There’s regular money and then there’s tech money. Regular money will buy a house or two over the course of a few years and throw in the towel. Tech money like Atlassian co-founder + CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes, on the other hand, will snap up a $13 million house in NSW’s Southern Highlands two months after a $25 million shopping spree for luxury weekenders in Newport and Pittwater’s Scotland Island… which all make up an ever-growing property portfolio last valued at $290 million in total.
Granted, $13 million, $25 million, even $290 million is a drop in the ocean when you have a net worth exceeding $20 billion (and when you rank #3 on the AFR Rich List). Still, you can understand why the very notion of a single person amassing this much real estate – more than $250 million of which in the last three years alone, in fact – would boggle the mind. It’s to the point where some speculate Cannon-Brookes could be retaining what is perhaps the country’s largest collection of private homes, weekenders, and farms for personal use.
Domain reports the latest acquisition actioned by Mike Cannon-Brookes and wife Annie is one of the most prominent estates in the Southern Highlands: Wattle Ridge Farm. How prominent are we talking here? Any place that comes with its own Wikipedia entry is pretty damn prominent in our books.
This consolidated parcel of 258 hectares hosts an American Georgian-style homestead designed by architect William Zuccon, for publishing magnate Matt Handbury (nephew of Rupert Murdoch); featuring interiors by Thomas Hamel with gardens by Paul Bangay and Myles Baldwin, the term “stately” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Wattle Ridge Farm offers 15 bedrooms – inc. separate guesthouse, manager’s residence – 12 bathrooms, a chef’s kitchen, library, tennis court, pool, four ornamental lakes, as well as equestrian facilities for a cheeky bit of dressage, and dedicated riding trails all through native forest.
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Wattle Ridge Farm also marks the fifth Southern Highlands property owned by the Atlassian executive (based on public knowledge, anyways). It joins the 15-bedroom Cooliatta mansion – located in Burradoo, built in the 1880s, featuring the country’s largest cedar deodar tree – bought for $3.9 million, the $5.35 million Rosehill Farm, a Joadja farm, and Kangaloon farm referred to as Widgee Waa.
As for Mike Cannon-Brookes’ other notable acquisitions in recent history, there’s the 2,600-square metres Newport pad which he paid $6.8 million for; and actually within close proximity of the $24.5 million Paloma trophy home bought from model Jennifer Hawkins and husband Jake Wall in June 2020.
There’s the joint in Bangalla, Scotland Island bought from investment banker Alistair Jeffrey for $8 million – topping the 2013 record set by Singaporean billionaire Philip Ng’s Far East Organisation – plus an $18.5 million crib in Woollahra – which, believe it or not, helped him secure yet another local record.
But if we’re really talking about property sale records, look no further than the man’s primary residence: Fairwater Estate in Point Piper. Formerly belonging to the Fairfax family, Cannon-Brookes set a national record back in 2018 when he coughed up $100 million for the house keys.
“There have been individuals who over the years have owned up to six or seven residential homes in Sydney,” says Bill Malouf, prestige real estate agent of LJ Hooker Double Bay.
“But I don’t think anyone comes anywhere close to that amount of personal property.”
“He’s definitely a market leader in terms of setting the benchmark for these high-end values,” says Elliott Placks, Director of the Ray White Double Bay.
“But these are legacy assets. They don’t come up for sale often and he has the financial power to take up the opportunity to buy them.”
Check out Wattle Ridge Farm – the latest addition to the $290 million Mike Cannon-Brookes property portfolio – via the gallery below (and tour it via the video linked above).