With a name like Olivia Newton-John, it would be unfitting to live in anything less than a virtual palace on a few hundred acres of sprawling, rolling, wooded hills. But don’t think this singer, songwriter, dancer, and entrepreneur hasn’t earned her digs. Born in 1948, she has been a major player in the music world for decades.
Having written, played, and recorded hits in every popular genre from country to rock, to pop, and adult contemporary and having starred in the popular musical classic Grease- she is a force to be reckoned with.
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Olivia purchased her Australian farm in the early part of the 1980s, sometime after her role in the wildly successful film, Grease. She now resides in Florida, but her $3.9 million home in Australia is where her legacy has its home. She still returns there once in a while to recharge at the Gaia Retreat and Spa, of which she is a co-owner.
It is located just a 40-minute drive from the popular tourist spot, Byron Bay. The property is rich in panoramic scenery, natural waterfalls, and verdant rain forest.
At first glance from the air, the home might look humble- and considering the super-stardom of its owner- it might be. But once we step inside, we begin to get a clearer view into the tastes of one of the western world’s most iconic songstresses.
Enter the front room and we may begin to get a hint at the source of much of this famous inspiration. The first thing we notice is the high, raftered ceiling, supported by what looks like vintage (even for the time it was built) cherry-wood. A high-backed furnace-mantle cradles an iron wood-burning stove which surely keeps much of the main building warm, even in Australia’s coolest times of the year.
As we move a bit further into the Newton-John home, we find a large conversation room, hemmed in by stone-work walls, gleaming hardwood floors, and yet another translucent raftered ceiling. A large driftwood table takes the center-place in this room with a sprawling off-white couch and an adobe arch off to the far left.
If we follow that archway, we find ourselves in a kitchen and dining room with more high raftered ceilings, some tasteful redwood cabinetry, and a massive functional stovetop range. The dining room table is distressed, red-painted wood, as functional as it is charming. We get the running impression that function is at least as important as atmosphere at the Newton-John home.
Moving on to the primary bedroom we discover another room dominated by wall to wall hardwood flooring. Here, billowy drapes, modest white linen, and classy lighting fixtures set a romantic tone- far from out of touch with the tenor of Olivia’s lyrical work over the years. Moving through the room, we find a scenic patio and table which would be a spectacular place to take breakfast, coffee, or tea.
We round out our tour with a glimpse of the rear deck and porch, a rock and rustic wood dominated scene surrounded by swaths of greenery and an endless view of the nearby hills going off interminably into the distance.
Indeed, the longtime home of Olivia Newton-John, set in the Australian countryside is as iconic and refreshing as the work of Olivia herself. One wonders if she intends to part with this sprawling paradise. The answer, we suspect is ‘no.’ Otherwise, we’d expect she’d be spending more time in Florida, which she is not.
Photo credit: McGrath