LESS than a year ago these sandy plains sloping away to the edge of Bass Strait west of Bridport were growing potatoes and fat lambs.
The farm next door had been converted to dairying - a small concern, milking about 250 cows.
But there were plans for expansion.
North-East Tasmania farming managing director Stephen Creese has grabbed the idea of expansion and run with it after buying the adjoining property to make his first venture into dairying possible.
The new paddocks now run 1600 friesian-jersey cross cows with plans to peak at a herd size of 1800 by next month.
Mr Creese is the face of Clovelly Tasmania, a farming syndicate that now owns and operates four farms in the North-East and one - the historic Symmons Plains property - in the Northern Midlands.
He was encouraged to make the $10 million investment so far in the new Clovelly Dairying operation by the contract he signed to supply milk to Launceston-based Tamar Valley Dairy about 12 months ago.
Tamar Valley Dairy in turn had just signed a contract with supermarket multinational Coles to make the company's generic-labelled yoghurt.
``They (Tamar Valley Dairy) got the Coles contract which meant that they had to have a specific dairy farm supplying the milk,'' Mr Creese said yesterday.
``They (Coles) require full traceability of the yoghurt back to the milk supply.''
To meet the demands of the new contract, the expanded Clovelly dairying operation will milk 365 days a year, twice a day.
It will calve three times a year so that farm managers Mark and Raine Miers can gradually build a home-grown herd from the 1600 cows that they have brought in from North-West Tasmania and Victoria to establish the new operation.
The morning milk starts at 5am and takes the five staff a shift of about six hours to complete.
``The afternoon milk is a bit less - about 4 1/2 hours - because the cows have less milk,'' Mr Creese said.
The first cows have been getting on with the job of milk production over the past eight months as their new home has been constructed around them.
The 54-cow, rotary dairy, installed by the previous owners, has been retained but the surrounding infrastructure has been expanded.
New roads, fences and calving sheds were constructed and pastures developed where fat lambs and potatoes were grown.
``We already had the water - we were using it for the lambs and potatoes,'' Mr Creese said.
It comes from two big dams that fill during winter and are topped up from winter water rights to the Little Forester River. Mr Creese is cautious about his company's first venture into dairying.
``It has become the flavour of the month in Tasmania but when you talk about dairying, it's all about the people - you have to have people who are passionate about milking cows,'' he said.
``We have not been going 12 months yet - we are keen to go through a winter to see how it's all going.''
He said that each of the Clovelly Tasmania operations had to succeed financially in its own right. The company has been linked to Harry Potter author JK Rowling during its decade-long expansion program. But Clovelly Tasmania directors have denied the association.
It has bought several properties including Bowood, near Bridport, for $7.7 million, in 2005, properties at Gladstone and Tomahawk and mostly recently at Symmons Plains.