19 Apr 2023 | 3 mins

Bruny Island farm with 200-year-old homestead sets price record - Financial Review

Bruny Island farm with 200-year-old homestead sets price record - Financial Review

A 100-hectare farm with a near 200-year-old Georgian homestead and kilometres of coastline has set a new price benchmark on popular Bruny Island off the south-eastern coast of Tasmania after selling for about $6.6 million – the top of its quoted price range.

Known as Woodlands, the property at the very tip of North Bruny at Dennes Point attracted interest from mainland buyers.

However, it was a “high-profile” Tasmanian who got their hands on the keys, according to selling agent Tracey Atkins from Forbes Global Real Estate, who – citing a confidentiality agreement – declined to name the buyer.

Their identity will become clearer when the property settles in June.

“Local agents expected it to sell in the 4 millions, but when big names from the mainland came out to see it, we quickly figured out we would get the asking price,” Ms Atkins told The Australian Financial Review.

The previous highest price paid for a property on Bruny Island – based on properties with disclosed prices – appears to be the 127ha home of Black Devil Tasmanian Cherries at the western end of North Bruny. It sold for $5.54 million in 2009 and then $5.5 million in 2013.

Woodlands was offered for sale by former Victorian school principal Brendan Schmidt and his wife Marlene, an artist and art gallery owner.

The couple acquired the property in 2002 for just $585,000 and meticulously renovated the two-storey Georgian homestead, which was built in 1829 by explorer and mariner Captain James Kelly, the first white settler on Bruny Island.

Run as a light farming operation with 200 Merino sheep, Woodlands also has a small established vineyard of pinot noir, 100 olive trees and extensive fruit orchards.

Bruny Island, which is separated from the Tasmanian mainland by the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, is reached by a short ferry ride from Kettering (32 km south of Hobart).


The homestead was built by Captain James Kelly in 1829.

Further up the coast, near Bicheno, where Kathmandu founder Jan Cameron has a home and a number of real estate investments, another trophy rural property has hit the market with similar pricing to Woodlands ($6 to $6.6 million).

Occupying just over 2ha, at Seymour, Headland Estate is being offered for sale by retired firefighter Kellie Robinson and her spouse, Julie Flynn, an ex-schoolteacher.

The property includes a three-bedroom pavilion-style homestead, two-bedroom cottage, wine room and herb and vegetable greenhouse.

The property is also being marketed by Forbes Global.

“I know the wider belief is that a challenging real estate market hits lifestyle hardest because it’s considered a discretionary spend, but we’re not seeing that in our business, especially for Tasmania, where the interest from high net worth buyers remains laser sharp,” Ms Atkins said.

Although interest in luxury Tasmanian retreats may be high, it appears the $9.45 million asking price(which would be a record for Tasmania) for film director Michael Jenkins’ architecture prize-winning Trial Bay House is too steep for many.

The property, which sits on almost 17ha and is only a 30-minute drive from Hobart, was listed for sale almost six months ago and remains on the market.

Its original 1970s home, which was reimagined by Tasmanian architect James Jones, won the national Robin Boyd Award for residential house architecture in 2010.