SYDNEY bar baron Justin Hemmes' acquisition of landmark real estate strayed from hotels to exotic weekenders this week when he bought a vast 60-hectare beachfront property at Narooma.
It was reported that the Glasshouse Rocks property on 1.5 kilometres of absolute beachfront sold for about $7.5 million, although $6.7 million could be closer to the real amount, according to a source.
Owned by the Chapman family for the past 66 years, the Narooma property has been run as a cattle farm until recently, with two dwellings on the pristine beachfront.
Justin Hemmes spent $7.5 million on the waterfront estate, according to a source.
It was listed with hopes of between $8 million and $10 million before it was sold by Webster Nolan's David Nolan.
It was last traded in 1949 for £700 when bought by Norman Chapman, who grew corn and raised sheep, pigs and chicken on the property.
Mr Chapman's daughter Betty Long established a sea kelp business on the beachfront in the 1960s, which was continued until recently along with the cattle operation run by her son Scott Long and his partner Philippa Morton.
The Narooma estate was last sold in 1949.
The property is named after the beach's landmark rock formations, which are 510 million years old according to the Geological Society of Australia.
The Glasshouse Rocks formation meanwhile was recently written up in Australian Traveller magazine by photographer Ken Duncan as “an icon in the making”, as good as the 12 Apostles but better because you can walk on the beach.
The Merivale chief has been on a buying spree in recent years, most recently buying the Queen Victoria Hotel in Enmore last month for almost $11 million.
In March his portfolio of more than 50 pubs, bars and restaurants was joined by the Newport Arms hotel on the northern beaches for about $50 million.
Mr Hemmes' family also own the gothic-style Vaucluse beachfront estate Hermitage, which was bought by the late John Hemmes in 1975 for $500,000, and a beachfront home in Rose Bay, bought for $8 million in 2005.
Mr Hemmes could not be reached for comment.
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