Buying property in Fiji

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I recently visited the Coral Coast in Fiji with a view to looking at freehold land for sale next to Nanuku Resort. I found the experience both captivating and rewarding. Not only did we gain a great understanding of what’s involved in buying property in Fiji, we gained a magical insight into the wonders of the Coral Coast and why this region is the place to buy.
The flight with Virgin Australia from Sydney took three and a half hours and flew over some beautiful reefs including Elizabeth Reef. We landed in Nadi and took a road transfer to Nanuku which took around around two and a half hours with a lunch stop. Next time I think I’ll take a flight to Suva and a 45 minute drive to Nanuku or perhaps even a helicopter transfer to mix it up.
Driving into Nanuku Resort was like wondering into a tropical garden paradise. As we approached the port cachere we were greated by three Fijian men in traditional dress and face paint. They blew through a shell horn and drummed away a traditional welcome on a wooden drum. The warm sea breeze was a welcome relief from the heat of the day.
I soon discovered that the Coral Coast is otherwise known as the ‘adventure capital’ of Fiji and offers a fantastic array of outdoor activities including but not limited to white water rafting; hiking (the mountainous backdrop of this region is both dramatic and extensive); caving; zip-lining; watersports – snorkelling, diving (the area is famous for its shark dive); sailing, jet-skiing and island hopping. Surfing one of Fiji’s best reef breaks: Frigates, is a 30 minute boat ride away. Pacific Harbour is where most of these activities originate from and it is less than 15 minutes drive from Nanuku Resort. This waterside hamlet also offers some restaurants, bars and other handy amenities.nanuku_blog 2
Nanuku Resort opened in May of 2014 and offers a wonderfully authentic Fijian holiday experience.  The villas are relxaed yet elegant and remarkably spacious and feature vaulted ceilings with thatched rooves and beautiful Fijian handicrafts and workmanship (note the patterned rope work made of coconut husk on the beams featured below known as ‘Magimagi’ which takes hundreds of hours to create). Each villa has its own pool and private tropical garden surrounds and all are waterfront. Rooms start from USD$750 per night and include all meals, transfers and resort activities. While we were there the menu had been designed by reknowned Australian restaurateur Jacques Raymond and combined international cuisine and Fijian ingredients creatively.
Nanuku Resort owns 450 acres of land and this includes considerable oceanfront land as well as an airstrip, helipad and the tropical mountainous area located behind the main buildings of the resort. The resort has just released 10 oceanfront blocks of freehold land for sale and these beautiful parcels of land open onto a white sandy beach overlooking various surrounding islands including Nanuku Island (owned by the resort and accessible for day trips by boat – stunning and a very worthwhile experience); Benqa and Vatulele islands.
The land faces South and this means you get the sun for most of the day. Thankfully the prevailing winds and more dramatic weather comes from the North and the West and as such the blocks are protected whilst being blessed by the wonderful sea breezes which keep the temperature and the humidity very liveable for a tropical destination.
When it comes to buying land in Fiji there are a few key points to consider.  Firstly only around 9% of land in Fiji is freehold. So if you’re buying leasehold  land it is important to consider the terms of the lease and how that can be changed by the land owners and what is involved in renewing the lease.
If you’re not a Fijian and you’d like to buy land in Fiji new laws introduced in 2014 mean you cant buy in the cities (for me the stunning countryside and waterfront land holds most appeal and so this rule suits me perfectly!).
When you buy a property in Fiji the stamp duty is 10% (but only 3% on special use villa zoning), VAT is 15% but if you buy the property through a company structure you can claim this back. There are no additional property taxes once the property is owned. Settlement usually takes around 60 days.
The freehold Nanuku blocks on offer range in size from around 1452sqm (14520sqft) to 3035sqm (30350sqft)  and start at USD $600,000 per lot. Allow $3500 to $5000 Fiji Dollars per sqm (USD $2760 – $3935 per sqm or per 10.76 square feet). Annual body corporate fees are USD$6500 per annum. They include 24 hour security, maintenance of the common areas (gardens, beach & roads) and also enable access to all Nanuku Resort facilities.
Nanuku Resort have appointed GK Architects from Perth, Australia to design a number of concept villa designs for the land for sale. These architects are internationally renowned for their resort designs and originally designed Nanuku Resort. They are available to assist new land owners at Nanuku in coming up with a unique design for their specific block. Land owners can also employ their own preferred architects to design their homes and are welcome to use the resort’s preferred builders or builders of their own choice.
Nanuku Resort offers a fantastic opportunity to own freehold oceanfront land in Fiji in one of the most beautiful parts of this magical land. To find out more visit www.uniqueestates.com.au/nanukuor email info@uniqueestates.com.au
The Fijian people need a special mention in my words here. I challenge you to find a country with more genuine, heartfelt kindness in its people. For whom smiling and generosity of spirit is a national passtime. The Fijian people is what makes Fiji even more special. They are exceptionally welcoming, pleasant, musical, playful and infectiously happy. I’m really looking forward to my next trip to Fiji for this reason alone.
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Cedar Springs Auction on 29 September

The magnificent home built by Australian actor Paul Hogan, Cedar Springs, will go to auction on 29 September, at the Possum Creek property.Cedar Springs' rainforest views across rolling lawns to Possum Creek

The current owners, Sally and Duncan Mount, are listing the secluded property in the Byron Bay hinterland for 6.5 million, according to Nicolette van Wijngaarden of Unique Estates. The Mounts bought the house and 132 hectares in 2006 and have since sold two building lots, both 40 hectares in size.

TV viewers got an intimate view of the Mediterranean style estate when Channel Nine broadcasted the ‘Introductions’ episode of the reality dating show, ‘Farmer Wants a Wife,’ from this exquisite mansion. http://channelnine.ninemsn.com.au/thefarmerwantsawife/

Cedar Springs has also been the venue for private functions, weddings and was recently used as the location for the launch of the new Audi A5. For those looking for an exclusive holiday house this secluded paradise is unsurpassed.

Relaxed outdoor dining poolside

Cedar Springs was designed by Ian McKay, one of Australia’s premier architects, and a team of Italian artisans lived on site for a year while creating the 800 sq metre masterpiece. The stone spiral staircase is a work of art in itself and the detail in the stained glass windows, archways and six metre ceilings is beyond compare.Mediterranean artistry and detail at Cedar Springs

The river views and traquil surrounds offer privacy for this luxury home with a separate guest house or manager’s quarters nearby. The house itself has a separate guest wing and formal dining for 16 for entertaining. The gardens were designed by Tim Hays, a painter and sculptor who blends his artistry with the landscape.Gardens designed by artist Tim Hays

The auction will be held at Cedar Springs in Possum Creek, just 15 minutes inland of Byron Bay, two hours from Brisbane. The Ballina Airport is 20 minutes to the south and Coolangatta International Airport is 45 minutes north of Cedar Springs.

Contact Nicolette van Wijngaarden for more information on +61(0)2 6684 8266, +61(0)411 144 877 or Freecall (from within Australia) 1300 911 720 or email nicolette@uniqueestates.com.au

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Sanquhar – something special in Noosa

With the recent attention on Noosa as one of Australia’s most desirable locations, Sanquhar stands out as something very special indeed.  This serenely private, stunning five-bedroom home has some of the best views on the entire Queensland coast and is just 10 minutes from the heart of Noosa.
Sanquhar's swimming pool and entertainment areas
Sanquhar is one of those  rare, perfect marriages of built and natural environments, a home that invites the gorgeous  ocean and hinterland views into a casually elegant interior where rich timber tones accentuate bright open spaces and the charm of an old Queenslander takes on a crisp contemporary elegance.

A gum-lined driveway off a rolling pastoral landscape sets the tone as you approach the main house and an ample three car garage. Atop the garage sits a large sprawling loft currently set up as an open entertainment area. A separate guest bedroom with ensuite and private balcony taking in Coral Sea vistas completes this charming building.

Connected by a covered walkway, the main house combines contemporary flair with warm, country charm and an overriding feeling of quiet confidence. Surrounded by shaded verandas with polished timber decks and priceless views, Sanquhar is breathtaking and breezy, maintaining many of the features of a traditional Queenslander with a clean, modern style that makes use of ample light to highlight a bright, spacious interior that feels open yet intimate.
Sanquhar's cosy, contemporary, comfortable lounge
The comfortable casual lounge and dining area has an open fireplace and sweeping views to create a restful ambience, and the adjoining spacious open kitchen invites entertaining as well as culinary inspiration.

For more formal entertaining and gatherings, the main lounge features a beautiful timber table with seating for 14 people, and a Jetmaster fireplace as the cosy central focus of a spacious sitting room opening out onto another veranda overlooking the pool.  Whether relaxing in the shade or enjoying a swim, the views are magnificent.

All four bedrooms in the main house have their own ensuites and, with large windows and French doors opening onto the verandas, enjoy ample light and their own lovely views. A comfortable study and enclosed laundry are quietly tucked away.

Sitting atop a ridge, Sanquhar’s perfectly manicured two acres are set off by lovely gardens and a full sized tennis court with views that make it hard to keep an eye on the ball but offer extra incentive to spend more time outdoors.
Tennis anyone? It's 'love all' at Sanquhar in Noosa
With such a sense of secluded, private enjoyment it’s hard to believe that Sanquhar is a mere ten minute drive to the heart of Noosa with its fine dining, sophisticated shopping and eclectic nightlife. With Brisbane less than a two hour drive away, and the Sunshine Coast Airport at Maroochydore only  a half hour away, it is no wonder that Noosa continues to attract people looking for a lifestyle that is becoming more precious as opportunities such as Sanquhar become increasingly rare.

Stunning views of Sanquhar and the Noosa Hinterland

To fully appreciate Sanquhar and its exquisite environs, contact Nicolette van Wijngaarden at Unique Estates to arrange a private inspection.

0411 144 877 or +61 2 6684 8266 or via email on nicolette@uniqueestates.com.au

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Margaux Manor – French Classic in Bowral

Vive la difference! A French Classic perfectly at home in country Australia

It seems like a marriage made in heaven – classic French design wedded to an iconic Australian landscape, and what makes Margaux Manor work is the careful balancing of these elements to create what is surely one of the most magnificently distinctive estates in Australia.

Drawing on a family heritage of French architecture, Margaux Manor is not a replica but a return to classic French chateau living, and appears perfectly at home under the big sky and rambling surrounds of country New South Wales. The accent is decidedly French – even down to having a prestige winery as a neighbour.

None of this came about by accident – owner builder Maryann Nolan drew upon her own family’s heritage as renowned French and then Australian architects, added her professional love of quality antiques with extensive experience in interior design and lovingly created the house she wanted to live in.

Margaux Manor was designed as a French country estate in BowralOne of Margaux Manor’s surprises is the almost unbelievably low maintenance. Maryann said that the 450mm sealed sandstone walls and precision laid granite floors create an environment that is virtually dust free and self-regulating – Margaux Manor is delightfully cool in summer and easy to keep warm in winter.

The neutral colour of the materials and the classic design lend themselves to a wide variety of décor, and Margaux Manor is available with its existing furnishings or can be transformed into a contemporary masterpiece.

After getting over the initial “wow” factor, one quickly realises what an eminently livable luxury home or prestige rental Margaux Manor would make, and why the French chateau is one of history’s most enduring designs.

To enquire about Margaux Manor contact www.uniqueestates.com and speak to Nicolette van Wijngaarden on 0411 144 877 or +61 2 6684 8266 or via email on nicolette@uniqueestates.com.au to arrange a private inspection.

 

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