Come on a walk through one of Brisbane’s finest waterfront estates, 90 Bonneydoon Road, UKI, NSW.
“We’re in Uki, in the middle of the rainforest in Far Northern NSW just 35 minutes north of Byron Bay and this home is probably the closest thing to a real-life fairytale, I’ve seen.
I’m your host Natasha Pruchniewicz and I want you to join me on a journey through time as we take a look inside this unique, medieval castle hidden away on Bonneydoon Road where we’re about to meet owner Irene Brown who’s going to show us around.
Natasha: “Irene, good to see you. You’ve created something truly incredible.”
Irene: “We’re so happy with it. It’s part of the Renaissance, we’ve created the Renaissance because the saying is to be a true Renaissance man you have to have a monument that outlives you, and this is Robert Pope and Robert Todd’s and mine’s monument and it will certainly outlive us.
Everywhere you look rare sculptures, murals tell a story, depicting Greek and Roman mythology themes, many of them original artworks.
Irene: “You can’t have a castle without gargoyles and that’s Robert, Todd’s and I’s original gargoyles.”
Natasha: “And I understand you built this by yourself?
Irene: “Yes, from 1990-1995, we built this non-stop, every stone you see has been brought in by hand, hand picked and brought in from Uki Quarry and all the big timbers came from Victoria.”
Natasha: “Wow, this is something incredible. I don’t know what to look, there’s so many things to look at.”
Right in the middle of the home is the indoor atrium where art and science unite.
Irene: “This is what you call the old fashion star gazer. You know how they used in the middle ages? You point one of the nails to a star, it will run on the roller then you calibrate it and you put it on the brass to remember where it was. In a few days later you point the same nail to the same star and it’s no longer there, so they charted, and that’s how they charted the journey of the stars”.
Natasha: “This has to be my favourite feature, the stone staircase.”
Irene: “Oh yes, and Robert being a very precise person, because this was a stone stairwell, it’s filled with stone, rocks. Literally the stones you see inside, are in there. It’s a solid stairwell.
Natasha: “So it’s going to last forever?
Often used as an events centre, Irene’s home boasts an abundance of rooms. Between the two floors, there’s five bedrooms and a rustic kitchen with a natural ambience.
Natasha: “Yeah, there’s this feeling of calmness that washes over you when you’re into here.”
Irene: “Well the walls are so thick they are that thick, so that’s why this is very insulated.”
Natasha: “You can even host a medieval wedding here.”
Irene: “Oh we do, on the other side, with the long table, we used to do medieval weddings.”
There’s a genuine sense of peace and stillness about this place, the sounds of the outside world fade away, all you can hear are the bird calls and breeze moving through the trees.
Irene: “They are squash court glass, each piece like that is a piece of squash court glass.”
Natasha: “So you can throw a rock on it and it’s not going to break?”
Irene: “Not going to break.”
Out here the garden weaves it’s magic.
Natasha: “This is fantastic.”
Irene: “Yeah, this is an original piece. Every piece was designed by, Robert, Todd and I the artists and put together there’s no other thing like this.”
Named Diana’s temple after the goddess of the moon.
Natasha: “What’s the significance behind it?”
Irene: “Eight arches, it’s infinity, so that’s why we made it so there is a feminine spot in the house and that’s why it’s called Diana’s temple, and Diana is the warrior goddess and so it’s encouraging women to be more powerful.”
And beaming in the distance is Mount Warning, the first place on the Australian coast to see the sunrise.
Irene: “When you see it in it’s prime, it’s like a beam from mother nature shining to the very tip of Mt Warning and then you count to ten and BANG, the lights on. You can never forget it once you see it. It’s a special spiritual site, an Aboriginal sacred site, and we used to workshops here for Indigenous people so they could tell us about earth, how mother earth operates.”
Natasha: “Tell me some of the memories you’ll take with you when you leave.”
Irene: “The gardens, I love the gardens, and we have a massive collection of Bromeliads because I belong to the Bromeliads society, and the people that have been here, they’re memorable, because the opportunity to meet outstanding people in the world, here and be able to converse with them privately that’s is so special.”
Natasha: “Irene’s home is one of the most unique I’ve come across, a real labour of love that shines with a light so bright, it fills you will warmth and happiness.”
* • Private 1.218 ha property zoned Rural and Residential.
* • Perfect north-easterly aspect
* • Magnificent views of the rolling hills of Mt Warning and Springbrook.
* • Perfumed landscaped gardens
* • Built sustainably from Local stone, Red Gum and Oregon beams
* • 2.8 to 8m high ceilings
* • Sunny Atrium and sunroom
* • Large entertainment spaces upstairs and downstairs.
* • 8 Bedrooms
* • 6 Bathroom
* • Registered bed-and-breakfast
* • Air conditioning throughout
* • 4 Carports
* • 4 Courtyards
* • Unique designed Gazebo
* • Paved bushwalk
* • Walking tracks surrounding the castle.
* • Dam & Spring water Bore
* • Exotic and native trees
* • Vegetable Garden
* • Fully self-contained three bedrooms studio/gatehouse
* • An abundance of natural wildlife
90 Bonneydoon Rd, Uki, NSW 2484