Sydney house prices can plummet for the next five years, but it won’t change the fact you’ll still spend three weeks a year stuck in traffic.
And won’t arrive for your mini-break out of town somewhere until 11pm on Friday night. At a balloted campsite, jammed up against complete strangers.
And have to leave by lunch on Sunday to get the kids home and showered for school. Sigh.
Imagine if your commute consisted of walking from your bedroom, via the coffee machine, to the home office, and lunch break meant knocking some small ball around your own six-hole golf course? Every day.
We’re here to help, with the ultimate current round-up of how you can be the lord or lady of your own manor, because there’s nothing quite like owning 50 or hectares of parklands, and seeing your kids ride their scooters around inside your obscenely large historic homestead.
Here are 20 Downton Abbeys on the market in Australia right now, to suit every budget. Highlights include:
- The home of five Melbourne Cup winners, including Archer.
- Vines, vines and more vines. And amazing cellars.
- Places where Lady Gaga has stayed.
- And this bathroom:
But you have to be prepared, in most cases, to live among Country People (who aren’t that bad, really), or no people at all.
We’ve ordered them by budget, but our sweet spots would have to be:
- Tasmania, all budgets.
- NSW, $2-$5 million.
- Victoria, under $2 million.
Let’s start at the top end. As the kids say, you only live once. Go on.
$5 million +
TASMANIA: Cressy, $15 million
Head to Tassie with deep pockets and you’ll get 490ha of the best cow-fattening land in the country. And this:
We’re in proper Downton Abbey territory here. How’s the very expensive serenity?
Built in 1904, this south coast mansion has 20 rooms and was the home of five Melbourne Cup winners, including the original, Archer.
You’ll also get 6.5ha, mostly manicured to perfection.
A manageable 46.5ha and a teppanyaki kitchen. They don’t have teppanyaki kitchens at Downton Abbey.
Equestrian facilities and 5.6ha of bubbly grapes.
WA: Nanarup, $25 million
When budget isn’t a option, “Maitraya” is a stonking 222ha of breathtaking WA oceanfront waiting for you. It was good enough for Lady Gaga:
Designed in comparatively modern times by rich people, it’s obviously ghastly inside. But who cares when you’ve got a lake-side gazebo, a tennis court, cricket pitch, putting greens, walking trails, whales and views like this:
SA: Woodside, $5-$6 million
More than 800 square metres of modern estate chic in the Adelaide Hills with 180-degree views over your 29ha.
Of course there are vines.
QUEENSLAND: Maleny, $7 million
Just 30 minutes to the beach and 60 minutes to the airport – your 42ha dream equestrian property.
You could fit six inner city Sydney blocks in the 1800 square metre home alone. Maybe even one in the bathroom:
NSW: Pokolbin, $5 million
At 10ha, it’s not quite an estate, but it is 10ha in the Hunter Valley.
Of course there are vines.
River frontage, 21ha, wedding business and just 15 minutes from Coffs Harbour.
Not that you’d ever leave the pool.
VIC: Leopold, $4 million
You’ll get 20ha and “Burnham Lodge”, the “Pool House”, the “Bungalow”, and the “Stables”.
Buy it now and stop some idiot turning it into a pre-fab wasteland of eaveless, rendered boxes. Please.
Looking for some history? How about “the birthplace of Bendigo”?
You’ll get 15ha of historic, architectural significance, 16 bedrooms and a 48-seat dining room.
TASMANIA: Campania, $2.5 million
Georgian mansion? Check. Immaculate grounds? Check. Wine cellar? Obviously.
Here’s four sandstone levels on 22ha, built for Lieutenant Gunning in the 1800s. With tennis.
TASMANIA: Campbell Town, $2 million
Barely 3ha, but hard to beat for value when it comes to sprawl for your dollar:
The Grange is gorgeous, on three titles, and comes with a function centre and commercial kitchen right on one of the Apple Isle’s busiest tourism stopovers.
SA: Tanunda, $2.5-$3 million
More vines, this time wrapped around a stunning historic character home on 12ha in the Barossa.
Get a taste for shiraz, semillon and alicante bouschet, because you’ve got 11 wine cellars. 11.
SA: Stirling, $2 million
Less than 30 minutes to Adelaide’s CBD, here’s 8.9ha of 140-year history with a golf course for a neighbour.
Yes, your daughter’s love can be bought:
QUEENSLAND: Sarabah, $5 million
A little bit of French country style in the foothills of the Lamington National Park? Here’s the 20ha of vines and olives you were looking for:
You know it’s fancy because it has a long driveway and a chalet cellar door:
WA: Willyung, $2.85 million
When one home isn’t enough, buy four, on 8.9ha of riverfront gardens once owned by Albany’s first lawyer. They’re not stunning:
But the gardens are incomparable:
UNDER $2 MILLION
Grab your ride-on mower catalogue – this one tops out at 720ha. Of course the veiews are breathtaking.
And you’d better be into open plan and exposed beams.
NSW: Cooma, $1.6 million
Some proper turn of the century grandeur on 140ha, close to the snow and, well, Canberra.
Not that you need acreage when you can run a decent flock in your bedroom.
VIC: Dunkeld, $1.5 million
More than 113ha surrounded by The Grampians National Park? Yep, you’re on your own:
Just you and all this wine in your cellar:
TASMANIA: New Norfolk, $1.5 million
A perfect 14ha on the banks of the Derwent River. You’ll be only the sixth person to be lord of Tynwald since the early 1830s.
The original mill is nice. Refurbish it, then ditch the hideous solar panels and get a common person to turn the wheel 24/7 for energy.
SA: Jamestown, $1.7 million
You know your property’s impressive when it’s impressive from far away:
North Bundaleer – 24ha of colonial opulence, “the last of the grand pastoral homesteads in South Australia”. Inside, a bit of the old proper grandeur:
WA: Toodyay, $1.2 million
You’re an hour away from Perth, but here’s the consolation you need – your own pub:
A gorgeous six-bedder on more than 8ha of colonial heritage skirting the banks of the Avon River, with a coach house, dairy and gatehouse thrown in for income potential:
QUEENSLAND: Malanda, $1.5 million
Welcome to Foxwell Park, m’lord and m’lady:
If “two massive, historic buildings” doesn’t grab you, there’s also a six-hole golf course on this 23ha estate in the Atherton Tablelands:
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