VIEWS: The home at 186 Mandalay Rd, has an interesting history. Stories aside, the spacious and sturdy home is on the market, with an asking price of $3.4 million.
VIEWS: The home at 186 Mandalay Rd, has an interesting history. Stories aside, the spacious and sturdy home is on the market, with an asking price of $3.4 million. R Jean Photography

LUXURY LIVING: A multi-million dollar fortress

BUILT to withstand an apocalypse, the original owner of this Mandalay property could be one of the region's biggest mysteries.

The Mediterranean inspired home was built in the mid-80s, and then owner Don Mcdonald, a millionaire from New Zealand, had visions of creating an exclusive estate, with its own private hospital.

Mr Mcdonald christened his 76-hectare estate Parc Exclusif, and it was said to be guarded by ex-SAS guards.

There are varying accounts about Mr McDonald, but one local, who preferred to remain anonymous, said he lived halfway up the hill, and he was gifted a highly technical book about air-conditioning by the millionaire.

This fits in with reports that Mr Mcdonald, or the "whitegoods king", made his fortune by selling air conditioning units in Saudi Arabia.

A newspaper article from the mid 1980s said the eccentric millionaire never got to live in his home, as it was repossessed by the banks.

Current owner Bruce Bickerstaff purchased the glorious property in 2000, from Don Algie, who still resides in the gated Chesapeake Estate, where the property is situated.

Set high on the hillside, close to the ocean, the property boasts impressive panoramic vistas over the forest and coral sea, with glimpses of the islands in the distance.

The property is one of several million dollar estates to hit the market in the region.

The grand home still has all its original features, including red velour floor to ceiling curtains in some of the bedrooms.

Mr Bickerstaff said the only major change he had made was removing the pure-wool carpet.

"It felt like you're walking on wettex in this humid climate," he said.

The carpet was replaced with tiles, and bamboo floor stripping.

Mr Bickerstaff and his family love their home, but feel it is too big for just the three of them, hence the decision to sell.

The 618sqmetre home encompasses large rooms, high ceilings, ample storage and a wrap around patio of 230sqms.

Mr Bickerstaff said his favourite feature of the home would be the view, particularly at night when the twinkling lights of Airlie wink up at the home.

The home is an entertainer's dream with a large kitchen with adjacent scullery, a walk-in pantry, and a laundry and storage area.

The kitchen has a tiled floor with large triple stainless steel sink, large stainless ceiling exhaust system over a large electric induction cooktop on an island bench, a custom-made kitchen table, a wall oven, dishwasher, and a large walk-in pantry.

One of the most interesting features of the property, is its structural strength. It is said Mr McDonald was a "survivalist". There are least five heavy-duty hinges, two slide bolts, and a keylock on all doors, including internal doors.

Hardened glass window panes, window shutters and provision for protective cyclone bars and enormous food storage space.

It was built like a fortress and has weathered many storms over the years, no evidence of significant cracking or movement in any part of the house.

The property is available for private sale with inquiries being handled directly by the owner, Bruce Bickerstaff, who be contacted via email airliebeach.home@gmail.com.

For more information head here.

 



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