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Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Grand Barron Lodge


Back in the days when I was still highly motivated to relocate to some place where the temperature never drops below my age - I am thinking of good ol' Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit! - , I visited Kuranda where Regine Bergmann of Australian Property Connection was selling a spectacular property at 46 Cadagi Drive.



Well, I never bought it but an American artist, Steve Royster, did in late 2006 or early 2007 and, if you can believe the internet, paid $800,000 for it. He listed it again for sale in late 2014 at $1,200,000 but has since turned it into the Grand Barron Lodge.



As I said, it's a spectacular property with large rooms and high ceilings and some quite extravagant attention to detail. What I didn't know is that it was built in 1986 for Peter Armitage, Alan Bond's accountant.



"Bondie" was the poster boy of the roaring 80s and famously won the America's Cup in 1983 with his yacht Australia II. Less famously, he was declared bankrupt in 1992 with debts of $1.8 BILLION, jailed for fraud in 1996, and released in 2000. Despite his criminal past, he rebuilt his fortune and in 2008 was named one the 200 wealthiest people in Australia with an estimated $265 million. He died in 2015, aged 77.


For more photos, click here


Alan Bond's accountant sold the property for $500,000 in late 1993 and it was again for sale at $850,000 when I inspected it in 2003. Maybe it's time I visited it again but this time as a paying guest.