Forget Byron, the new real estate mecca for the rich and famous isn’t where you think

When high profile property developer Tim Gordon snapped up a dilapidated polo club high in the Gold Coast hinterland seven years ago, he couldn’t have imagined the reasons it would make world headlines.

Midway through 2021, Tom Hanks, Oscar winner and global megastar, was widely reported to be staying at the property, with international headlines declaring the Elvis actor was holed up there whilst filming Baz Luhrmann’s rock and roll epic.

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var result = minutes + “:” + (seconds < 10 ? "0" + seconds : seconds); return result; } })(window.videojs); Ironically, Mr Gordon says, Hanks never actually set foot on the sprawling estate nestled in historical Guanaba, around 30km inland from Surfers Paradise. “George Clooney did stay here though,” Mr Gordon laughed, confirming he enjoyed a prolonged stay in the estate’s main house while filming Ticket To Paradise in 2022. “We have had some fantastic people stay here but Tom didn’t but for some reason, the media grabbed that one and ran with it.” However off target the Hanks reports were, the yarn lifted the lid on a world of real estate secrets reserved only for those privy to the clandestine comings and going of the Queensland super-rich. Rivermead Estate is one of the most spectacular properties in the Hinterland - but others are vying for its title. Picture: Like Byron Bay in recent years, the Gold Coast Hinterland – specifically areas like Guanaba, Tallai and Reedy Creek – has quietly become a fortress of multi-million-dollar mega-mansions. Mr Gordon’s Rivermead Estate ranks arguably among the best, with its sprawling 22ha plantation style property with multiple dwellings, horse stables, a tennis court, and a resort-size pool. “But there are others…there are others being built now that monster this,” he said. “This area has evolved so much in just the past couple of years… [with] homes now significantly larger than mine. “But I think what happened, and this was partly driven by Covid when you had a lot of people moving north from Sydney or Melbourne, there has been this eventual realisation that the area has a unique proximity to the Gold Coast. “You have Main Beach or Mermaid Beach just 30 minutes away. You have these large land holdings that are just not available to buy anywhere else and yet you can be at a huge shopping centre within 10 minutes.” The Gold Coast Hinterland offers big blocks, a growing number of luxe homes, privacy, and proximity to the beach and city amenities. Picture: Getty And then there’s the market growth. Mr Gordon confirmed he paid about $4.5 million for his property. It was listed briefly in 2021 for $21.5 million before he opted to stay put. “But I think it would be worth a lot more than that now.” Influx of celebrities and powerbrokers AFL superstar Buddy Franklin and model wife Jesinta made headlines of their own last year when they purchased in neighbouring Reedy Creek, plonking down $9 million for Villa Casa – a home so stunning it has its own Instagram following. Set on a 4500sqm block with unobstructed views to the coastline, the seven-bedroom residence includes a parents’ retreat, indoor/outdoor pool with a swim-up bar, travertine marble floors, lime-rendered walls, and 4m high ceilings. Buddy and Jestina Franklin snapped up a jaw-dropping Hinterland mansion last year. Picture: Local agent Nicole Carter of McGrath has been specialising in Hinterland real estate for 15 years and describes the Franklin’s acquisition as “a bit of an anomaly”. But homes pushing into the $5 million or $6 million bracket are increasingly common, Ms Carter said. “But a lot of them are tucked away behind their gates so you often don’t know they’re there,” she said. Ms Carter is currently marketing a $1.8 million home in Reedy Creek set across three levels with a six-hole putting green and waterslide. A look inside Buddy and Jestina's new Hinterland pad. Picture: “There’s more room to work with so you see some really spectacular and unusual homes,” she said. “Things like waterslides and golf courses and cinemas and of course horse stables.” Another high-profile Australian model, Miranda Kerr, is also rumoured to be scoping out potential Hinterland prospects for a future Gold Coast base for her and husband, Snapchat billionaire Evan Spiegel. Hollywood megastar Margot Robbie is another in the market, with the Suicide Squad star believed to be using a buyer’s agent to hunt for a rural hideaway in or around nearby Currumbin Valley.    Margot Robbie is reportedly shopping around for a Hinterland home of her own. Picture: Getty Not far from the Franklins, retired Australian and State of Origin great Cameron Smith bought in Bonogin soon after cutting ties with Melbourne Storm. Fabled sports royalty and long-time Gold Coast resident Mick Doohan is also a prominent member of the Hinterland ‘high rollers’ with his iconic estate Diamond Head – home of the infamous Johnny Depp and Amber Heard fracas – listed for $40 million in 2021. Mick Doohan's famed Gold Coast mansion. Picture: Arguably one of the most famous homes on the Gold Coast, Doohan’s pad has its own heli-pad, a 2000-bottle wine cellar, and river frontage. It was one of the first major Hinterland builds back in 1996 and long cited as an example of classic Gold Coast rural largesse. Nowadays, they’re increasingly the norm. It’s understood Zarraffa’s Coffee boss Kenton Campbell has recently put the finishing touches on a lavish, top-secret trophy home in Guanaba said to be ‘one of a kind’. Mr Campbell declined to comment on the project. The new addition to the area follows the sale of his ‘smaller’ estate Bluestone for $3.5 million in 2020. That home, which also features a heli-pad, horse stables, and sports facilities, recently returned to market with expectations of around $5 million. This designer home recently smashed a suburb price record. Picture: Listing agent John Fischer of PRD – who also set a record for Tallebudgera recently with a $6 million architectural marvel in Kooringal Court – agrees the Gold Coast Hinterland is “having a moment”. “Definitely it seems like there is a lot more interest in acreage and in particular that which accommodates these trophy homes,” Mr Fisher said. “You’re seeing a lot of sales now in the $4 million [range] in places like Tallabudgera and Currumbin Valley, and two years ago that kind of thing just would never have been there.” The post Forget Byron, the new real estate mecca for the rich and famous isn’t where you think appeared first on

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