BEYOND the tall iron gates of Carinya in the Gold Coast hinterland is a Jurassic Park-like 22 hectare (53 acre) ancient rainforest retreat.
This virtually untouched diverse Mount Tamborine estate, bordered by protected national park and sheer cliff faces, is a vibrant ecosystem of old timbers, ferns, waterfalls, giant rocks, soaring climbing figs, huge staghorns and rare orchids.
A long bitumen drive meanders through the lush rainforest to reveal an astonishing expanse of sparkling Pacific Ocean and Gold Coast city skyline.
Donna and Tony Smith have reluctantly decided to sell their private paradise, which is listed through Ray White Rural Queensland’s Peter Douglas for $3.75 million.
“We bought the property around 10 years ago when Tony came home with a newspaper and this property’s ad was in it,” Ms Smith said.
“About halfway down the drive we asked ourselves, how much are we going to offer them? Then we got to the house and saw the view and just went, wow.”
The couple spent two years renovating the existing house, recruiting a team of locals to not only build their forever home but landscape its immediate surrounds.
“All we did was keep the roof and the floor,” Ms Smith said.
“It was a huge renovation but we wanted to create something special in this unique environment; a retreat, one that’s private and a place to enjoy and relax.”
Every room has a view to the rainforest or water, and all have sliding doors out to wide entertainment decks or private balconies.
The hub of the home is a sleek kitchen with Miele appliances, which adjoins the living room with built-in television and home theatre system plus a warm fireplace for those chilly mountain evenings.
Eat breakfast on the nearby main deck, surrounded by wildlife, and overlooking the gorgeous gardens below which drop away to a patchwork of Gold Coast greens and blues.
“We’ll both miss it, there’s no question,” Mr Smith said.
“What happened outside the house was such a huge part of the renovation. We were lucky to find some very clever local people, who we became friends with, that helped us design and plant our new garden.”
The terraced garden is sculpted within a natural amphitheatre that has a centrepiece dam surrounded by cannas, agapanthus, bromeliads, cordylines and manicured lawns.
Fireflies transform the property into a fairyland for four weeks each spring, while colourful butterflies create a wave of floating colour.
With its fertile red volcanic soil and high rainfall, the plateau produces rich crops of avocados, kiwifruit, passionfruit, rhubarb, apples and mangoes.
It’s hard to believe this special mountain property is so close to the hustle and bustle of major cities.
“There’s something special about having a footprint of Australia no one else has,” Mr Douglas said.
“One of the very few virgin rainforest properties you can buy, and I don’t know anything else like it. You drive in and you feel like you’re in a different world with one of the best coastal views I’ve seen.”
Contact Peter Douglas, 0407 172 101, Ray White Rural.