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FEATURE LISTING: Historic homestead on Lake Alexandrina

After a century of family ownership, pastoral property ‘Jockwar’ is on the market this week with two kilometres of lake frontage and a homestead in picturesque condition thanks to custodians Brenton and Susan Hicks.

Situated at the end of a long driveway with a pillared verandah overlooking green gardens, Brenton and Susan’s picturesque homestead at Wellington East offers a slice of country serenity at the very edge of Lake Alexandrina.

Susan grew up on the station and is a fifth-generation descendant of the land’s original Scottish settler Allan McFarlane.

The property has remained in family ownership ever since it was founded in the early 1900s.

Brenton and Susan were married at the homestead in 1974 and the couple purchased the property from the rest of her family several years later.

The couple and their children and grandchildren have enjoyed an idyllic country lifestyle surrounded by green lawns, gardens and the encompassing farmland with plenty of water sports and fishing.

Having owned the Wellington East property, called ‘Jockwar’, since the 1980s, Brenton and Susan are now selling to move to the Adelaide Hills.

The couple lived in Adelaide during their children’s school years but moved back down to Wellington East about 20 years ago.

Since then, the couple has run cattle on the land of some 270 hectares.

“It’s been a really good place to live and it would be great for a younger family or somebody who wants a lifestyle much like we’ve lived for the last two decades or so,” says Brenton.

“It’s situated on a great big freshwater lake, Lake Alexandrina, so we’ve got more than two kilometres of water frontage and that’s quite pretty in itself.

“We have a beautiful garden and a lovely outlook. Our kids and grandkids have had great times here – we would host Christmases, birthdays, luncheons and we’ve even had family weddings. It’s very good for entertaining.

“It’s very picturesque here and you’re only an hour and 10 minutes from Adelaide.”

Brenton and Susan commissioned a bare-bones renovation in about 2008 when they also installed a swimming pool.

“We’ve taken it back to bare walls and gone right through wiring, plumbing and done a full renovation of roofing, structures, everything,” says Brenton.

“It would have been cheaper knock it all over and start again, but we didn’t.

“It’s all in fantastic condition: tip-top.

“The walls are 18 inches thick in a lot of places and they’re the original walls from the early days. The cellar would have been hand dug. Today it really is a combination of old and new.”

There are five bedrooms, three living rooms, four bathrooms and a cellar.

The expansive front verandah provides shade and outdoor lounging space overlooking the green gardens and lawns.

There is a fruit orchard, olive grove, vegetable gardens and chicken run.

With the water licence, the lake supplies the water which keeps their garden green year-round.

There are two workers’ cottages on site, currently tenanted, so a new owner could employ someone to run the farm for them.

“The cattle are quite fat, so it’s good country and it’s very pretty,” says Brenton.

“The cattle are easy to run and you could really crank it up and make it quite profitable if you wanted to, but for us it hasn’t been about working 12 hours a day, it’s been about living the way we’ve wanted to.”

The lake frontage comes with its own perks, from fishing and catching yabbies to water sports, as well as lounging on the jetty.

“I often go out there and have a beer at the end of the jetty – you can watch the storms come in across the lake.

“The kids all did water sports here, skiing, jet skiing, canoeing and swimming.

“It’s been a great family home and I hope the next family enjoys it as much as we have.”

The sale is being handled by Dee-Anne Hunt of Williams Real Estate.