Is this Australia’s best beach house?

Is this Australia’s best beach house?

IT’S been held by the same family for the past 101 years and is considered by prominent writers and artists to be one of Australia’s finest beach houses.

Now, for more than $5 million, Rocky Point, at Kangaroo Island’s Eastern Cove at Brown Beach could be yours.

Sitting atop a cliff overlooking KI’s clear waters and 365m of your own private beach, the limestone house was commissioned by prominent South Australian Supreme Court judge Sir John Gordon in 1908 and was bought by wealthy pastoralist Harry Dutton in 1918.

It is owned now by Leonie Matheson, Mr Dutton’s grand daughter. Her son, Melbourne artist Hamish Matheson said it had been used exclusively as a private holiday house for five generations of the Dutton family and their friends.

“We don’t know of another beach house in Australia that would have had five generations go through it and use it exclusively as a beach house,” Mr Matheson said. “Our family has been in the Bay since 1902 – Harry Dutton’s father had a magnificent steam yacht which he had built in Scotland in 1907.

“He had plenty of dough and he used to sail around the gulf with the governor of the day and they’d come ashore here and take tea.”

The home has played host to prominent Australian artists including Arthur Boyd, Sir Russell Drysdale and John Olsen as well as writers Patrick White, Alan Moorehead, David Malouf and Robert Hughes.

The late Princess Diana’s father Earl Spencer has even stayed there.

“The Duttons were a very wealthy family and, with the circles they moved in, they met very interesting people,” Mr Matheson said. “My great uncle, eminent South Australian Geoffrey Dutton (a driving force behind both the Adelaide Writer’s Week and the Adelaide Festival of Arts) was the one who brought most of the artistic people to the house.”

The house is set on 5.21ha, and has six bedrooms, two bathrooms and both indoor and outdoor entertainment spaces, all respectfully updated to remain in keeping with the property’s identity and past.

Mr Matheson said the home’s location was “peerless”.

“We feel incredibly privileged to have stayed here. We still pinch ourselves every day at how incredibly lucky we are.

“It’s undoubtedly the best beachside property in South Australia and we’ve had a lot of well-travelled visitors tell us it’s the best in Australia,” he said.

While it can be enjoyed as a home, Mr Matheson says it could also be transformed into a luxury tourism venture.

With Mrs Matheson elderly and the rest of the family scattered around the country, the time has come for the family to say goodbye to the property that’s on the market through Oren Klemich and Penny Riggs of Klemich Real Estate.

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