You may be surprised to discover that many of Australia’s most recognised and awarded homes are available to rent for short-term holidays.
While you might not be able to afford the hefty mortgage repayments on some of these iconic homes, that’s no excuse for not bedding down in them for a few days. Magney House at Bingie
Homes such as Glenn Murcutt’s landmark Magney House at Bingie, on the NSW south coast, is one example.
Bordered on three sides by Eurobodalla National Park, this deceptively simple home cemented the Pritzker Prize winner’s reputation as the creator of a uniquely Australian “tin sheds” style of architecture.
Arguably one of the most influential Australian homes of the 20th century, Magney House received the nation’s highest residential design honour, the Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture, in 1985. Cape Schanck House
Cape Schanck House on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula was created by Paul Morgan Architects. The home is surrounded by a forest of tea trees and features an internal water tank to keep the interior cool in summer. It also won the Robin Boyd Award, in 2007. Related: The humble Beachcomber is Australia’s most iconic homeRelated: Most impressive beach houses around AustraliaRelated: Australia’s best holiday homes revealed in Stayz awardsThe Seidler House
Designed by the great modernist architect Harry Seidler, The Seidler House (previously known as The Berman House) is like a wave of concrete breaking dramatically over a cliff. The views are stupendous, over the Wingecarribee River towards Joadja, Mittagong and Bowral in the Southern Highlands.
Winner of the Blacket Award for regional architecture in 2001. Staying at Toumbaal House
Toumbaal House, winner of the 2003 RAIA Wilkinson Award for Outstanding Residential Architecture, has been featured in almost every major design magazine around the world. For a design geek like myself, it’s absolute heaven. My English wife just can’t wait to get inside and have a cup of tea.
???This was one of the first homes by architect Fergus Scott and it came to typify his response to climate, landscape and shelter. In awarding him the Wilkinson, the jury said: “The Toumbaal House is not so much a ‘home’ but an idea of a ‘camping place’.”
It’s not like any camping we’ve ever done, but we take their point. One of the home’s most distinctive features is its fully exposed central courtyard and hearth, dividing the living quarters from the bedrooms. The house also has a series of sliding skins – glass, insect screen and solid hardwood – that can be opened and closed as the weather demands.
Set on 80 hectares and completely surrounded by the largest coastal National Park in NSW (Yuraygir NP), it feels a lot more remote than it actually is.
One BBC documentary on the house referred to its location as “The Outback”. It isn’t. In fact, it’s only about a five-minute drive to the north coast holiday hamlet of Brooms Head and a twenty-minute drive to the much larger river township of Maclean.
And the judges are correct – staying in the house is a little like camping, in that you never feel out of touch with the natural environment. My city-raised kids experienced many firsts. Seeing the Milky Way in all its celestial glory, going on a nocturnal “critter walk” looking for pythons (we didn’t find any) and steering the car along the private landing strip.
During the cool of the evening, we close the house down, and sit out by the hearth toasting marshmallows over the fire. In bed at night, we slide into dreams to the sounds of the Earth; the lime-green tree frogs, the wind whispering through casuarinas and the distant roar of the ocean.
“Can we live here?” asks my five-year-old. You can’t get a better recommendation that that.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.