From a Bavarian castle to a Queenslander: A German baron's love affair with timber

75 Moy Pocket Gap Road, Moy Pocket, is a Sunshine Coast hinterland retreat created by a wealthy German baron.
75 Moy Pocket Gap Road, Moy Pocket, is a Sunshine Coast hinterland retreat created by a wealthy German baron.
75 Moy Pocket Gap Road, Moy Pocket, is a Sunshine Coast hinterland retreat created by a wealthy German baron.

75 Moy Pocket Gap Road, Moy Pocket, is a Sunshine Coast hinterland retreat created by a wealthy German baron.

75 Moy Pocket Gap Road, Moy Pocket, is a Sunshine Coast hinterland retreat created by a wealthy German baron.

75 Moy Pocket Gap Road, Moy Pocket, is a Sunshine Coast hinterland retreat created by a wealthy German baron.

The move from a spectacular Bavarian castle in Germany to a run-down timber cottage in Queensland bushland doesn't seem like an obvious one, although it's exactly what Fiona Wood's aristocratic husband did.

The immensely wealthy European baron owned, among other riches, an entire forest in Germany - and it was his love for that forest that drew him to the remote site on the edges of the Mary Valley, Ms Wood said.

"Owning his own forest back home in Germany was where his love of all things timber and wood came from," Ms Wood said.

"He was always into designing things: furniture, buildings, anything to do with construction. He had a 50-foot yacht built and had significant input into that too."

It was after sailing his 50-foot yacht from Germany to Australia that Ms Wood and her German baron husband purchased 22 acres of ridge-top park land in the picturesque Blackall Ranges, inland from the Sunshine Coast.

Perched on top of the hill was an original 1890s homestead called "Mount View" and, inspired by the stunning landscape and local wildlife, the baron soon commissioned one of Australia's leading architects, John Mainwaring, to design a country estate.

As well as raising and renovating the original homestead, a new wing was designed and built and set within the landscape with a swimming pool in a manner like an Italian piazza. Other contemporary buildings were dotted around the landscape: a curved roofed workshop, a 1000-bottle brick-arched wine cellar, a freestanding office and a two-bedroom contemporary steel and glass guest house nestled into the trees.

"He had a passion for working with timber and at one stage had a $1 million milling machine for his work," Ms Wood said.

"There's also a timber-drying kiln and framing in place for a gallery."

The effect is spectacular and the estate has featured in several books on Australian architecture. Unfortunately, Ms Wood's husband never got to see his vision fully realised, passing away from prostate cancer in 2008.

"It was a hobby for him because he had so much money he didn't have to worry about it being economically viable," Ms Wood said.

"He loved this place and I've loved living here too but it deserves to be made into something even more special."

Marketing agent Chris White of Remax Riverside said the property was ideal for a variety of uses, including a country retreat, extended family home, wedding venue, boutique guesthouse, health/yoga retreat and other commercial enterprises. Mount View is located 40 minutes from Noosa, 25 minutes from Eumundi 1.5 hours drive from Brisbane International Airport. It features NBN internet, an abundance of water, three-phase power and 100 metres of Mary River frontage.

Ms Wood's property at 75 Moy Pocket Gap Road, Moy Pocket, is listed at $1,685,0000.

This story From a Bavarian castle to a Queenslander: A German baron's love affair with timber first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.