First look: Inside the grand estate chasing upwards of $10 million

Jade Lazarevic
view.com.au
Known as Takamuna, this mansion was built for an archdeacon in 1924.
Known as Takamuna, this mansion was built for an archdeacon in 1924. Credit: Supplied

A sprawling estate on 2002sqm, complete with a tennis court, swimming pool and two-bedroom guest house, is set to hit the market in Merewether, NSW.

The landmark property at 8 Kempster Road is listed for sale by expressions of interest with Lyndall Allan at Salt Property.

“It is expressions of interest from $10 million,” Ms Allan said.

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“It has had a full renovation, plus the addition of a second house and a new tennis court which is full-sized, floodlit and purpose-built for netball, basketball or tennis.

“It is absolutely phenomenal and as far as being the ultimate family residence, there is nothing this home doesn’t have.”

The 10-metre swimming pool overlooks the tennis court.
The 10-metre swimming pool overlooks the tennis court. Credit: Supplied

The property’s history dates back to 1924.

The five-bedroom, three-bathroom house was crafted by architects Pitt & Merewether for an archdeacon on land purchased from the Merewether Estate.

It was converted to flats before being purchased in the 1960s by Jim and Pam Todhunter, who raised their seven children there.

The full-sized tennis court.
The full-sized tennis court. Credit: Supplied

Known as Takamuna (which translates to ‘house on the hill’), the property was held by the Todhunter family until it was sold in 2018 for $3.2 million to Tom and Nicole Elliott.

At the time, Mr Elliott, a founder of Newcastle building company Core Project Group, and his wife purchased the property, it was listed as a potential sub-division opportunity.

However, the couple chose to retain the estate and meticulously renovated the original house.

The living room in the main house.
The living room in the main house. Credit: Supplied
The family room and dining room.
The family room and dining room. Credit: Supplied

They added a new architecturally designed two-bedroom, two-bathroom guest house, a full-sized tennis court and a 10-metre swimming pool.

“It is half an acre, so it is just over 2000 square metres,” the agent said.

“When they purchased the land, they had the option to divide the block into several lots but they didn’t want to do that.

“They wanted to restore the property to its former glory and create a sanctuary for their family.

“It is a very rare useable parcel of land in Merewether and all the hard work has already been done for you.

“There is nothing this house doesn’t have in terms of fixtures and finishes.”

The alfresco area.
The alfresco area. Credit: Supplied

The property’s elevated position takes in ocean views across Merewether and Bar Beach, and city views stretching all the way to Stockon.

Ms Allan said the property also offered a high level of privacy due to its elevation.

The five-bedroom house has been restored throughout, with original period features, including the heritage facade, tied with modern updates.

The main house has five bedrooms.
The main house has five bedrooms. Credit: Supplied

There are 3.2-metre ornate plaster ceilings, hardwood floors, leadlight windows, picture rails, plate ledges and two fireplaces now replaced with gas fires.

The luxury kitchen is fitted with Carrara marble tiles, a butler’s pantry and Gaggenau appliances.

The kitchen has Gagenau appliances.
The kitchen has Gagenau appliances. Credit: Supplied

There are three bathrooms in the main house, all with underfloor heating.

The living area flows out to a Travertine-paved pergola with a louvered roof.

The house has elevated ocean and city views.
The house has elevated ocean and city views. Credit: Supplied

Other features include a fire pit area in the yard and a large games room underneath the guest house.

“It has a golf simulator and a window into the pool,” the agent said.

“It also has a full-sized pool table and a projector, so it is the ultimate games room, as well as a mini kitchen and bar area.”

The games room.
The games room. Credit: Supplied

The architecturally designed two-bedroom second house is ideal for guests or multi-generational living.

“It is brand new and it is a piece of art in itself, with a mixture of incredible raw materials and state-of-the-art design,” she said.

“It is absolutely perfection.”

The property dates back to 1294.
The property dates back to 1294. Credit: Supplied

Ms Allan said the listing had already drawn pre-market interest from buyers in the Newcastle area.

“I have first inspections happening on Saturday with buyers showing interest from other high-end homes I have sold,” she said.

“At this stage, it is all local interest.”

The rise of Newcastle’s prestige property market

Three years ago, a home on John Parade overlooking Merewether Beach became the first residential property to top $10 million in Newcastle when it fetched $10.25 million in an off-market sale.

In November 2022, a newly built lakefront mansion with an indoor swimming pool on The Esplanade in Speers Point sold for a Lake Macquarie record of $10 million.

334 The Esplanade at Speers Point sold for $10 million in 2022.
334 The Esplanade at Speers Point sold for $10 million in 2022. Credit: Supplied

Eight months later, another beachside property on Berner Street in Merewether smashed sale records in Newcastle when it sold for $11.050 million.

It held the record as the most expensive house in the Newcastle LGA until May this year when a historic home at 51 Church Street in The Hill fetched a record-breaking $12 million off-market.

51 Church Street at The Hill sold for a record-breaking $12 million in an off-market sale.
51 Church Street at The Hill sold for a record-breaking $12 million in an off-market sale. Credit: Supplied

There could be another $10 million-plus sale on the horizon, with a huge luxury apartment in Newcastle listed with an asking price understood to be around $10 million.

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