Fairhaven Kirribilli

Fairhaven, 69 Carabella Street, Kirribilli

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In the News:


Rob Melhem’s Fairhaven, Kirribilli mansion settles at $6.7 million

69 Carabella Street Kirribilli NSW 2061 Sold

The sale of the Kirribilli mansion called Fairhaven has been settled at $6.7 million, having sold earlier this year at an undisclosed price. There were $7.5 million plus hopes in early 2013, having been initially listed in 2010 with $10 million plus hopes.

  • It was last sold at $6.05 million by the Donnelly family in 2004, so reflected a mediocre 1% annual growth over the decade.
  • The five-bedroom house on an 1,400 square metre estate was sold by telecommunications entrepreneur turned property developer Rob Melhemwho had commissioned renovations by SJB Architects.
  • Downstairs is The Club Room, a timber panelled rumpus room with a huge open fireplace, a full sized billiards table, games area, built-in bar and climate controlled cellar for up to 800 bottles.
  • The 1905 Edwardian/Federation property comes with a heated pool, tennis court and parking for six cars.
    It sold through LJ Hooker who marketed it has having Kirribilli’s only privately owned, full-size tennis court. Even Kirribilli House does not have a tennis court as our prime ministers play their tennis at The Lodge.
  • Fairhaven, which borders Loreto Convent on Carabella Street, is viewed as among the best examples of the early work of the 19th-century architect James Peddle.

Cut-price mansion

Fairhaven at Kirribilli, now reduced to $7.5 million.
Fairhaven at Kirribilli, now reduced to $7.5 million.

Not quite rock bottom, once listed at $12 million, the Kirribilli mansion called Fairhaven has been discounted even further. In November last year, the price guide for the five-bedroom estate was revised down to $8 million.

  • At that time it was reported the owner, telecommunications entrepreneur Rob Melhem, said: ”We won’t budge from this price. This is rock bottom.” A new price guide of $7.5 million has been announced by Gaby Rogers of Colliers International.
  • Mr Melham and his wife, Fiona, purchased the 1400sqm estate for $6.05 million in 2004. The federation property built in 1910 has undergone a substantial renovation and comes with a heated pool, tennis court, billiards room, bar, wine cellar, sauna and parking for six cars.

Kirribilli top dog

“This property, at 69 Carabella Street, Kirribilli, a few hundred metres from the PM’s official Sydney residence, is not only on the suburb’s largest block (more than 1400sq m), but also has the suburb’s only private tennis court. It’s grass, of course.
There is also a pool and an outdoor entertaining area with more facilities than the average beer garden.”

  • “Vendor Robert Melham says the house, which is heritage-listed, was possibly built in the late 19th century. He and his wife Fiona embarked on two major renovations after buying it nine years ago.
  • “The first renovation dramatically altered the first-floor “rabbit warren”, knocking out walls, creating a bedroom-size walk-in robe with private spa, and modernising the lighting, including chandeliers.
  • “The second renovation was to create the outdoor living area, which includes a Perspex roof over timber slats, allowing light to penetrate in winter regardless of the weather.” – The Australian

From Australian Heritage Database:
Fairhaven at 69 Carabella Street, Kirribilli, together with its neighbour Araluen House at 71 Carabella Street, forms a pair of substantial turn of the century North Shore residences.


They are in generally intact condition externally and well demonstrate characteristics of early Federation period architecture influenced by the nineteenth century Arts and Crafts movement (Criterion F.1). They are a prominent remnant group showing the character of turn of the century development of the North Shore of Sydney with the residences of the wealthy professional classes (Criterion B.2).

Araluen House rt50046-12698.jpg
Araluen House 71 Carabella Street Kiribilli
Fairhaven rt09629-1313.jpg
Fairhaven 69 Carabella Street Kirribilli

The house at 69 Carabella Street is the former residence of architect James Peddle and was probably designed by him (as was its neighbour 71 Carabella Street) in the early 1900s.
It is a large single storey brick house of early Federation period character, its character relies on materials and massing rather than the profusion of details typical of the later Federation period. There is a sandstone foundation space and a servants’ wing at the rear linked to a garage by a high brick wall, forming a courtyard. The complex hipped and gabled slate roof has terracotta ridgecapping, boarded and shingled fascias, exposed eaves and tall chimneys with modest brick decorative strings. A corner bay faces the harbour view with a steep octagonal roof. Internally there are marble chimney pieces, well detailed joinery and plaster and pressed metal ceilings.
Condition is good. Harbour views from the tower and semi-circular rooms have been lost in recent years (1980s) by an elevated tennis court construction. (1988)


Largest Freestanding, Privately Owned Estate in Kirribilli – Pool & Tennis Court

A rare estate of over 1,400sqm embracing the unique lifestyle that harbour side Kirribilli can offer … panoramic harbour views, northerly aspect, close to peaceful waterfront parklands, the ferry and the Village cafe scene.
Designed in 1905, by renowned architect James Peddle in the high Queen Anne Federation style and completely architecturally modernized by SJB Architects for today’s lifestyle, this is a unique family residence with vast formal living and dining areas and impressive entertaining areas indoors and out, tennis court, children’s playground and swimming pool.
Casual entertaining will focus on the huge terrace and loggia which feature a fully equipped professional outdoor kitchen including teppanyaki bbq, alfresco dining area and an amazing sliding wall that opens to reveal a complete media centre with 46″ LCD TV screen and sound system.
Downstairs is ‘The Club Room’, a fantastic timber panelled rumpus room with a huge open fireplace, a full sized billiards table, games area, built-in bar and climate controlled cellar for up to 800 bottles. French doors open to the sheltered and sunny lower terrace that overlooks the 11m x 5m heated swimming pool with spa, sunny terrace and grass tennis court. The children’s playground is a magical area with soft play surfaces, 2 level cubby house, trampoline, slides and a fairy pavilion. The garage for 6 cars is a welcomed addition.
Five bedrooms in total including a guest’s/teens suite on the lower level and a wonderful master suite with dressing room and ensuite bathroom. 12ft ceilings, marble fireplaces, sauna, central heating, back to base security and sophisticated smart house technologies through out complete the package.


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