Paul Hogan's "Down Under" Cedar Springs Plantation by Kaya Morgan
More than fifteen years after its release, Crocodile Dundee still remains the most successful Australian film ever made, grossing a cool $328 million. Its phenomenal success can be directly attributed to the perfect creation of an Australian bushman hero personified by Paul Hogan, the man who also made famous the Aussie colloquialism of "g'day" and "slip another shrimp on the barbie." Without question, Hogan made himself the unofficial emblem of Australianness and then with the precision of a top-notch marketing genius sold it to the world.
Born in Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia, this former pool lifeguard, union organizer and Sydney Harbour Bridge rigger stumbled into success when his work mates dared him to enter a talent contest. This versatile comedian and actor got his start on Australian television in a recurring role as comic relief on "A Current Affair." Soon an expanded version entitled, "The Paul Hogan Show" premiered on Australia's Nine Network and quickly propelled him to the top of the ratings chart, running for an impressive nine years.
His role in the critically acclaimed television mini-series "Anzacs" and now legendary television commercials for the Australian Tourist Board did much to promote his country, making him into something of a national folk hero as well as being named "Australian of the Year." If Australia had a human face, it would certainly be that of Paul Hogan who has almost single-handedly enticed more than 600,000 Americans to the land "down under."
This unpretentious actor received a Golden Globe for his title role as the irresistible working-class, fun-loving Aussie outdoorsman who conquers New York with relaxed machismo and naïve good-heartedness Mick "Crocodile" Dundee (which Hogan created and co-wrote), as well as receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Owing to his own marketability, everything Hogan has lent his winning grin to has scored a knockout Winfield cigarettes became and remain the most popular brand in Australia, Foster's lager became the second-largest-selling beer in Britain and the number of American tourists visiting Australia doubled in just four short years. Recently, Hogan has become the new face of Subaru Outback, once again utilizing his well-loved persona and worldwide appeal in their car commercials.
Lean, tanned and down-to earth "Hoges," as friends call him, has become an astute businessman in his own right. His entertainment endeavors have brought him credits as executive producer, writer and star of over ten feature films even utilizing the Australian Stock Exchange to raise funds in a unique and successful idea uncommon to the film industry.
Having the opportunity to live anywhere, Hogan has renovated a Victorian farmhouse near Santa Barbara, California making it his American digs. But when wanting to be laid-back in the comfort of his Australian homeland, Paul and wife, Linda Kozlowski (Dundee costar) chose Cedar Springs, just outside Byron Bay, in New South Whales to create their own private hideaway.
Byron Bay in New South Whales is the most easterly point of Australia and well-known for its perfect temperatures and climate with no high rise buildings or fast food giants. As a marine reserve with its unspoiled beaches and nearby national parks, the area has become a highly sought after tourist destination. Just 20 minutes from this trendy beach and surfing resort lies the Hogan's 325-acre, Australian plantation known as Cedar Springs. With exotic wildlife such as bush turkeys, owls, wallabies, goannas black cockatoos, a timber plantation and shady rain forest, it's truly a restful place to unwind. The river running through the property is abundant with bass, perch and mullet offering unmatched recreational fishing year-round.
A far cry from the outback, the 8,000-square-foot mansion, designed by one of Australia's foremost architects, Ian McKay, is a spectacular centerpiece for this sprawling estate with rolling, velvety lawns that run all the way to the river's edge, magnificent palm trees and fragrant rose gardens surrounding the over-sized pool.
This Mediterranean-style home was created as the ultimate luxury estate complete with a sweeping staircase leading to the master-bedroom suite that encompasses the entire upper floor including a large private study, his and hers custom-designed dressing rooms with separate baths. The upper level is artfully designed with French doors leading out to a roof terrace with its own veranda overlooking the azure pool against a sea of green. Downstairs is the state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen, billiard room and full fitness center.
A separate guest wing allows for the comfort of friends and family yet retains a feeling of total privacy throughout the residence, while the machine shed doubles as the home for young seedlings awaiting their placement on the estate grounds. The nearby guest house, with its decidedly Australian feel of Colonial weatherboard frame construction and manager's residence, were also designed by McKay, and positioned to enjoy the surrounding vistas while being able to completely oversee all aspects of the property providing an air of extra security.
Paul and Linda Hogan have created their plantation at Cedar Springs to be an estate like no other. Overflowing with open, yet elegant conservatory spaces, colonnades, fresco finishes and open archways, from almost any area of the residence are vantage points of incredible vistas. Flawless design and luxury, executed at every turn, makes the Hogan plantation a true gem in the land down under.
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