Rakaia Island, near Southbridge was a sheep/beef farm carrying 16,000 SU when it was purchased by the Turner family in June 1994. Back then the island was only accessible by an old wooden bridge which, along with much of the infrastructure, has been developed, upgraded or replaced.
The property is approximately 14km long with a total area of approximately 2600ha of which 1590 is fenced and drilled.
• In 1994 a 48-bail rotary shed, the original Dairy 1 was built, and subsequently extended to 62-bails in 2004.
• In 1997 a 54-bail rotary shed, Dairy 1, was built at the bottom of the island.
• In 2000 a third 54-bail rotary shed, Dairy 4, was built at the top of the island.
• In 2013, the fourth, a 70-bail shed, Dairy 2, was built.
• The first shed built was decommissioned in 2018 and replaced with a 70-bail shed in the middle of the island.
• The old shed is now the Calf Team’s HQ and is used for cleaning machinery and storing milk.
• New cattle yards were constructed in 2003.
• Extra calf-rearing facilities were constructed in 2013.
In 2019 the units were all renamed to reflect their individual environments:
Dairy 1 – Willow
Dairy 2 – Harakeke
Dairy 3 – Kowhai
Dairy 4 – Manuka
Drystock – Koru
Between 2012 and 2016 we purchased some parcels of land adjacent to the island, totalling around 200ha to serve as runoff blocks.
The irrigation has been upgraded and paddocks re-fenced. River protection work is ongoing with 350ha of scrub land developed since 1995.
Approximately 1800 native trees are planted every year on the property.
The property has two main homesteads and 17 houses/shared houses. There is a large office and recreation room for staff and a Workshop for maintenance.