, bought Kanowna Station from Beltana Pastoral Company in 1914.
G and E. A. Brooks owned both Clifton Hills and Kanowana Station in 1923. It was estimated that these farms had over 28,000 shorthorn cattle and covered a total area of 7,000,000 acres (28,328 km2).
While working as a manager in 1930, Norman Gurr said that he had seen the worst flooding in the region for more than 100 years.
First cattle were sold at Gepps Cross utilizing beef highways in 1960 while Hector Brooks was in charge of the site. The 53 bullocks that made up the shipment were driven down the Birdsville Track to the Marree railhead by vehicle. On this stretch of road, the utilization of road transport has never before been attempted.
To “avoid duplication of locality name within Australia” in April 2013, the property that encompasses the Clifton Hills pastoral lease was named “Clifton Hills Station” and the word “Station” was added.
In 2018, for the first time in 60 years, the property was put up for sale.
Cattle were reported to occupy 16,510 square kilometers (6,370 square miles) of the station, making it the second-largest cattle station in the world (behind Anna Creek Station). Approximately 1,500 square kilometers (580 square miles) are flooded annually by the Diamantina River, with gibber plains with rivers and sandhill land providing a natural counterbalance.
They were David Harvey, Charles Simpson, and Katherine Hartley, the sellers. Located in northeastern South Australia and southern Queensland, Clifton Hills Station was comprised of four pastoral leases total.
Viv Oldfield, the owner of the adjacent Pandie Pandie Station and the recent purchaser of Maryvale Station, was part of a partnership that acquired the station in late November of last year. There were 18,000 organically certified cattle included in the deal. Approximately 50,000 cattle are raised on stations including Andado, Horseshoe Bend, and New Crown Stations as part of his livestock operation.
It has been a long and steady rise for Napco since the 1980s. As a result of a series of outstanding CEOs, including Foster family members, the company’s success has been marked by a family approach to business.
More recently Christopher Lydon and Nigel Alexander, as well as Douglas Fraser and Michael Crouch.
By purchasing 79 percent of NAPCo, the Queensland government ensured local control of this significant national corporation would be maintained, with the Foster family holding the remaining 30 percent.
Today, NAPCo has gone from being a cattle-only firm to one of Australia’s largest corporations.
Beef producers that market their product as “Prime.”
For over 140 years, NAPCo has thrived because of the individuals who have worked on and off the property.
4. The Downs at Davenport
For both Paraway and Queensland, Davenport Downs ranks as the state’s largest cattle station. Both Davenport Downs and Springvale were originally bought in 2009 and 2011, respectively. More than 29,000 bullocks may be fattened on the 1.5-million-acre bullock fattening facility. Cattle from Paraway’s breeding properties in the northern region are the main source of cattle for Davenport, which serves as a pivotal part of the company’s cattle operation.
Most of the land around Davenport is Mitchell grassland and channelland terrain. The Diamantina River and Farrahs Creek also run through the site, as an addition to the bore system. Additionally, these waterways flood a quarter of the property during the wet season, which provides a steady supply of feed for livestock.
Staff quarters and cottages, a staff kitchen, and a leisure club are all situated in Davenport Downs, the main homestead.