life at Duck Lake

Duck Lake, Exeter, NSW

A Southern Highlands House for All Seasons.

Duck Lake – 5 acres set within a rural environment overlooking 100’s of pastoral acres

Duck Lake is a walk in walk out country home, heralding simplicity yet with an internal sophistication accommodating all the seasons of the Southern Highlands.

The grounds & the house celebrate rural life but are not a burden for the owners when away from the home or the land. The tranquil setting is bordered by established trees and located within a working rural environment.

A key feature is the sculptural landscape encasing a 7 million litre dam. The dam is highlighted by the effect of an aerating water jet fountain. The water is overlooked by the North facing home creating an idyllic lakeside setting, added to by an all year round thermostatically heated 15 mtr concrete lap pool.

To ensure further ample water for the avid gardener, there is a licensed 136 metre deep bore, generating 1.5 litres per second.

The House itself needed to acknowledge and work for winter warmth together enabling a summer cooling air flow. The exterior was designed with a passive solar ‘wing’ catching the winter sun and then shading the House from the Summer heat.

For Winter Warmth: Instant gas fired ducted central heating coupled with 2 doubled sided Chazelles Chiminee fire places add functionality and heat efficiency, complimented by the simplicity of stainless ceiling fans back down drafting the heat collected from cathedral ceilings. Thermostatically controlled under floor heating warms all 3 exquisite bathrooms.

For Summer Cooling: The passive solar wing creates a cool interior and the extensive use of industrial louvre windows allows for cooling breezes throughout the house.

The house was created with the option of 4 bedrooms, or 3 beds and a study. The vast open plan central room is divided into 2 living sections, with a central dining section, creating a “Great Hall” effect, with fireplaces at either end. The double sided fireplaces through to the two main bedroom suites create warmth and intimacy. The use of multiple louvre windows throughout the house brings the rural view ‘into’ Duck Lake, generating a feeling of being part of the landscape.

Landscape: Fertile soil provides the perfect conditions for a picturesque enclosed garden for fruit, vegetable and roses. Neighbouring the dam is a small, decorative vineyard, with 220 vines of disease resistant, cold climate Chambourcin grapes, supported on posts reclaimed from the old Kiama wharf. The benefit of the grape is its hardiness and need for little maintenance. The richness of the soil alone means the vineyard produces unaided an abundant, thick skinned juicy grape, producing 500 bottles of Summer Rose wine in 2013 and with the capacity to produce a 1,000 bottles.