Tocal property layout
A topographic map can tell you a lot about a property. On this map of Tocal the red lines are roads and access tracks through and around the property. The purple dot marked as Tocal is the location of the Tocal Homestead - the property was run from this site from 1822 to 1986.
Importantly, topographic maps indicate the slope of an area by contour lines. On this map the contour lines are grey. Contours run along lines of similar elevation and are spaced evenly up and down the slope. Each contour line on this map indicates a rise or fall of one metre. So the steeper the slope, the closer the contour lines are to each other. Think of contour lines as steps. If you step from one line to the one beside it you are stepping up (or down) to the next step. The step would be one metre above or below you but in the case of contour lines it may also be 5, 12 or 21 metres across!
The black hatched line is the north coast railway. Established in 1911, the railway split the property and still causes disruption to stock movement.
The rivers, creeks and lines of drainage are marked by thin blue lines.
Topographic maps are available for purchase from the NSW Department of Lands (www.lands.nsw.gov.au).
Aerial photo of Tocal
This aerial photo was compiled from several separate photos taken in 2001 and 2002. You can see the variation in colour between the different photos. Tocal is the area enclosed by the yellow line and the information below refers only to that area. Aerial photos are useful for farm planning and may be used to estimate the area of a paddock to be sown, the length of a new fence or to gain an overview of the property and the interrelationships between different areas. Successive photos taken over a period of time give a good indication of improvements or changes in vegetation and infrastructure.
Detail of aerial photo showing College and Hometstead
If you look closely at this photo you can see some development (fences, buildings and sheds) and improved pasture towards the right of the property. The College and the Homestead are located in this area (see detail at left).
The river and creeks that snake their way through parts of the property are seen as lines of dark green. The green is the vegetation lining these waterways. The thickest of these lines, running roughly north-south on the right hand side of the image, is the Paterson River. The Paterson forms most of the eastern boundary of Tocal
The larger areas of dark green to the left of the image are forested areas of mostly native vegetation though there is a stand of poplars planted in the 1970s (look for the dark green area with straight edges!).
You can see that there has been significant clearing of some areas while the more rugged country to the left of the photo has been left under trees.
Detail of aerial photo showing Numeralla chicken sheds
The Colleges dairy farm is at the lower right of the property where you can see the patchwork effect of pasture improvements. The chicken sheds can be seen in the top centre of the property (see detail at right). The beef and horse herds are run over the majority of the property.