"FERN HILL" 47 RIVERFRONT ACRES
From the spectacular rural landscape and peaceful river frontage to the character-filled cottage and convenient studio accommodation, there are plenty of reasons to fall in love with the historic Dalwood property known as “Fern Hill”. Steeped in the history of one of Australia’s first wine families and located on the doorstep of the Hunter’s world-renowned vineyards and cellar doors, this productive rural property and cherished family home is on the market for the first time in 43 years. Whether you want to put the 19.32 hectares (47.74 acres) of fertile river flats and prime undulating countryside to work as an agricultural operation or just enjoy the natural beauty of the setting, the property offers a lovely bucolic lifestyle in a peaceful, private location. Originally part of a 2000 acre crown land grant made in 1823, the land was later purchased by English settler George Wyndham, who went on to become known as “the Father of Australian Shiraz”. Australia’s oldest surviving vineyard and the site of the country’s first commercial Shiraz plantings were established on a fertile section of Wyndham’s property, around 1600m south of “Fern Hill”, with the Dalwood Estate cellar door still one of the region’s premier wine destinations today. Over the years the original land grant changed hands several times and was divided into smaller acreages, with this 19.32ha property given the local historically significant name of “Fern Hill” by its current owners after they purchased it in 1976. Large, open paddocks of various sizes dot the landscape, providing plenty of potential for the property to be used as a livestock or cattle grazing operation, or for horse owners to make the most of the undulating landscape, established riding trails and plentiful shade trees. The property features a range of existing agricultural infrastructure, including timber holding yards and loading race, a three-bay barn suitable for storing farm machinery, as well as an old dairy in fantastic condition, which has four separate rooms and original milking bales. A chicken coop and variety of secure dog kennels with shelters complete the rural infrastructure, while a vegetable garden and large orchard provide the basis for a self-sustainable lifestyle. The land slopes gently downwards towards more than 200m of tranquil Hunter River frontage, providing a picturesque spot for fishing, kayaking or other water-based pursuits, as well as a source of irrigation for the property, which has a 63 megalitre water licence. Several dams, a natural watercourse and a lagoon are also located on the property, while numerous large concrete and poly rainwater tanks ensure agricultural and household water requirements are easily met. Well-maintained trails make the property easy to transverse by foot, vehicle or on horseback, while large stands of established trees around the house and further back create a flourishing natural ecosystem, home to a wide variety of birds and wildlife. The house itself was built in 1922 and has been beautifully maintained by its owners, offering a rustic country retreat surrounded by nature. Beautiful period features, natural textures and materials and richly layered, rustic styling create a charming traditional cottage with plenty of appeal. The weatherboard clad and Colorbond roof home is perfectly framed at the front by a wide wraparound verandah, which provides a shady spot to sit and listen to the tranquil birdsong or enjoy the beauty of the changing landscape throughout the seasons. Inside, the home has a traditional layout, with three bedrooms at the front including a large master with four-door built-in wardrobe. High skirting boards, 10 foot ceilings, vintage-style pendant lights and ceiling roses offer a hint of period charm, while an ornate timber arch and fretwork in the hallway pays homage to the home’s long history. The family room offers a warm and inviting retreat, with a gorgeous set of French doors opening out to the side verandah to catch the summer breezes, while an exposed brick fireplace (decorative only) with decorative timber mantel and feature tile hearth offers an old-fashioned focal point with a cosy feel. Exposed brick and natural timbers add warmth and texture to the traditional eat-in kitchen, with the original fuel stove, still in fantastic condition, and Blackwood custom timber cabinetry adding to the rustic country appeal. A bank of large glass windows flood the intimate sunroom at the rear of the home with vast amounts of morning light, making it the ideal place to curl up with a book and enjoy the warm winter sun, or sit and take in the picturesque outlook. Additional studio accommodation has been built on the other side of the three-bay carport to the north of the main house, with its own large kitchenette, front covered verandah and versatile internal floorspace that has been cleverly split into several separate areas with the use of a large, three-quarter height partition wall, complete with built-in storage on either end. A soaring raked ceiling, large windows and neutral colour scheme ensure the fully lined 7mx7m building feels light and bright, while the polished concrete flooring adds to its versatility, with the potential to be used as an office, studio or even converted into a workshop. SMS 96Fern to 0428 166 755 for a link to the on-line property brochure.
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