Mys­ti­cal vibe at rain­for­est re­treat

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - HOME - Jar­rad Be­van Any­one in­ter­ested in putting their own amaz­ing home up for con­sid­er­a­tion for house of the week can email jes­

EA­GLE­HAWK Rain­for­est Re­treat is a prop­erty un­like most oth­ers. It was orig­i­nally owned by a small al­ter­na­tive com­mu­nity in the 1990s.

Many of them were in­volved in hand- build­ing the house and the sep­a­rate stu­dio spa­ces scat­tered across the prop­erty.

The orig­i­nal own­ers chose the land be­cause they be­lieved it was where ley lines con­verged, and as such was con­sid­ered a place of spir­i­tual and mys­ti­cal en­ergy.

The se­cluded Ea­gle­hawk Rain­for­est Re­treat is lo­cated on the edge of pic­turesque Pi­rates Bay.

It fea­tures two oc­tag­o­nal spa­ces, both hand- crafted from re­cy­cled tim­bers and clad in western red cedar.

The main house fea­tures floor- to- ceil­ing win­dows ex­tend­ing the en­tire width of the house, hard­wood Tas­ma­nian oak floor­boards, a vaulted tim­ber ceil­ing and a wood- burn­ing com­bus­tion fire place.

Po­si­tioned 60m from the main house, a sec­ond mini- yurt is pri­vately lo­cated among na­tive eu­ca­lypt trees.

This smaller and pri­vate space is self­con­tained with large win­dows, tim­ber floor­ing, a heater, bath­room and kitchen.

The prop­erty is owned and op­er­ated by Jon Frank and his part­ner Marieka Ja­cobs.

Marieka said it was fairly ba­sic when Jon bought it about a decade ago.

She said the main house was with­out floor­ing and the kitchen con­sisted of a sim­ple camp­ing burner and no cup­boards.

“In ad­di­tion to this, the three small stu­dio spa­ces scat­tered across the 1.6ha prop­erty were in ru­ins, two of which re­main that way to this day,” she said.

Re­gard­less of the prop­erty’s di­shev­elled state, Jon in­stantly fell in love with the feel of the hand- crafted house, and the land it­self.

“His first few years were spent sleep­ing on a mattress on the bare floor while he lov­ingly re­stored the main house into a live­able state,’’ Marieka said.

“Live­able, at that point, meant re­fur­bish­ing the kitchen area with cup­boards, fit­tings and a stove, lay­ing Tas­ma­nia Oak floor­boards and cre­at­ing an en­tirely new bath­room – no small feat in an oc­tag­o­nal space that doggedly de­fies the right an­gles nec­es­sary to build walls.’’

Jon and Marieka met a few years ago, which pre­cip­i­tated a new phase for the house – a new mas­ter bed­room, new fur­ni­ture, lots of soft fur­nish­ings and, in gen­eral, “a woman’s touch’’.

The pair have plans to con­tinue to im­prove the house, through struc­tural and in­te­rior changes.

Jon and Marieka are both orig­i­nally from NSW.

Jon moved to Tas­ma­nia about a decade ago af­ter read­ing it was the only state in Aus­tralia with a de­clin­ing pop­u­la­tion.

Ea­gle­hawk Rain­for­est Re­treat is Marieka and Jon’s first foray into the hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion busi­ness.

“Jon lived in the house for six years. The shift from res­i­den­tial rentals to hol­i­day rentals re­quired us to build an en­tirely new mas­ter bed­room, pur­chase fur­ni­ture ( much of which was done through vin­tage and sec­ond- hand shops) and buy the co­pi­ous amount of linen nec­es­sary for ac­com­mo­dat­ing large group hol­i­day book­ings,’’ Marieka said.

Marieka said her favourite thing about this unique prop­erty was the land and the for­est.

“There’s just an amaz­ing en­ergy about the prop­erty,’’ she said.

“We reckon the hip­pies may have been right about the ley lines.’’

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