There has been limited international research examining the recent trend to higher turnover in rural property ownership in developed nations. In this paper we discuss findings from innovative Australian research that analysed property sales records and spatially-referenced rural landholder survey data. Large scale and increasing rates of turnover were identified with 50% of properties in our case study predicted to change ownership in the next decade, double the previous rate. New property owners are significantly different from longer-term landholders in that they own smaller properties; are less likely to be farmers by occupation; self-report lower levels of knowledge of land management; are more likely to value conservation over agricultural production; and are less likely to adopt recommended sustainability practices. We explore the implications of these trends for natural resource management, including the difficulties of engaging an increasing number of non-farmer and absentee landholders.