Kylie Minogue to sell country retreat

By Luke Dennehy and Mike Edmonds February 29, 2008 06:38am

Moving on ... Kylie's French Island retreat is up for sale, and locals say she was a terrific resident / File

THE island hideaway where Kylie Minogue spent time recovering after her breast cancer scare is on the market.

About 100ha of prime real estate on secluded French Island in Western Port Bay has been transformed by the pop superstar and her family into a luxury getaway, fit for a pop princess and her family.

Kylie and then lover Oliver Martinez took refuge there after her cancer treatment three years ago.

This week it was listed for sale by tender through agent Hocking Stuart, with a price tag in the $1.8-$2 million range. Click here to see the property.

Insiders say the Minogues bought the property - named Beauciel, French for Beautiful Sky - for $400,000 three years ago.

They spent at least $1 million transforming it into a French-style luxury retreat.

The decision to sell came as a surprise to the island's 80 permanent residents.

They said the Minogues had been good for the local community, and would be missed. But they did let one secret slip.

When Kylie is on holiday on French Island she's a pie-and-sauce girl.

General store owner, postmaster and cafe owner Maurice Ralph said Kylie was well liked by the locals.

"She'd come in here and get one of our King Island beef pies with our homemade tomato sauce," he boasted.

"They're more weekenders than locals, but they've helped out in the community while they've been here.

"They've donated money to the fire brigade and given a few people work on the property."

The property boasts four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a big country kitchen, a restored chicory kiln and sweeping bay views.

Local tour operator Rod Johnston said the views from the farmhouse were spectacular.

"It's on a high point and they would be able to see the water through 180 degrees," he said.

"I get busloads of people, and all they want to know about is Kylie."

The Minogues made several environmentally friendly innovations, including installing solar and wind power.

The property has an organic fruit and vegetable garden and is home to rare species of birds and a large koala population.

Landscape gardener Stephen May put in a lot of time on the house's surrounds.

"It's a great shame they're going. They're terrific people, terrific to work with," he said.

"When I was doing the garden for them they gave me carte blanche to be expressive and artistic."

Hendrick Boer, from Hocking Stuart, praised the Minogues's renovation.

"They haven't just thrown a million at it, it's all very tastefully done, clean and sharp," he said.

French Island has no town water, electricity or gas, nor does it have any road access.

Two passenger ferries, from Cowes and Stony Point, service the island a couple of times each day.

Expressions of interest for the Minogue property close on March 28.
Kylie Minogue to sell country retreat | Entertainment