On The Market

A Beautifully Renovated 1950s Cottage Hits The Market In Victoria’s Otways

After struggling to find an affordable place to call home along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, project manager Ashley Macdonald widened his search to the quaint town of Birregurra in the Otways.

That’s where he found a 1950s cottage that ‘ticked all the boxes’, despite looking like it had seen better days.

Ashley has carefully renovated the charming old house and established a dreamy productive garden on the quarter-acre block, but with a new project on the horizon, the home is now on the market!

Christina Karras
Supported by the Vendor

This country cottage in Birregurra (about 130 kilometres from Melbourne) is on the market.

In his four years at the home, owner Ashley Macdonald has renovated the 1950s property and created a thriving garden!

Raised garden beds in the north-facing yard require minimal upkeep.

The garden features native plants like banksias and dwarf eucalypts.

The home opens to a sunny, north-facing deck.

Gather around the outdoor fire pit at night.

Sage green accents bring a pop of colour to the kitchen.

The new addition of an upholstered banquet seat has helped make space for entertaining.

Hardwood Tasmanian oak floorboards and timber details reflect the home’s historic roots.

Enjoy a view of the garden from the kitchen.

Ashley says he will miss the ‘soft light’ that fills the home.

A wood fireplace in the living room.

A peachy toned bathroom.

Another bathroom features terrazzo details.

Inside one of the bedrooms.

Carpet lines the floors of the inviting main bedroom.

The renovations balance the home’s quintessential country charm with contemporary interiors.

The classic bullnose verandah.

Another highlight is the 16-metre shed, which Ashley has made the most of for his ‘never ending projects!’


Christina Karras
3rd of November 2023

This beautiful cottage that’s just come up for sale is proof the traditional Australian dream of owning your own home on a quarter-acre block still exists. You just need to know where to look.

The three-bedroom house is located in Birregurra, about 40 minutes from the regional hub of Geelong. And, the best part is it’s been fully renovated by the current owner, project manager Ashley Macdonald, who moved to the property four years ago.

He had been living in Lorne for six years and was looking for a place to ‘put some roots down’ when he discovered the run-down, country cottage.

‘Anything along the Great Ocean Road was unaffordable, and after loads of Sunday drives investigating Otway Hinterland towns I always landed back at Birregurra,’ Ashley says. ‘From the first walk through I had a pretty clear vision of the potential, what work was required and the finishes I envisioned for it.’

He says the house was originally built in 1952 but was relocated to its current position about 25 years ago.

‘It was built with a solid hardwood frame, hardwood Tasmanian oak floorboards and other minor period details, which are beautiful,’ he adds.  Armed with his project management skills and a list of trusted trades, Ashley took a ‘hollistic’ approach to renovating the abode. The resulting transformation is not only sympathetic to its heritage — retaining the charm of the facade, its classic bullnose verandah and a wood-burning fireplace inside — but the updates have made it ‘the best of both worlds’.

‘I love to cook and the open kitchen living provides a platform for cooking and entertaining in a modest space. It was an awkward space originally, but the banquet seat has really balanced the area,’ Ashley notes.

He also spends a lot of time watching the low maintenance and productive garden develop. In true country cottage style, there’s a chicken coop with fruit trees, a berry lane, hot house, citrus zone, while raised veggie beds provide ample fresh produce.

‘The natives will only further establish themselves, the dwarf eucalypts and the multiple banksia varieties will provide a lifetime of unique cut flowers,’ he adds.

Ashley’s only moving on from the idyllic home to renovate a 1960s ‘art deco pad in need of much love’ that’s also in Birregurra, having fallen in love with the natural beauty of the Otways.

‘The town flies under the radar for what it provides, and most importantly, it has a great community.’

8 Prime Street, Birregurra, VIC is listed for sale with Sam Parsons and Hayley Clark at Avenue Five.

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