Eureka! What a find.
Unique home seekers can strike it lifestyle rich at a converted gold mine that’s sparkling on the property market in central Victoria.
The former Phoenix Mine at 16 Back Rd, Taradale has been passionately transformed by vendor Tony Kelly since he bought it in a rundown state in the mid 1990s.
“I stopped and looked through the fence and saw this big old corrugated iron derelict shed, rang my now wife and said ‘I’ve found my version of Shangri-La, I think it looks wonderful’, without even going inside it,” he told the Herald Sun.
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Everything sourced for the property “fit like a glove”.
The old stamper is a breathtaking centrepiece.
One of the property’s three rustic bedrooms.
They soon discovered “an absolute disaster” that had been home to squatters, littered with old furniture and leftover mining rubbish upon entry the following week.
CoreLogic records show the 8.09ha property changed hands for just $50,000 back in 1996.
Now, after its amazing transformation, it’s got a cool $1 million price tag attached.
Mr Kelly, who isn’t a professional builder but rather “seems to just have a vision for this stuff” and his wife Alison have largely used the unconventional three-bedroom pad as a weekender, but spent 18 months living there when they were in between Melbourne homes.
Most of the work was done in the first two years, but it’s been an ongoing passion project, with materials sourced from old warehouses in Melbourne, doors from a butter factory in Apollo Bay and a fireplace made out of an old boiler just the beginning.
The focal point is the old stamper, which was found at a Castlemaine saw mill.
Not a bad view either.
“When the thing turned up it just went exactly over the bolts … everything I bought for the place has just fitted like a glove, it’s like it was meant to be,” Mr Kelly said.
But after a knee replacement earlier this year and recently turning 70, he’s selling with plans to travel more. He’ll only part with his much-loved gem for the right price.
“It’s had an amazing effect on a lot of people this building.
“When you go into it, it’s such a calm, quiet, lovely place, and people say ‘it’s a gold mine, mate, what about the gold?’ They pulled 30,000 ounces out of the shaft. But I say I’m not interested in going down the shaft, for me the gold is on top of it.
“Living here every weekend has just been fantastic. I just love it and hope someone shares my passion for it. I was silly enough to do it up, someone’s got to be silly enough to live in what I’ve done.”
The property sprawls over 8.09ha.
There are two bathrooms.
Another living area surrounds a fireplace made from an old boiler.
PRD Nationwide Kyneton director Helen Jens said “a fair few people” had inspected the property, up for private sale, and they’d “been amazed once they step through the front door”.
“It’s just astonishing,” she said.
The Phoenix Mine was the last operating gold mine in Taradale, once a booming town with about 20 pubs, but now with two petrol stations, one disused, according to Mr Kelly.
Between Kyneton and Castlemaine, it’s only about 1.25 hours’ drive north of Melbourne.
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