"THE HERMITAGE" - OMNIA VINCIT AMOR

The Hermitage - OMNIA VINCIT AMOR
 "The land with a vision" 

Owners' comments:

When I first arrived in the Collins Creek Valley in 2010, I was impressed by the timeless natural beauty of the pure and healthy productive farmland surrounded by some of the world’s most ancient rainforests of the Border Ranges National Park and the locally iconic “Helmet peak”.

I immediately felt that anything I built and created here had to naturally blend into this valley and enhance its beauty, rather than disturbing it. And it had to be of prime quality and workmanship. So, for the construction of the house and both sheds I chose heavy local hardwood and basalt rock, materials found here naturally, finished with strong green Colourbond roofs to match the forest canopies. 

THE BUILDINGS

The idea of using stone and wood continues throughout the entire property, and in total I have used six types of stone: basalt for walls, sandstone for the front staircase, slate for the exterior flooring, polished red Indian granite for the interior flooring, and marble with Italian travertine designs for the bathroom walls.  All structural timber, framework and external cladding is made of locally sourced hardwoods and is fully council approved.

All windows are hand made from hardwood by a local joinery craftsman, and the mezzanine handrails from wood preserved in its natural form are finished with steel panels imitating leafy canopies, all designed, hand assembled and carefully welded together and painted to form this one of many artistic features of the house.

The highlight of the living area is a beautiful and unique 3 - piece leadlight with a tropical forest landscape, which was designed by a late friend of mine and artist (the drawings can be supplied to the new owner digitally upon request). It was meticulously produced by “Glasmalerei Peters Studios” in Paderborn, Germany, one of the world’s oldest and most renowned artistic leadlight manufacturers and leading suppliers of restoration works for large European cathedrals (like the gothic Cathedral of Cologne) and other major customers worldwide. 

The house and garage are finished in a classy and rustic style with numerous high-quality features like copper water faucets, a kitchen designed with antique furniture, vintage style light switches, external lights, etc. There are too many details to name, come and explore!

 In addition to the house, there is the adjacent double bay car shed with a covered motorcycle bay, which also contains a laundry, a second large refrigerator, tools storage and the 2.8 kW off-grid solar system (an economical backup diesel generator is included). There is the potential to create a cosy sleepout on the wide and solid mezzanine floor of the shed, and a rear access door could be easily installed in the gable. Hot water is provided reliably and extremely efficiently through an “evacuated tubes system” and includes an insulated 200 litre roof tank. All this provides an extremely low cost and ecologically sustainable living, since all water, wastewater and most of the energy (except gas for cooking and baking) is provided by the existing infrastructure. The water is collected in a 45,000 litres underground concrete tank, which keeps it nice and cool, and doesn’t visually pollute the residential area. Then the water is pumped to another 8,000-litre concrete header tank from where it silently gravity feeds back to the house.

The massive farm shed has been built discretely on the other side of the gully connected with a concreted causeway to allow for easy and reliable all weather 2WD access while maintaining the residential area clear of visual disturbance from machinery etc. It features a spacious lockable area for valuable small items and additional 23,000 litres of water storage capacity. It was designed and built in the same way as the house using solid hardwood posts, beams and natural basalt stone walls, with the view to be harmoniously integrated into the surrounding nature.  

Furthermore, the property boasts a large octagonal steel and hardwood pergola (“The Octagon”) in the highest point on the farm, which I call “The Eagle’s Height” for its beautiful views and secluded location. The rainwater runoff from this pergola is being collected in a 46,000-litre steel tank to provide this precious resource in a strategically important position. 

And there is the iconic “Chinese Pagoda”, which is a hexagonal pergola with a retaining wall crafted in natural stone in a spectacular position overlooking the entire valley. Once completed (and most of the material including timber and all original Chinese roof tiles imported from China are included) this will be a real eye catcher to anyone who travels through the valley.

 THE LAND

The total land area comprises 40.65 hectares, which is divided by Collins Creek Road in two parts, the gently sloping hills going up towards “The Helmet” on the one and fertile and easily tractorable flats with a long creek frontage with Fawcett’s Creek on the other side.  All fencing is barbwire and functionally intact.

The lower part is mostly flat pasture of good quality (kikuyu, clover) and can be used for grazing or cut for bales. It has easy access to the creek, which provides a beautiful natural refuge with large swimming holes, wildlife, fresh shade on hot days and the potential to use the water for stock.

The upper part is a mixture of pasture similar to the lower part in the gently sloping areas, and natural dry woodland in the hilly parts, which contains many Forests Red gums, acacia, brush boxes etc and a Koala who has lived there for many years (sometimes two). The upper part of the farm contains all the buildings with its access track and an approximately 2 kilometres long circular track which connects the house with all the highest parts of the farm including the “Octagon”, the “Chinese Pagoda” and many other fantastic lookouts and vistas across the valley and surrounding farms and forests. 

A large permanent water dam can be used for cattle or recreational purposes, and there is a smaller dam close to the house, which fills up seasonally and would require better sealing to hold water throughout the year. Also, there is a secluded dam on the western flank of the farm, which is accessible by foot only off the circular track on the way to the “Octagon”.

THE PLANTINGS

Since 2011 I have planted in total approximately 2500 trees in addition to the previously existing forest. They comprise 11 eucalypt and 81 non-eucalypt species. 

The goals of my planting were to 

1. Introduce and maintain high biological diversity of naturally occurring tree species in the region, many of which are reflected in the species mix of the nearby Border Ranges National Park, 

  2. Strategic planting along natural waterways, in particular the seasonal gully running along the upper part of the property, to protect the waterways and for the benefit of good ground water supply to the roots

  3. Focus on koala food species, like Tallowwood, Forest Red Gum etc., and a variety of mostly locally predominant rain forest species.

  4. Replanting of a corridor connecting the (so far isolated) forest around “The Helmet” and Fawcett’s Creek, to create a protected wildlife corridor for wallabies and other wildlife which now connects these two distinct ecosystems. 

   5. To create attractive microclimates for the owner to enjoy.

In addition, I have planted a variety of 28 different fruit tree species, mostly in vicinity of the house. I can provide a complete list of tree species planted on this farm upon request.

 

The property has been registered as a wildlife sanctuary in the "Wildlife Land Trust Australia” under the auspices of "Humane Society International” for its outstanding ecological value of its vegetation for native Australian wildlife, including Koalas etc. 

This is a voluntary agreement to „ensure that recreational or commercial hunting of animals, commercial logging or other commercial harvesting or removal of timber products, and any other activities incompatible with the ongoing protection of wildlife and habitats are not permitted on this property. For more information on the above please visit: www.hsi.org.au

Finally, I would like to say that it has been an incredibly difficult decision to sell this land for which I have a strong and personal vision, both for the tree plantings as well as the buildings. The wide range of topographical and vegetative microclimates on this farm offers countless options to create opportunities from personal leisure, ecotourism or other activities, like a meditation centre, education site about ecological matters, or a wedding venue, to purely agricultural pursuits and income streams. Now that the decision has been made that my future (and the long term future of my family) will not be in Collins Creek it is time to close this chapter in my life, and I sincerely hope that the future owner(s) will appreciate the value, wealth, beauty, purity and sheer number of opportunities that this unique property offers, and will continue to maintain and develop “The Hermitage” to the best of its potential. 

Omnia Vincit Amor - Love conquers all. This is a verse of the famous Roman poet Virgil, engraved on a small stone brought from the eternal City of Rome and built into the wall right above the entrance to the house, to remind the new owners and all who come to visit this beautiful property of what matters most.

2 1 40.65 ha
Address 1143 Collins Creek Rd, Kyogle
Price CONTACT AGENT
Property Type Rural
Property ID 1480
Land Area 40.65 ha

Agent Details

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Lance Butt

0455 589 932
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