Boneo Park: Mornington Peninsula equestrian centre, restaurant and wildlife habitat listed for $30m+
A sprawling property transformed from “disgusting” into the Mornington Peninsula’s largest private protected wildlife habitat is for sale with $30m+ price hopes.
Set on 318ha, Boneo Park at 312 Boneo Rd, Boneo, features a top-tier equestrian facility, the Arilla restaurant, wetlands, and a woodland and grasslands that is home to more than 160 bird species, plus hundreds of indigenous flora and fauna species.
Owner Rob McNaught purchased a Peninsula hobby farm in 1986.
He bought a nearby former farm, home to a large portion of the Tootgarook Wetlands in 2001, and some other properties three years later, which he consolidated into Boneo Park.
Mr McNaught is known as founder of the adventure travel company Peregrine Adventures, which he sold in 2005.
He embarked on another adventure when he started the mammoth task of restoring the land he acquired back to a natural habitat, a project which he is still working on 22 years later.
Nowadays, about 200ha of Boneo Park is protected from development under a Trust for Nature conservation covenant.
“Even when I bought I declared it my ‘dotage project’,” Mr McNaught said.
“It was in pretty disgusting condition, there was farm detritus, old trucks and we pulled two car bodies out.”
More than 10km of trails, some dating back to the 1800s, run through the wetlands and are popular with birdwatchers and hikers.
“The tracks run east-west across the wetlands, they had been trashed by cows for 50 years so we’ve done a lot to fix those,” Mr McNaught said.
“We’ve spent millions on clean-ups, lots of millions on the buildings and lots of millions on the land.
“People say it’s the largest restoration on private land in Victoria.”
Mr McNaught, 77, said he was selling so a new generation could enjoy Boneo Park.
The equestrian centre and restaurant were developed to help finance the property’s environmental work.
Mr McNaught said the idea was suggested by his daughter Fiona Selby, a keen equestrian and the park’s managing director.
Boneo Park’s 66m x 30m indoor equestrian arena take centre stage along with sand and grass competition arenas, four event round yards and three practice arenas.
Two blocks containing 159 stables and 118 outdoor yards are accompanied by a rider’s retreat with a kitchen and dining hall that supports 136 campsites, all with access to power and water.
Paddocks, six day yards with horse wash bays, 20 “premium stables” in a courtyard setting,
a four-bedroom manager’s residence, office and admin building, sheds and 250,000L of water storage tanks complete the package.
Colliers national director Duncan McCulloch said Boneo Park hosted some of the nation’s premier 2022 equestrian events including the Australian Jumping Championships and Australian Dressage Championships.
Mr McCulloch said the property offered opportunities for future development, including potentially as an eco-tourism destination, accommodation, health retreat or function centre, subject to council approval.
Colliers is also selling two homesteads adjacent to Boneo Park, which belong to Mr McNaught and Ms Selby.
One homestead consists of a four-bedroom house, one-bathroom farm cottage and manicured gardens, set on 2.83ha.
The second is a 20.24ha landholding including a three-bedroom house featuring a three-car garage, swimming pool and horse facilities.
Mr McCulloch has the Boneo Park listing alongside his colleagues Peter Evans and Jack Brandwood.
The property is for sale by expressions of interest closing at 4pm on March 30.
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