The Vella family from left: Leah, Kayla, Beau, Kurt, and Ray, of Bald Hills, Station, near Marlborough. Photograph: Edwina Robertson Photography

Beef 2018 Take a tour of Bald Hills

Beef 2018: Visitors will tour Bald Hills Station, Marlborough on day two of the Westpac Property Tours.

On day two of the Beef Australia 2018 Westpac Property Tours program visitors will travel north to Marlborough, and spend a full day with the Vella family of Bald Hills Station.

The tour will be on Tuesday, May 8, and will include morning tea and lunch.   

Bald Hills has a 20 kilometres of coastal frontage and is bordered by Styx River and Herbert Creek as its boundary. 

Owned by the Vella Family Partnership including Ray’s parents, it is home to Ray, wife Leah and their three children Kayla, Beau and Kurt.

Bald Hills is described by Ray as ‘a very unique’ property.

“It is unlike your average central Queensland property,” Ray said.

“You will not find softwood scrub and brigalow country with a high carrying capacity along with guaranteed rainfall anywhere else.”

The Vellas will show visitors some of the beef genetics and pasture management practices Ray learnt during his Australian Nuffield Scholarship sponsored by Meat and Livestock Australia in 2012.

At part of his Nuffield Scholarship he visited Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe, the USA and Brazil.

“The key areas of our business will be our rotational grazing of pastures incorporating our feedlot system which enables our property to remain drought free all year round,” Ray said.

“Another area we will be showcasing is our artificial insemination program.

“It is the most economic and effective method to ensure we are getting optimal genetic traits in our commercial and stud herds.”

A mob of Brahman cross cattle running at Bald Hills.

Ray is a third-generation cane and cattle farmer, who left school at 15 to work on one of his family’s properties.

In 2000, the Vella family purchased Bald Hills which at the time was a bare paddock that needed a lot of work to be done.

“Bald Hills was purchased as a bare paddock with two sets of yards, eight paddocks, no dwellings and we arrived with 1000 head of cattle,” he said.

Now, Bald Hills is 7200 hectares with 46 paddocks and additional watering points, two new cattle yards and four major laneway points with approximately 3000 head of EU and MSA accredited Brahman cross composite.

The family turns their progeny off onto the EU market through Teys Australia, Lakes Creeks. 

In the future, Ray and Leah hope to increase Bald Hills’ carrying capacity to 4000 head while maintaining and improving their soil through innovative techniques.

The Bald Hills tour is a full day at a cost of $140/pp. 

For more information on booking tickets for Bald Hills Station during the Beef Australia 2018 Westpac Property Tours Program, please visit or contact

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