First Peoples on Country
The property features important cultural heritage sites including burial sites, scar trees that provided bark for canoes and shields, oven mounds where clay balls were used as heat beads, stone tool artefacts, and shell middens.
One shell midden at Neds is 400 metres long and 50 metres wide, full of fragments from mussels and snails harvested from the Murray River. Dr Jillian Garvey, a La Trobe University archaeologist, said: “People have come here over tens of thousands of years, or hundreds of years at least, and collected shells from the sandy silt that's down in the river and come back up onto the shore to eat it in different places”.
The first 100 years of European settlement: 1840s to 1940s
From the Kidman era to the Conservation era
Drought ravaged south-eastern Australia in the 1940s and by 1948, the property was sold to the Kidman Pastoral Company, becoming part of Sir Sidney Kidman’s agricultural empire which encompassed three per cent of Australia.
The Kidman Pastoral Company managed Neds for sheep grazing, with a flock of up to 25,000. Kidman started grazing cattle and in 1955, introduced irrigation to 121 hectares to grow pasture. Kidman also expanded the infrastructure by building the manager’s house and the shearers’ quarters.
During the Kidman era some leases that sat mainly to the west of the current station and extended to the South Australian border were not renewed by the government and were instead added to the Murray Sunset National Park in 1991. Kidman Pastoral Group sold Neds Corner shortly afterwards to a local operator before Trust for Nature purchased the property in 2002.