Some of east coast Australia’s top rural homesteads, lifestyle properties and acreages have hit the market heading into summer as vendors look to cash in on strong demand from city slickers seeking commutable rural retreats, amid the growing work-from-home phenomenon.
In the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne, one of Gisborne’s most historic properties has been listed for sale with a price guide above $6 million. Cathlaw Estate, a 12.95-hectare property at 141 Ferrier Road in New Gisborne, includes an original 1920-built heritage-listed homestead with wide verandahs and a surrounding garden.
The homestead was constructed in 1920 by Blanche Ross-Watt (OBE), one of the pioneering feminist figures in the Gisborne region.
Among her achievements, Ms Ross-Watt was one of the first women in Victoria to hold public office after she was elected Gisborne Shire president in 1931 and again in 1939. She was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) and died in 1956.
The current owner of Cathlaw is Kathleen Tomkinson, who was married to former Bendigo mayor Paul Tomkinson. Mr Tomkinson passed away in January.
The couple refurbished and restored the house and gardens, considered among the finest in the region, during their long period of ownership.
Cathlaw Estate is being marketed by Frank Nagle and Andrew Egan of Biggin & Scott Land. It includes the potential for residential subdivision.
In Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands, Natasha and Hamilton Barber, owners of the Skeanie shoe company, have put Bowral Park Farm on the market with a price guide of $11 million.
Situated at 180 Sproules Lane – about a 90-minute drive from Sydney – the 40-hectare property features a four-bedroom Hamptons-inspired homestead set among park-like gardens and surrounded by meadows.
Bowral Park Farm includes seven fenced paddocks for cattle and horses, several dams and ponds, an orchard, vegetable garden, chicken pen and potting shed.
Its being sold with council approval to build a second three-bedroom residence.
Bowral-based Skeanie makes handmade leather shoes for toddlers, babies and children. Founded 16-years ago by former financial planner mortgage broker Natasha Barber, Skeanie shoes are now sold across 200 stories in Australia and overseas as well as online.
Bowral Park Farm is being marketed by Reece Woods of First National Real Estate, Bowral.
Among those that have already made the move from the city to the country is former Hawthorne Football Club director Bruce Growcott.
Records show Mr Growcott, a former Ernst & Young senior partner who heads up consultancy Kriscar, paid $2.16 million for Warambie, a 43-hectare grazing property with a four-bedroom homestead on the Yea River in Murrindindi Shire, about 61 kilometres north-east of Melbourne.
Colliers’ agents Duncan McCulloch and James Beer, who negotiated the sale, said it sold at a premium price for the area.
Mr Beer said Colliers was witnessing significant demand for lifestyle properties in regional hot spots following 18 months marked by COVID-19 restrictions and more time spent at home.
“Warambie is in close proximity to Yarra Valley wineries and an array of charming rural townships including Yea, Healesville, Yarra Glen and Alexandra,” he said.
Near Kiama on the NSW South Coast, celebrity chef and cooking show personality Lyndey Milan has put her six-bedroom Jamberoo home up for sale with a price guide of $3.5 million.
Set on more than three hectares, the property at 168 Nuninuna Drive was purchased by her late partner, pioneering investment banker John Caldon, who co-founded Macquarie Bank.
Mr Caldon passed away in February from complications due to lung cancer. Records show he paid $566,000 for the property in 1996.
Ms Milan, who has written nine cookbooks and hosted eight television series over a 30-year career, met Mr Caldon in 2007.
A feature of the home is its kitchen, which the couple turned into the “heart of the house” when it was revamped about a decade ago.
The Jamberoo home will go to auction on November 7 through Ray White Kiama agent Angie De Battista.
Interest is expected from Sydney buyers looking to relocate and work from home.
“Prices have increased dramatically and demand is strong. The township offers coastal living only 90 minutes from Sydney and the train timetable is regular,” Ms De Battista said.
Features of the property include a cathedral ceiling which that through onto the outside deck, a wood-fired oven and a croquet lawn.