Multi-millionaire Ian Gowrie-Smith has sold his secluded Berowra Creek retreat on the Hawkesbury River for $3.5m
The 3.2ha site includes a 26-bedroom boarding house that can accommodate 120 people plus a commercial grade kitchen, recreational hall, boat shed and classrooms.
The property had originally been used by Outward Bound Australia, a post-war camping and adventure charity that ran programs for teenage boys. Knox Grammar School later purchased the property as a campsite before selling to Gowrie-Smith in around 2000.
The self-made businessman, who has made his fortune in developing pharmaceutical and mining companies, purchased it for his own private use and occasionally leased out the waterfront hideaway.
The new owners are believed to be developing a low impact nature based tourism venture for the site.
“The best feature of the property is the privacy,” said agent Tim Andrews from LJ Hooker Terrigal.
“I go down the Hawkebury a lot and I never realised that something with such beauty existed, it is like a private headland and yet is just 10 minutes by boat to Brooklyn.”
The site also includes a number houses and cabins, tank and natural spring water, a helicopter landing space and an inclinator.
It attracted interest from both local and overseas buyers during its nine months on the market with 66 inspections.
“People wanted to do all manner of things with the land but they had to conform with Council and they had to understand that — the buyer totally understands this and the sensitivity of the property and what you can and can’t do with it,” Mr Andrew said.
The purchasers, who have a tourism background, won’t take over the property for another two months when they will reveal plans for the site.
Mr Gowrie-Smith, who is based in London, has an extensive and striking property portfolio which reportedly includes a castle in Lithuania and the Conflict Islands in Papua New Guinea.
He will retain a luxurious holiday home on a separate property located next door to the site he has sold at Berowra Creek.