Introduction: “Dunedin,” 1892
“Dunedin” at Yea is an impeccably restored large three bedroom Victorian home with modern amenities, set well back in a 3/4 acre garden. It has 13 foot ceilings in the ground floor, reverse cycle air conditioning in almost every room, three open fireplaces one of which is fan forced and all of which have antique surrounds, and a wood burning kitchen stove that can heat house hot water in addition to the electric hot water system. A super-size fan forced Jindara wood burning heater in the rear vestibule effectively warms the entire house. Although there is a capacious and well-stocked firewood storage area to the back and side of the double garage, a wood box to the side of the rear verandah holds enough wood to supply the house for a couple of winter days. The chimneys from the roofline up were rebuilt with bricks from the old Yea Courthouse.
The drawing room/lounge and hallway contain Venetian glass light fittings with metal rods, custom made by Period Details of Hawthorn. There are ruby glass fan lights surrounding the front door, and stained glass windows in the kitchen and bathroom. Full length verandahs lie to the front and rear, with original iron lace to the front verandah and staircase. The master bedroom has a large bay window, bespoke built-in wardrobes, as well as original French doors leading to the front verandah, from which one can survey the extensive front garden. Repurposed boards from the front verandah have been used to make the kitchen table. The library has bespoke built in floor to ceiling bookshelves, but has also been used as a fourth bedroom.
The old Yea Grand Central Hotel staircase leads to the upper floor vestibule, a small curtained off shelved nook and two spacious upper floor bedrooms. One of the upstairs bedrooms has a walk- in dressing area, dormer windows overlooking the front garden, and views of the rear garden; and the other upstairs bedroom has a small door leading to an extensive under roofline carpeted storage area. A previous owner, Meg Heres artist, has written a history of Dunedin, and there are many photos of the house from the late 1800s, containing identified former residents, notably members of the Olney family.
“Dunedin” has been in Open Gardens on multiple occasions, has won the prize for the best town garden three times, and has been a destination in a number of Caroline Davies Garden tours. The gardens are laid out in high Victorian fashion, with garden rooms, a fountain, original box hedges, and around three hundred roses. A rose near the back fence is around the age of the house, and is actually a very large tree. In one garden room is situated the original cedar garden shed, fully restored. There are four rose arches in the garden, and a wisteria covered walkway at the rear of the home, as well as a greenhouse and a security-lit long double garage where the garden shed was formerly situated. “Dunedin” has three ancient peppercorn trees and an arbutus in the rear garden, and an Irish Strawberry Tree the same age as the house in the front. There are several original fruit trees, as well as a high yielding peach tree, two prolific orange trees, four large lemon trees, and a kafir lime. There are numerous garden beds landscaped by the previous owner Lionel Heres using local highland stone, seeded with annuals and perennials, and containing clusters of bulbs. There is also a spacious fenced vegetable garden over sown with masses of poppies, so “Dunedin’s” garden is always interesting.
The current owner has resurfaced Dunedin’s approximately 50 meter sweeping driveway and the rambling garden paths with cream coloured toppings from a highland quarry. Paving to the rear of “Dunedin” is composed of repurposed bricks from the original outhouse kitchen chimneys. The original metal garden gate has been restored and is installed next to the greenhouse.
“Dunedin” is easy walking distance to two primary schools, a childcare centre, library, the hospital, bowls club, three churches, supermarket, post office diverse eateries, galleries, antique shops, a casually available gym and the Wetlands walk. Dunedin is part of the history walk, and Yea contains numerous buildings of historic interest. We are conveniently situated to snowfields, wineries, Yea annual Rotary Art Show and the Yea races. We are very close to the lovely, clean Yea Community Swimming Pool, a few doors down from St Luke s historic Anglican Church, and a block from Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1902. The waterfalls of Murrindindi are a short drive away. Yea has a vibrant social life, with many activities provided at the nearby community centre, an active theatre group and a wide range of clubs.