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Gardens, mudrooms, grand gates, private lakes and fire places: Southern Highlands trophy home requisites

Gardens, mudrooms, grand gates, private lakes and fire places: Southern Highlands trophy home requisites
Gardens, mudrooms, grand gates, private lakes and fire places: Southern Highlands trophy home requisites

In the Southern Highlands, sales activity for low to medium priced properties has remained steady for the past five years, while the top price bracket has been sluggish. But a recent spate of multi-million dollar property sales indicates renewed interest in the area’s prestige market.

This week our property contrarians Jonathan Chancellor and Margie Blok discuss top-end properties in the region, rich with lush rolling hills of farmland, grand mansions, historic villages – all accessed by a 90 minutes drive from Sydney via the M5 Motorway. 

A flow-on effect of Sydney’s robust property market is expected to filter through to the Southern Highlands during autumn, given the prestige market of this rural lifestyle area traditionally rides on the city’s coat tails and roughly 75% of buyers are Sydneysiders.

  • The latest arrival is the Sydney based car dealer, John Newell. He's secured the 4.85 hectare Exeter estate, Chimneys for around $4.5 million. The Bundanoon Road property (pictured above) sold through Margaret McCauley Real Estate in conjunction with Ray White agent, Megan Smith. 

Chimneys is an architecturally designed 2009 built residence. Its library and formal living area each come with an open fireplace. There's internal access to an attached barn with a requisite mud room as well as a five-car garage. And basement cellar which was commissioned by businessman Brian Wood who built the two-storey residence as a weekender.

Originally part of neighbouring Invergowrie estate, the property has three other dwellings named The Gate House (the original gatehouse to Invergowrie), The Cottage (a worker’s cottage for Invergowrie) and The Tea House, once used as tea rooms for garden society open days at Invergowrie.

  • Luggie Bank, an 8.7 hectare property on Range Road at Mittagong, went very close recently to sell for just under $4 million through Bill Carpenter in conjunction with Drew Lindsay Real Estate, but remains listed for sale.

It has been for sale for more than four years – initially listed with ambitious $7 million price hopes. With beautiful elevated rural views, Luggie Bank has an architect-designed contemporary residence, along with an 1887 four-bedroom guest cottage, a tennis court, heated swimming pool and spa.

  • But Patchway, Ken and Lyn Wilson’s trophy residence at Burradoo, has been sold. Apparently about $4.2 million was paid by the former Hambros Australia chairman Ed Blackadder, through agent Drew Lindsay Real Estate.

Set behind tall gates on an 8,327 square metre block in Ranelgah Road, the four-bedroom house stands in established gardens with sweeping lawns, tall hedges and towering trees. Patchway was sold by the Wilson family, who owned a steel fabrication business that provided steel for the Sydney Olympic Stadium. They moved to Patchway after they sold Clifton, their rural property in the Lachlan Valley at Young in central NSW, paying $3.03 million in 2002 to the then vendors Dan and Toni Regan.

HE SAID: Gardens, mudrooms, grand gates, private lakes and fire places: Southern Highlands trophy home requisites

My favourite trophy autumn listing is Woodhurst Green, the Glenquarry retreat of retired Mallesons lawyer Tim Blue, who was managing partner for corporate M&A and tax. In a blue ribbon location on Sproules Lane, the 16.2 hectare property (featured below) is for sale at $4.95 million through Drew Lindsay Real Estate.

Woodhurst Green features all the hallmarks of a prestige Southern Highland estate including an impressive electronically operated gated entrance, a private lake (with water coloured by vegetable dye to match the surrounding grass), extensive landscaped gardens, a horse stables and a grand five-bedroom limestone house with imposing open fireplaces, a wine cellar, a billiard room and a mud room. And of course a huge country kitchen with an enormous Aga stove. 

Gardens, mudrooms, grand gates, private lakes and fire places: Southern Highlands trophy home requisites

Gardens, mudrooms, grand gates, private lakes and fire places: Southern Highlands trophy home requisitesSHE SAID:

Certain to attract attention from cashed up city slickers - and possibly the nascent trend of Asian buyer interest - is Chain of Ponds at Mittagong (pictured below). Its is the matrimonial farm of businessman Peter Holmes à Court and his former wife, Divonne, who now lives in Saanen, Switzerland where the children are schooled.

With the wonderful autumn rains, Chain of Ponds presents picture perfect. The property is currently run as a beef breeding and fattening property on a large scale for the Southern Highlands but could easily be transformed into a high class horse stud. Get some advice from the near new neighbours, the Waterhouse clan on that. 

It is set for April 26 auction with $6.3 million plus hopes through McGrath Bowral agent Anne Stone and Howard McMillan from McMillan Real Estate Bowral. It's close to the freeway of course.

Occupying 145 hectares on Old South Road, the property has a six-bedroom residence renovated by Luigi Rosselli Architects. It is set in extensive gardens designed by landscape luminary William Dangar. At the western edge of the house paddock, he planted acacias, hakeas and eucalypts all species endemic to the local area to form a screen for privacy and wind relief. In the remaining acres of the external garden, Dangar planted stands of cold climate exotics including ornamental cherries, poplars, maples and ornamental pears to compliment the deciduous trees in the existing orchard. 

With potential for subdivision into three separate lots, Chain of Ponds is six kilometres from Mittagong and 11 kilometres from Bowral. The property has a guest cottage, another essential given you don't want the steady stream of visitors staying under the same roof. Guests will love the chook sculpture in the gardens, which I hope come with the sale.

Gardens, mudrooms, grand gates, private lakes and fire places: Southern Highlands trophy home requisites

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New South Wales Rural He Said/she Said

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