Nobody quite exemplified life in the Australian bush like Banjo Paterson. The prolific poet and author described our iconic landscape in a way that envelops the reader, so that they experience the eucalyptus aroma, the sights and the sounds.
Paterson’s most famous works include Waltzing Matilda and The Man from Snowy River – poems that every Aussie can recite.
The Australian bush is quite the muse, and this is evident in a Wee Jasper property, currently for sale, that Paterson once called home.
Coodravale enjoys endless mountain views, rolling paddocks, and streaming creeks – the landscape is breathtaking.
Paterson owned a share of the property at 140 Coodravale Road in the early 1900s and lived in a timber cottage on the land with his family from 1908 to 1912. While living at the property he penned two poems, The Road to Hogan’s Gap and The Mountain Squatter.
“Here in my mountain home,
On rugged hills and steep,
I sit and watch you come,
O Riverina Sheep!”
Buyers are being offered the opportunity to walk in Paterson’s footsteps, but he’s not the only famous name to be connected to the property.
The poet entered the joint venture with the Lindeman family, who are behind the much-loved Australian wine. The family lived in the homestead still standing on the property today.
Florence Packer, the wife of Sir Frank Packer, once lived on the property as well. It also has ties to the Woolworths family.
Current owners Rosemary McKenzie and John Robinson see themselves as “merely custodians” of the property.
The couple have worked meticulously over the past eight years to sympathetically renovate the six-bedroom homestead.
“We wanted the renovations to be kept sympathetic to the era, so we have been working on it over a number of years,” said Rosemary.
“We have painted, redecorated, and kept original fittings where we thought it was much better to do so, but at the same time we have added some high-quality furnishings and carpets.”
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The move to Wee Jasper was unexpected for Rosemary and John, who said they were quite happy living in the nation’s capital, but when they came across an ad for the homestead they “absolutely fell in love with it”.
“The property looked intriguing and we decided to go for a drive,” said Rosemary.
“From the moment we stepped over the cattle grid we thought what a wonderful, tranquil and spiritually sublime place.
“We still had a few years of work in Canberra but we made the decision to move and commuted every day for a couple of years.”
Rosemary and John have set up part of the homestead as a tourist guest house dubbed the Garden Wing, where they have hosted people from across Australia – many of whom have become return guests.
“We decided to set up part of the home as a self-contained upmarket, boutique apartment within the main homestead,” said John.
“We’ve had a lot of people who come here and you can almost see the weight come off their shoulders.”
The property was once more than 12,000 hectares, but over the years it has been subdivided, with six hectares currently on the market. The homestead spans more than 450 square metres.
Rosemary and John are leaving to be closer to family.
“We now have eight grandchildren and would like to spend more time with them,” said Rosemary.
The property will be auctioned at the LJ Hooker Canberra City office on November 21.