Goughs Bay couple selling house and hedge maze they grew from scratch

Goughs Bay couple selling house and hedge maze they grew from scratch

An a-maze-ing regional Victorian tourist attraction is searching for a new owner.

Tracey and Dean Shipley are turning over a new leaf and looking to sell the hedge maze they spent 15 years growing from saplings.

A topiary garden and their family home next door are also part of the package, 15 minutes from Mansfield in Goughs Bay, which has a $750,000 asking price.

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Ms Shipley used her skills as a former hairdresser to shape the gardens and said they grew the labyrinth — now known as the Highcountry Maze — “from scratch, a bare paddock”.

“We planted every single thing out there,” she said.

Much like navigating the maze, it was no small task.

The Shipleys and their children planted more than 6000 box hedges and about 2500 bigger hedges, placing about 100 per day across the 2.43ha property at 678 Piries Goughs Bay Rd in the space of a few months.

“We had six years of drought after our first year of planting,” Ms Shipley said.

“And we were evacuated at one stage when Marysville got burned out.”

With the hard work done, just a day of trimming is required here and there.

“The maintenance side of it, though it looks daunting, it’s actually pretty chilled,” Ms Shipley said.

A series of topiary bushes around the gardens have been sculpted by Ms Shipley over the years.

“I’m a hairdresser by trade, and I just liked the sculpture of these things and so I have created all the topiaries around the garden,” she said.

“There’s a horse rearing, and that took about eight years before he was fully filled in. It’s a bit of an art, but not one you can’t learn.”

Prospective buyers could hedge their bets with a bit of promotion — though the Shipleys never needed to do much, and have hosted countless family visits and even a few larger events including weddings.

“The quickest we’ve seen (someone navigate the maze) is half an hour, the longest is nearly two hours. It depends on the family,” Ms Shipley said.

They’ve hidden 16 gnomes throughout it, adding a further challenge for those who successfully find their way to the centre and back out again.

The pair are selling up after 18 years at the property.

“We were always building it because the area needed it,” Ms Shipley said.

“Now, we just thought it would be nice to build a house and a garden just for us. Maybe not so many hedges this time.”

Mr Shipley, a real estate agent and director at Harcourts Mansfield, is handling inquiries.

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