Raven Thorn, a property of about 3.24 hectares – just down the road from the Pig and Whistle Hotel, the vibrantly inclusive community’s hub, and 10 minutes from Trentham– is truly stunning.

The restored 1856 red-brick house, with wraparound shingle-ceilinged verandah, is a tribute to keeping history intact, but with a masterful eye kept on genuine liveability.


High-end rural haven: 359 James Lane, Fern Hill, 3458


Ranged along the entry hall, with floorboards (as laid throughout) displaying a rich, story-telling patina, are the three bedrooms. Each has a fireplace and pressed-metal ceiling. Pearl-grey walls are a perfect counterfoil to the yesteryear charm, and the same applies in the large bathroom farther along. This has a restored clawfoot tub, fireplace and a marble-topped vanity juxtaposing with a big modern all-glass shower.

A graceful sitting room, with wood heater in a fireplace, has a beautifully executed vaulted skylight admitting streams of light. A lounge room, with a huge fireplace (all of these have ornate surrounds), has flocked-velvet drapes to cocoon the entire room for winter cosiness.

A next-door conservatory, under double-gabled shingled ceiling, has banks of bifolds opening to verandahs, and beyond to a lap pool and crab apple avenue, this entire area rimmed with bespoke black wattle fencing.

The classy provincial kitchen, with large wine cellar/tasting room beneath a vaulted skylight above, has stone benches, a Paul Bocuse cooking range, Liebherr fridge/freezer, soft-close cabinetry and a butler’s sink with Italian tapware.

In magnificent grounds, an original huge timber barn has enormous hinged barn doors that open up to reveal internal french doors. Truly special, it has plush Axminster carpet underfoot, pitched timber ceilings with hefty beams above. Double glazing, a Lupi wood heater, split-system and Big Ass fan deliver comfort in spades, while reclaimed etched-glass doors screen entry to a glossy, fully equipped all-white kitchen and an utterly chic bathroom.

Orchards, blueberry garden, two
dams wrapped in sculpted hedging, sweeping lawns, groves and avenues of magnificent exotics, an adorable kitchen garden under a windmill, a deep well and two bores, two historic potato-digger huts – soul-uplifting vignettes at every turn. And there’s even more to take in.

It hardly gets much better than this.

359 James Lane, Fern Hill, 3458 (Photo supplied)

359 James Lane, Fern Hill, 3458 (Photo supplied)

359 James Lane, Fern Hill, 3458 (Photo supplied)

359 James Lane, Fern Hill, 3458 (Photo supplied)