To the manor born: Grand Queensland country estate for sale
THINK you know what it's like to live like royalty?
Forget lap pools, media rooms and hi-tech sound systems.
Today's modern luxuries have got nothing on the stately grandness of this Victorian gothic sandstone masterpiece, which is about as close as you can get to something out of the television series, Downton Abbey.
And, believe it or not, it's in country Queensland.
This regal manor house, complete with 50 rooms on 10,000 sqm stands proudly in the town of Warwick, southwest of Brisbane, despite being more at home in Europe or the UK.
Now is your chance to live as if you were 'to the manor born', with the former Sisters of Mercy convent, now known as 'Abbey of the Roses', going to auction later this month.
Built in 1891, this heritage-listed building at 8 Locke St is one of more than 100 properties going under the hammer at Ray White's major auction event of the year on the Gold Coast on January 28.
Ray White marketing agent Josh Thomas said the property was primarily a private residence, but had most recently been used as a guesthouse and wedding venue.
Mr Thomas said he had received a lot of interstate inquiries and had never marketed a property like it before.
"This is something that doesn't become available in Queensland that often - if ever," he said.
"It's something I think that's more common in Europe."
Owners Sonia Hunt and Mark Cains fell in love with the property when they first saw it online.
Mrs Hunt said she thought it was in England at first before noticing the sale price was in Australian dollars.
It has been the couple's home for the past eight years, but they want to sell to move closer to family.
"It's really surreal. You don't feel like you own it because it's not like a normal home," Mrs Hunt said.
"We could sleep in a different bed every night and feel like we're on holiday for over a week."
Gradually restoring the property to its former glory has been a labour of love for Mrs Hunt.
"Fixing her up and feeling the love come back out of her - you just have this proud feeling you can't put into words," she said.
Records show the property last sold for $1.525 million in 2010.
Spanning three levels, it includes a chapel, a grand dining room and function rooms, 14 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms.
Designed by the same architect as the Breakfast Creek Hotel, the property also boasts stained glass from the same German company that made the glass windows of the Vatican and features a statue by the designer of the Statue of Liberty.