FASHION icon and passionate conservationist Liz Davenport is selling her rainforest retreat in the Currumbin Valley.
The prolific designer who has dressed a host of celebrities over her 40-year career purchased the historic Gold Coast property known as ‘Tallowood Estate’ for $1.3m in March 2020.
Sprawled across 10 acres at 699 Tomewin Mountain Rd, the unique property is marketed by Karen Pirie, of Harcourts Coastal Prestige, and goes under the hammer on August 24.
Ms Davenport said she relocated from Western Australia to Queensland following a family tragedy, and described the property as, “wild but sophisticated”.
“I fell in love with the location after searching from Byron bay to Mount Tamborine,” she said.
“It sits high on Tomewin Mountain Rd with views of Mt Tallebudgera and Springbrook with ocean glimpses, and has its own microclimate being five degrees cooler in summer.
“The air is pure and the volcanic soil rich and fertile.”
The estate comprises a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home and a separate self-contained artist’s studio, while the grounds feature a mix of untouched forest, rolling lawns, and an orchard with hundreds of fruit and nut trees.
There’s also a two-bay shed, an incredible stone wine cellar cut into the hillside, and even a rustic stone chapel complete with stained glass feature.
Australia’s first lady of fashion has been a longterm campaigner against logging old-growth forest, and was arrested in WA in the 1990s while rallying for the cause.
“I simply love nature. I have enjoyed owning my own forest full of wildlife,” Ms Davenport said.
“It is the magnificent botanical wonder of 2,000 hand-planted trees that have created the forest garden which makes Tallowood so unique.
“Robyn and Arthur Buckley, the previous owners, left detailed planting maps of every tree.
“My favourite tree? I can’t decide between the ancient red cedar called ‘The Cathedral’ or the sky-scraping tallowood 100m from the kitchen door,” she said.
Ms Davenport owned a store at Marina Mirage for more than 20 years from the earliest glory days of the Skase era.
It was one of 14 stores across Australia, as well as on Bond St in London’s West End, while the brand was stocked by more than 300 boutiques and department stores.
Ms Davenport rose to become one of the country’s most recognisable designers, with her work including collections for the Miss Universe pageants and the America’s Cup.
In the 1908s, she famously custom-made a leopard print outfit for rock royalty, Rod Stewart.
“When Marina Mirage first opened it was probably one of the most beautiful shopping centres in the world and that was my favourite store,” she said.
“We used to have amazing fashion parades up there on the concourse, and every time I came to the Gold Coast I would stay in a different high-rise and I thought, ‘why am I not living here?’
“Queensland is by far and away the most progressive state in Australia.”
Ms Davenport lived at the Currumbin estate with her daughter and grandchildren — twin boys aged nine — before they moved to be closer to the beach.
Her plan now is to downsize.
“Ten acres is a little too much to look after. I want to find somewhere similar that has trees but it not quite so much work,” Ms Davenport said.