Rural bliss in Gundaroo
An inspiring rural estate with rolling plains, flowing water and panoramic views has allowed owners Paul and Jacki Halliday to live in a state of rural bliss for the past 14 years.
A five-bedroom house is perched atop one of the property’s hills, with its contemporary pavilion design announcing itself in a dramatic fashion. Large windows showcase a green landscape, making it the perfect view for your morning cuppa.
An abundance of natural light streams throughout the home, paired with a relaxed neutral colour scheme which adds to the overall open and airy feel.
Prior to living in Gundaroo, Paul and Jacki resided in Notting Hill, London, but decided to pack up thier bags and make the move to Australia to give their daughter the quintessential rural Australian upbringing.
The couple were looking to build and sent out their specifications to about 50 builders but none were able to meet the Halliday’s needs in a suitable time period. A lawyer by trade, Paul decided to become the owner-builder of the home.
“It had always been a dream of Paul’s to build a house and my dream was to have lots of animals,” Jacki said.
The couple bought the property in 2003, in the midst of a drought, and embarked on journey to bring it back to life.
“At the time we bought the land it looked very bare, it was the driest it had been and was quite aggressively farmed with sheep. There was barely a blade of grass but we could see the potential,” said Jacki.
Over the years, particularly with the impact of the drought lessening, Jacki said it has been a revelation to see how the property had evolved.
“It’s been fantastic and a real revelation because the entire landscape has completely changed,” she said.
“We’ve seen trees regenerate that we thought were dead, so it’s been a real privilege to see the landscape change with the seasons with water and without water.”
Now, there are approximately 10,000 trees across the property.
Constructed with rammed earth, the residence is the pinnacle of sustainability and the walls are 30-centremetres thick, ensuring high thermal properties.
While a born and bred Aussie at heart, Paul admits he didn’t know much about the Canberra region before purchasing the Gundaroo property. However, he described the nation’s capital as “Australia’s best kept secret”, mainly due to fact it allowed for a rural lifestyle in close proximity to an urban setting.
“We lived Notting Hill and we both worked in offices in the city roughly eight kilometres away, and it would take us an hour and ten minutes to get to work. Here, from the front gate to our office it’s only 35 minutes,” he said.
With their daughter now studying in France, the couple has decided to downsize and leave their beloved Gundaroo estate for Euroa in Victoria.
“This is a big house, and when our daughter was here and had friends over it was pretty busy but now it’s not. It’s too big for us, and would be perfect for a younger family I think,” said Paul.
“The part I’d miss the most is on rainy days you can see a rainbow that begins and ends on our property,” Jacki added.