Australian Country Homes

Australian Country Homes Issue 9

Australian Country Homes celebrates the warmth of the country aesthetic. We open the doors to some of Australia’s most interesting homes and see the enviable everyday lives of those who have made the move to a calmer, more welcoming and personally enriched way of living. Brought to you by Australian Country magazine, this new quarterly publication showcases the best of Australian country residences; from the weekender to the station homestead, the farmhouse to the historical home. Australian Country Homes covers the length and breadth of Australia. In every edition of Australian Country Homes you will see inspiring ideas from real Aussies on real budgets just getting out there and creating wonderfully warm environments. You will also experience rare glimpses into the families and businesses behind some of Australia’s most desirable lifestyles. Tour the styles, the plans, and the self-made touches that create a welcoming country home.

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1 min
editor’s letter

As the year draws to a close, we’d like to acknowledge your continued support and feedback on the stories we feature in the magazine. Thanks to your interest, in future issues we’ll be incorporating increased content about traditional homes and the process of restoring them. While Australia’s European history is relatively short, we have a remarkable repository of historic houses and homesteads. Many correspondents have suggested they would like to hear more about them and the journey their owners have taken to restore them to their original condition, or at least, a reflection of their past lives. In this issue we feature a historic manse in the Queensland city of Ipswich, a traditional home on acreage in the wine country near Mudgee in NSW and a heritage-listed property on the…

3 min

Toast the moment with Bubbelini, $32, a premium Australian sparkling wine made using the méthode traditionelle and characterised by exceptional balance and a fruity and elegant finish. The Women’s Lucinda Wonder Jean shorts, $99.95, offer comfort and style in one cute package. They’re designed with a no-gap elastic waistband and the Wonder Jean fit with clever seams to sculpt and lift the bottom. This 100 per cent Merino lightweight French-striped poncho, $179, is great for travel, and one size fits all. It can be worn in cool climates for warmth, and in hotter places for sun protection of shoulders and decolletage. Lots of colours available. Filled with Coco & Bean’s premium artisan-made treats including award-winning Belgian chocolate brownies, French macarons, rocky road, biscotti, rum balls, chocolate cookies, candle and Tempus…

4 min
a passion for provence

The old saying that every cloud has a silver lining proved true for Frieda and John Smith. John’s health had been deteriorating for months when the couple decided to take a holiday at Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. They fell completely under the spell of the resort town’s benign climate, laid-back lifestyle, proximity to the beach and relative lack of traffic compared to their home in inner Sydney. “We went back to Sydney, put our house on the market and bought up here,” Frieda recalls of that fateful holiday in 1997. “Just as well we did because shortly after the move, we also found a doctor who was able to set John on the path to recovery. It wasn’t as if we hated our Sydney life, as we had a lovely…

5 min
a resurrected manse

Andrea and Peter Ferrando never know who might knock on their front door. Their home has stood since 1883, built as a manse for the Central Congregational Church during the pioneering days of Ipswich. It has sheltered scores of people in its time, some who can’t help opening the rustic front gate to take a trip down memory lane. “We had a man who was in his 90s visit us, and he had lived in the home in the 1930s as a young boy,” says Andrea of one particularly memorable guest. “In fact, he and his family were the last to live in the building as a manse. His dad was a pastor and after his family left, the house was turned into flats.” The old man’s visit soon turned into…

6 min
american beauty

The barns give it away. The first is a towering gambrel-roofed machinery shed complete with an Amish star in white, symbolising purity, the power of the moon and allowing energy to flow. Which is appropriate, given that this is also the storage room for the solar gel batteries and inverters that allow Ele and Bruce Fraser to live off the grid. The second is a towering double-storeyed structure with a workshop downstairs and an apartment above, where they lived for a year while they built their “main” house. This cluster of imposing buildings that greets visitors as they drive onto the property announces to the world that you can take the girl out of America, but you can’t take America out of the girl. In fact, that was precisely what Ele…

5 min
fit for a queenie

There is much to love about the Tweed Valley town of Murwillumbah. It sits pretty on the verdant banks of the Tweed River in far northern New South Wales — just big enough to entice weekenders for a wander through its streets, and just small enough to be the kind of town where everyone knows, or knows of, everyone else. Rolling hills and rustling fields of sugarcane surround its quaint commercial hub, home to some of the country’s most lovely art deco buildings. The town was a thriving agricultural centre when fire ripped through it in 1907, and what rose from the ashes at the hands of resilient locals is a time capsule of Australia’s offering to the deco period that captivated the architecture world in the early 1900s. On a…