Homes of the Hunter | Catherine Hill Bay | Photos Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth
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Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

Pictures: Kirsten Woodforth

TweetFacebookDoctor Who – bigger on the inside than the outside.

You wouldn’t realise the two-storey, five-bedroom, three-bathroom house is as spacious and magical as it is until you walk inside.

“They pulled out the ceilings and walls (making) that big open living area,” Suzie says. “We spend a hell of a lot of time there, and it sort of flows in and out onto the deck; it’s just stunning.”

They have a portable air-con but they hardly ever use it because the sun and the sea breeze keeps everything at the perfect temperature most days.

“It’s a big social home; you can sit 18 people around the table, and it’s got its own area downstairs. We’ve got the beach and the community,” she says.

The spotted gum hardwood floors are Tung oiled and a prominent part of the house. The builder picked the trees up at a plantation in Rockhampton after a cyclone; they were all blown over and knocked around. Baxter’s brother used them to build the floors, decking and structural posts.

While the renovations were happening, Baxter was in New York, and he’d come back and check it out from time to time.

“Kirk’s brother made it into a beautiful home; we’ve just maintained it and put our fluff in there,” Suzie says.

Their “fluff” is quite intriguing, particularly the artwork. They have a large collection from the many facets of their life.

“(We have) lots of art from travel; it’s a creative space,” Suzie says. “My husband has a thing for bulls; he’s a Taurus, so he’s got a connection with it.”

They have artwork from a friend in Spain, an artist named Alvaro Sotomayer. He paints a lot of bulls, and he’s also an activist fighting and protesting the Running of the Bulls and the suffering of animals.

The roomy ensuite bathroom of the master bedroom has a summer feel of fun and fresh with blue tiles and lots of space.

The downstairs bathroom has a luxurious tub, and it opens into a private courtyard; she calls it the “Bali area”.

Of course, it’s just a two-minute walk to the beach.

It’s certainly idyllic for a holiday, so it makes sense that the pair rent the place out from time to time.

When they aren’t renting it out, they love to visit. She says Catherine Hill Bay is a delightful community. When she and Bernard moved in 15 years ago they made three documentaries about the area. They interviewed a lot of the older miners in the town who have since passed away.

It appears that the film folks from Sydney have truly set up the perfect scene for themselves in ‘Catho’.

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