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Property profile: Tocabil

This profile contains details of Rural Funds Group (ASX: RFF) owned Tocabil. RFM purchased Tocabil to develop an almond orchard which is now leased to one of the world’s largest almond producers. The property also contains areas of cultural and ecological significance.

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Property profile: Tocabil
Tocabil almond orchard in bloom, Riverina NSW, August 2022.


Tocabil was the first property RFF acquired following its listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Tocabil was previously used for cotton production and grazing and is now one of three almond properties in the RFF portfolio.

The property is located near the township of Hillston in the Riverina region of NSW. The Riverina is a productive and diverse agricultural region, known for horticultural enterprises, irrigated cropping and livestock production.

Lease and development

In March 2015, RFM announced a 22-year lease with Olam Orchards Australia Pty Ltd to develop and operate a 600 ha almond orchard. Olam Orchards Australia Pty Ltd is one of the world’s largest almond producers operating over 19,000 ha of orchards in Australia and the United States. Olam Orchards Australia Pty Ltd is a subsidiary of Olam Group, a leading food and agri-business that supplies food, ingredients, feed and fibre worldwide and is listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Newly planted trees, Tocabil almond orchard, Riverina NSW, August 2015.

The development of the almond orchard at Tocabil in 2015 and 2016 is an example of RFM’s strategy of converting land to higher and better use. The property has a total area of approximately 6,900 ha, with 603 ha developed to almonds. The additional areas are used for dryland cropping (such as wheat and canola), irrigated cropping and livestock grazing (including sheep and goats). The property has approximately 9km of Lachlan River frontage and is supported by 10,149 ML of water entitlements.

Historical and cultural significance

Tocabil, and the broader region, has indigenous cultural significance. Approximately 250km west of Tocabil on the edge of Lake Mungo in the Willandra Lakes region, are the sites of where Mungo Man and Woman were discovered by geologist, Professor Jim Bowler, between 1969 and 1974. It is estimated Mungo Man and Woman lived in the region 40,000 years ago. The discovery included evidence of a burial ritual and is therefore the one of the oldest reliably dated evidence of cultural sophistication found anywhere in the world.

Willandra Creek, which connects to the Willandra Lakes region, runs through the southern side of Tocabil. Evidence of Aboriginal activity along the Willandra Creek at Tocabil includes stone tools and numerous tree scars where bark has been taken for coolamons or canoes. In the creek are Aboriginal fish traps which are stone structures designed to capture fish during seasonal migrations.

In 2020, the fish traps were authenticated by the NSW Local Lands Services and the Aboriginal Community Advisory Group and protected under the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services Act. The fish traps have also been recorded with the Aboriginal Heritage Information System Registrar at the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. After consultation with the NSW Local Lands Service RFM arranged for the sites to be fenced off for protection.

A tree scar where bark has been taken for coolamons or canoes Tocabil, Riverina NSW, December 2019.
An Aboriginal fish trap in Willandra Creek, Tocabil, Riverina NSW, December 2019.

Habitat protection

In 2022, Rural Funds Management commenced a project on a portion of Tocabil to protect and enhance 95 ha area of the Sandhill Pine Woodland, which under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, is listed as an Endangered Ecological Community (EEC).

RFM worked with Western Local Land Services (WLLS) to regenerate this unique ecological community through reseeding, pests and weeds control and manage stock grazing pressure. As an endangered ecological community, the Sandhill Pine Woodland has significant conservation value.

A more detailed history of Tocabil, was outlined in the 2014 Biannual Newsletter (Edition 2) article by RFM Managing Director David Bryant.


LocationLocationHillston, Riverina NSW
SizeSize603 ha almond orchard (6,900 ha property size)
LesseeLesseeOlam Orchards Australia Pty Ltd
Aquisition valueAquisition value$5.2m (October 2014)
Adjusted property value Adjusted property value $61.7m (31 December 2023)

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