Tassie’s famous homes and the people who own them

Some houses in Tassie's streets have garnered attention for reasons ranging from their grandeur to their quirkiness to their eerie sense of mystery or even horror.

Some of the homes are just as recognisable as their owners, while others are garnering attention in the media and among buyers simply for their rumoured links to celebrities.

Here are some of Tassie's most famous houses, including the rich, the bold and the downright disturbing.

 

62 Napoleon Street, Battery Point. Knight Frank.
62 Napoleon Street, Battery Point. Knight Frank.

 

BATTERY POINT'S GRAND DESIGN

This property rose to fame in one of Tasmania's most expensive streets though architectural TV sensation Grand Designs Australia.

The property at 62 Napoleon St, Battery Point appears modest from the roadside as a historic cottage but extends down the hill behind the road as a modern, luxurious home with a garden leading to the water's edge and overlooking the River Derwent.

 

Lifestyle television series Grand Designs Australia featured the renovation from start to finish of the heritage Battery Point home by owners Trish Knight and Greg Kay, inside their renovated home
Lifestyle television series Grand Designs Australia featured the renovation from start to finish of the heritage Battery Point home by owners Trish Knight and Greg Kay, inside their renovated home

 

The home includes an indoor pool, an outdoor bath, large windows with an impressive vista, multiple levels and a larder.

Couple Greg Kay and Trish Knight renovated the quaint cottage into a lavish paradise to include four bedrooms, three bathrooms and two car spaces.

 

62 Napoleon Street, Battery Point. Knight Frank.
62 Napoleon Street, Battery Point. Knight Frank.

 

The pair's journey fusing heritage cottage charm with contemporary living made them somewhat famous across the country and in Tasmania.

Their property was last sold for $4.15m in 2018.

 

TINDERBOX CLIFF MANSION

The pair behind seafood giant Huon Aquaculture Frances and Peter Bender have a home perched ideally above the sea.

If you're on a passing boat below the cliffs of Tinderbox, you can spy through the trees the vast home.

Frances and Peter Bender of Huon Aquaculture for TasWeekend story. Picture SUPPLIED
Frances and Peter Bender of Huon Aquaculture for TasWeekend story. Picture SUPPLIED

What you can't see from the outside is the cellar that spirals down an extravagant staircase and carves deep into the cliff below, with a well disguised door at the bottom of the cliff.

The large home boasts a spa and sauna, a pool, a gym and a billiards room

The prolific business couple bought the home in 2015 for $3m.

Unique Tinderbox property with a wine cellar hewed into the cliff face.
Unique Tinderbox property with a wine cellar hewed into the cliff face.

 

MAD SCIENTIST'S ABODE

The name Rory Jack Thompson is guaranteed to send chills down the spines of most Tasmanians.

Similarly, most Hobart locals will know exactly where the man had lived during the period of his wife's grizzly murder.

 

99 Hill Street, West Hobart. The house that Rory Jack Thompson murdered his wife in and flushed her down the toilet. Picture: LUKE BOWDEN
99 Hill Street, West Hobart. The house that Rory Jack Thompson murdered his wife in and flushed her down the toilet. Picture: LUKE BOWDEN

 

Mr Thompson had been working for CSIRO when he strangled his wife Maureen in 1983, but he didn't stop there.

His decision to hack apart her body parts and flush them down the loo resulted in an investigation after her finger was discovered in the sewers.

Mr Thompson's home at Hill St, West Hobart became a criminal investigation site when Maureen's remains were discovered in the pipes.

 

99 Hill Street, West Hobart. Picture: LUKE BOWDEN
99 Hill Street, West Hobart. Picture: LUKE BOWDEN

 

The house has since belonged to former Premier David Bartlett and has garnered popularity for its sinister past.

The home was built in 1910 and boasts a prime location near the CBD and West Hobart shops.

It sold in 2020 for far more than its asking price of $575,000.

 

HOLLYWOOD ACTOR & AUSSIE ICON

This seemingly ordinary Glebe home has become the centre of a special campaign to sell the property, which highlights its promiscuous history.

The Aberdeen Stabode was previously home to two nurses who were apparently well acquainted with none other than the prolific Tasmanian actor who made it big in the Hollywood golden era Errol Flynn.

19 Aberdeen St, Glebe.
19 Aberdeen St, Glebe.

Flynn had also lived in Glebe and was rumoured to have dropped into the home for intimate catch ups.

To add another celebrity factor to the house, actor Michael Caton who stole the hearts of the nation as Darryl Kerrigan from The Castle has jumped on board to help market the house.

The home overlooks Hobart from an advantageous hillside.

It was built in 1897 and was priced at offers over $685,000.

 

19 Aberdeen St, Glebe. Devine.
19 Aberdeen St, Glebe. Devine.

 

Though the house may not be Tasmania's most extravagant building, its strong ties to celebrity gossip and its heavy duty marketing campaign push it over the line as a noteworthy Tassie abode.

Read more about the home's history here.

 

NO PLACE LIKE MONA

Some might have forgotten among the constant controversies and boundary-pushing artworks Mona museum was not just a home to worldwide art, but a home to David Walsh and Kirsha Kaechele.

Kirsha at her 24 carrot garden. Picture: RICHARD JUPE
Kirsha at her 24 carrot garden. Picture: RICHARD JUPE

 

The $75m building has housed the couple for some ten years, but it has also earned clout for its architecture, with the huge museum building sprawling around the cliffs at Berriedale and burrowing deep underground.

In the COVID-19 lockdown Kirsha decided to rip out some of Mona's iconic lawns, which often entertain live performances and markets, to sow veggies.

Kirsha Kaechele and her partner David Walsh at MONA
Kirsha Kaechele and her partner David Walsh at MONA

The location is constantly evolving with new exhibitions, installations and initiatives, recently hosting a Mona Foma music event.

 

 

DISAPPEARING HOUSE

As drivers would historically commute to Launceston from Hobart, this heritage home on the horizon seemed to vanish from view.

Thus, the building at 12351 Midland Hwy, Conara became famous for being the "disappearing house".

 

Disappearing House, Conara.
Disappearing House, Conara.

 

The picturesque three-storey, nine bedroom home was built in 1838 among idyllic green lawns and tidy hedges and trees.

The spot is owned by property agent Dominic Romeo, who has restored and sold several properties.

 

Whale Tail House as seen on Australia's Grand Designs. Photo: Stu Gibson and Tourism Tasmania.
Whale Tail House as seen on Australia's Grand Designs. Photo: Stu Gibson and Tourism Tasmania.

 

KING ISLAND WHALE TAIL

Another Grand Designs Australia episode has seen the owners of this unique home recognised in public by viewers of the show after they shared their story of a sea change from Arnhem Land to King Island, Tasmania.

 

Grand Designs Australia Peter Maddison in Season Four at King Island with artists Andrew and Dianne Blake. Picture: Supplied
Grand Designs Australia Peter Maddison in Season Four at King Island with artists Andrew and Dianne Blake. Picture: Supplied

 

Artists Andrew and Dianne Blake shared the creation of their dynamic, bright home alongside TV host Peter Maddison, later earning a spot on the host's top list of Grandest Designs.

The large home was built on a sand dune on a scenic plot of land at King Island with the peculiar shape of the design lending itself to the name Whale Tail.

The home is instantly recognisable for its impressive, light-filled architecture.

 

LYNDHURST

Anyone who frequents the main road through North Hobart will recall this regal, mammoth establishment.

On the corner of Lyndhurst Ave and Elizabeth St in a shadowy corner sits Lyndhurst, which has been recognised in the Mercury's previous lists for being one of the most significant homesteads in Tasmania.

Lyndhurst in North Hobart. Picture: SUPPLIED
Lyndhurst in North Hobart. Picture: SUPPLIED

 

The prolific home covers 1007 square metres of floor space on more than half a hectare of land, with nine bedrooms, five bathrooms and luxurious amenities like a heated pool and entertainment room.

 

Historical National Estate North Hobart mansion Lyndhurst.
Historical National Estate North Hobart mansion Lyndhurst.

 

The site was last sold by Derek and Hellen Chambers in 2014 for a hefty price tag, earning the couple substantial media attention for their sale at the time.

The history of Lyndhurst spans back as far as 1880 when the Mercury founder John Davies' son Charles Davies built the property.

A large family now lives at the site.

Read more about Lyndhurst here.

 

BEAUMARIS HOUSE

This gothic mansion is almost as famous as the original Beaumaris zoo.

The whopping three-storey home was sold for $3.57m in 2020 after the previous owner enjoyed 20 years with the property.

Beaumaris House. EIS Property.
Beaumaris House. EIS Property.

Ten bedrooms, eight bathrooms and panoramic views of the city.

 

Beaumaris House. EIS Property.
Beaumaris House. EIS Property.

 

The exotic history of the site at Newcastle St began with Henry Llewelyn Roberts and Mary Grant Roberts in 1879.

The pair kept a number of native and exotic animals at the Beaumaris Zoo, most famously the last known thylacine.

 

GLENFRUIN

This mansion from the 1880s is a gem of the north, and it cost a pretty penny to purchase when it was up for sale in 2018.

 

Glenfruin was snapped up for $3.25m taking up a 1,500 square metre plot of land and showing off ornate chandeliers, broad windows and grand furniture and interiors.

1 Brisbane Street, Launceston, Tas 7250. Knight Frank
1 Brisbane Street, Launceston, Tas 7250. Knight Frank

The brick and sandstone beauty resides at Brisbane St, Launceston.

More on Glenfruin here.

 

WAIMEA HOUSE

This home sold for an extravagant $8.5m to Tasmanian investor Greg Woolley in 2011.

The Sandy Bay residence was Hobart's most expensive property at the time of the mega sale.

Sandy Bay mansion Waimea House at 44 Waimea Ave, Sandy Bay.
Sandy Bay mansion Waimea House at 44 Waimea Ave, Sandy Bay.

 

The site covers an expanse of 9726 square metres and features a tennis court, several vacant allotments bordering Quamby Ave, and two lavish buildings on Waimea Ave.

The main building of the two includes a large pool and five bedrooms, while the second includes three bedrooms and a study.

 

Sandy Bay mansion breaks record price for a Tasmanian home, less than 12 (twelve) months after it broke the previous record, Waimea House at 44 Waimea Avenue, Sandy Bay, bought by a Sydney businessman for $8 million, a timber staircase inside the home
Sandy Bay mansion breaks record price for a Tasmanian home, less than 12 (twelve) months after it broke the previous record, Waimea House at 44 Waimea Avenue, Sandy Bay, bought by a Sydney businessman for $8 million, a timber staircase inside the home

 

Both buildings enjoy scenic views of the land and water.

The surrounding vibrant, rolling green gardens include a water fountain and lush trees, while the interior features ornate marble fireplaces, chandeliers, painted portraits of historical figures and elaborately decorated ceilings and walls.

 

annie.mccann@news.com.au

 

 

Originally published as Tassie's famous homes and the people who own them

Tinderbox Wine Cave
Tinderbox Wine Cave
Former owners of Lyndhurst property in North Hobart, Derek and Hellen Chambers.
Former owners of Lyndhurst property in North Hobart, Derek and Hellen Chambers.
Sandy Bay mansion breaks record price for a Tasmanian home, less than 12 (twelve) months after it broke the previous record, Waimea House at 44 Waimea Avenue, Sandy Bay, bought by a Sydney businessman for $8 million, the swimming pool
Sandy Bay mansion breaks record price for a Tasmanian home, less than 12 (twelve) months after it broke the previous record, Waimea House at 44 Waimea Avenue, Sandy Bay, bought by a Sydney businessman for $8 million, the swimming pool


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