Girvan Estate: Inside Australia’s tallest home in the hinterland of Nelson Bay

A 10-storey high-rise building in NSW with a ground-floor pool, lift and balconies to every room is a little deceiving. You won’t find resort guests roaming the halls, just the Evans family.

They have been living at Girvan Estate, Australia’s tallest private home, since acquiring it in 2012 from the late Peter Grey who, in 1994, spent more than $2 million and six years building it.

According to John Miles, a personal friend and the man trusted with eventually selling the home, the build was inspired by Mr Grey’s affinity with hotel architecture.

The property, which is set on about 40 hectares, is about two hours from Sydney in the hinterland of Nelson Bay, with the midnorth NSW coastline visible from the structure’s taller balconies.

Mr Miles described his late friend Mr Grey, who he told was “like a father” to him, as “special”.

“Peter’s taste was very, very different … You had bright red carpet downstairs, a whopping big crystal chandelier and orange couches … Peter was special. It’s the only way to put it,” Mr Miles told ABC News.

In his two decades of working in the industry, he had never encountered anything as unique as Girvan Estate, he said, which sits about 200m above sea level.

The Great Lakes Council approved the construction before there were any height restrictions for residential buildings in the environmental plan.

Despite its indisputable charm and many luxury features, including an entire floor dedicated to a tennis court and gym, the home spent two years on the market before being sold to the Evans family for $1.275 million – reportedly a million less than what it cost to build.

At 30m high, the building has views to the ocean despite being 50km from the coast.

“We have 360-degree views of the mountains, and we can see the ocean over at Nelson Bay and Hawks Nest. We can even see whales from here,” owner Andrea Evans told ABC News.

Each of the home’s five bedrooms take up an entire floor, with the master bedroom up on level seven and the nine bathrooms scattered throughout.

The kitchen is on level five and the office is up the top on level eight.

Ms Evans and her son James run a permaculture business on the property’s expansive acreage and raise pigs, chickens and ducks.

The home, which has been unchanged since it was owned by Mr Grey, will remain in possession of the Evans family long into the future.

James, now 19, said he would remain in Girvan for his entire life and expected the estate would be “great for the kids and grandkids”.

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