Queensland’s Top 50 homes revealed
A secluded villa on a small island off the Queensland central coast with views of the Coral Sea is No. 1 on our list of Top 50 Homes in Queensland.
Situated among the trees on Hayman Island in the Whitsundays and carrying a $12 million-plus price tag, the villa is an ideal destination for high-flyers seeking an unrivalled lifestyle.
Trying to choose the best house in Queensland was a significant challenge, not to mention subjective. Yet for anyone seeking a safe, secure and stunningly beautiful oasis, this home simply has it all and is why it came out on top.
Although Hayman Island is privately owned, it is open to the public and is mostly frequented by A-listers, honeymooners and well-heeled jet-setters, who come in for weekends or annual holidays to sun themselves at the local five-star Intercontinental resort.
Yet, as the owner of this four-bedroom villa, you won't need to worry about holidaymakers, or even neighbours.
Set into a hill adjacent to the resort it is one of only six houses in the island's private estate.
Of these, only two are sold, one to a New Zealander and the other to a Melburnian. According to Hayman Estate's real estate manager John Hughes, both are used as holiday homes, with owners flying their private jets into nearby Hamilton Island before jumping in a helicopter to Hayman.
The villa was designed by the internationally renowned and award-winning Australian architect Kerry Hill and is described as "zen like and modern, yet understated".
Its sleek, simple design and the materials used in its build are sympathetic to its tropical
surroundings, with metres of glass allowing natural light to flood the home. Internal living spaces flow outside to covered entertaining terraces, where a barbecue island and infinity pool allow infinite views of the Coral Sea and reef. There is a state-of-the-art kitchen, a butler's pantry, laundry and storage room, home automation system, and cyclone grade floor-to-ceiling glass. Should you need to zip across the island, there are two golf buggies at your disposal, stored in the garages below.
The Hayman Estate is owned by a Malaysian family - a father and his two sons - whose company Mulpha, acquired the island 20 years ago from BT Hotel Group.
Despite travelling and living all over the world (Mulpha has a stake in luxury hotels and real estate globally), Mr Hughes said the family had always had a soft spot for this little slice of paradise off the Queensland coast. So much so that when category four cyclone Debbie smashed through Hayman in 2017, destroying almost everything in her path, including the resort, the family refused to leave it be.
Mr Hughes said: "It was a massive kick in the pants, but the hotel and island in general is one of the family's most prized possessions, so they will keep pouring money into it to keep it top-notch."
He said the resort was shut for 18 months after the cyclone hit and more than $150 million was spent on a repair and renovation job to bring the hotel and the island back up to five-star level.
Building the villas on the private estate were part of that plan and eventually there will be 21 scattered along the hillside, but for now, if you have a cool $12 million, you can pretty much claim this peaceful, private little corner of Queensland as your own.
And should you ever tire of all that peace and tranquillity, for a small extra cost you can have the services of a butler, concierge, private chef or all three along with access to a world-class health spa at your fingertips. What else could anyone wish for?
HOW WE CHOSE THE TOP 50
Focusing on the properties that we have previously written about or have come across in our time working on the property desk, we knew we had plenty of potential candidates for a Top 50.
This year alone we have seen some of the most prestigious houses in the state come to market and achieve record-breaking prices.
Yet multi-million-dollar homes were not our only consideration, as you can see by the property at No. 48, which is on the market for less than $1 million. The reason Skyhouse in Tamborine Mountain appealed to us was because it evoked a sense of fun; it tapped in to our inner-child and, let's face it, who doesn't want to say they live in a treehouse?
Or take No. 40, Birkdale House in Brisbane, an 1880s heritage home that has remained relatively unchanged for more than 100 years. Multiple families have called it home over generations, with those who have since moved on, returning to visit it years and even decades later. For us, nostalgia and history were the draw.
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of entries in this list that are all about the bling. Take No. 34, a house in Southport on the Gold Coast, which locals have referred to as a Kardashian palace. Inspired by their international travels, the owners have gone to great lengths to bring wow-factor to this home - a grand marble foyer, sweeping American oak staircase, crystal chandeliers and an Italian marble bar are only some of its extraordinary features.
Whether it be heritage value, architectural significance, an unrivalled location or eco credentials, each one of the 50 properties has its merits.
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