x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Australian property with the X factor

The Life: An Australian mansion is for sale in an exclusive neighbourhood where Geoffrey Rush and Hugh Jackman have homes

Cunana, in the 'Hamptons of the Southern Hemisphere'. Courtesy: Knight Frank
Cunana, in the 'Hamptons of the Southern Hemisphere'. Courtesy: Knight Frank

A modern mansion is for sale in an exclusive Australian enclave where Hugh Jackman, who playes Wolverine in the X-Men films, and members of the Murdoch clan own homes.

Cunana is a 14,000 square foot estate in Merricks, a small community on Mornington Peninsula, about an hour's drive from Melbourne. The wealthy area is sometimes called the "Hamptons of the Southern Hemisphere", a nod to the exclusive retreat outside New York City.

Properties rarely come up for sale in the coastal development; the last one hit the market five years ago, according to Knight Frank, an estate agent.

Priced at A$12 million (Dh44.9m), the home designed by Alfred de Bruyne sits on five acres of "stunning matured landscaped gardens, orchards and a vegetable garden thus allowing the owners to eat from the land", according to the listing.

The grounds also include a croquet lawn and a boules court.

The house features a living area framed by floor-to-ceiling glass on three sides, offering panoramic views of the peninsula and coast line. The glass is offset by natural wood elements and traditional "rammed earth" bricks made on site. At first glance the house looks like a simple one-story structure, blending into the landscape.

The entrance leads to an atrium courtyard leading to two living areas and access to a lower floor.

There is room to sleep 14 people and there are five separate kitchens spread around the house, including a private cooking area and a butler's kitchen for staff, as well as facilities in two self-contained apartments accessible by a lift.

The house took four years to build and includes the level of amenities celebrity buyers have come to expect these days. For fitness and fun there is an indoor swimming pool, a home cinema, gymnasium and a games room complete with arcade machines.

But the main attraction is the location and its protected status on the peninsula.

"Coupled with stringent planning restrictions, it means there is no chance of future sprawl - making it highly desirable for those who seek exclusivity and privacy," the estate agent's listing assures prospective buyers.


The Quote: “Australia is about as far away as you can get. I like that.” André Benjamin, aka André 3000 – US rap artist