Couple excited to restore unique home in Kangaroo Flat

Joanne Mananis and her husband Michael Bonavita looked all over Victoria for a unique property.

They found 12 Weir Court in Kangaroo Flat – a historic site known as Hope Park that was designed and built by Scottish immigrant architect David Weir in 1867.

The stone house was built with stone quarried from the site and, prior to Joanne and Michael buying it, had been in one family’s hands for more than 110 years.

“We walked through the first time and knew it was really special,” Joanne said.

“It’s nice that it has been in one family for so long. We love the area and feel very fortunate to have the house.”

Hope Park is an orne-style cottage that has an L-shaped plan, steeply pitched roofs, stone or masonry drip mouldings, prominent chimneys and canted bay windows in the projecting wings.

As a geologist, the stone and rock design appealed to Joanne.

“It has a beautiful European feel. I like to work with stone,” she said.

“We settle in about a month and are planning to move and do as much restoration as we can ourselves.

“It’s going to be a labour of love. When you do the work yourself, you really care about it and do it well.”

Joanne said the restoration will be a project that the couple will slowly complete over a number of years.

“We want to make it look nice in the gardens and maintain the unique features inside but modernise it a little bit,” she said.

“We won’t change to much about it. The walls are made of stone so we can’t knock down too many of those but rooms nice and large.

“Hopefully we can have an open house and garden in years to come. It’s nice that people are interested in that sort of history.”

When shopping for their new home Joanne and Michael weren’t necessarily looking at Bendigo.

“We were looking all over Victoria for a unique property and found this online. We loved the whole design and structure with the stone,” Joanne said.

“There is also a nice community feel in Bendigo. It really ticked all the boxes.”

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