It was a celebrity showdown at the auction of a Southern Highlands holiday house this week when fitness guru Michelle Bridges went head-to-head against chef Luke Mangan.
Ultimately, Bridges came away the winner after a $2.7 million final bid on the five-bedroom homestead in Kangaloon at one of the last auctions for 2017.
Local Southern Highlands sources say Bridges’ purchase ends more than six months of house hunting for a weekender on acreage.
There were four registered bidders in the Ray White auction room, but it was left to Bridges’ representative and Mangan to fight it out for the property, forcing the sale price well above the $2.4 million to $2.5 million guide.
Tony Fountain, of Ray White Mittagong, declined to comment on any of the would-be buyers, but said he had received an earlier offer of $2.25 million.
The five-bedroom residence has district views and is surrounded by landscaped gardens designed by architect Michael Bligh. The grounds include a tennis court with tennis pavilion, a solar-heated swimming pool, guest barn, art studio, purpose-built vegetable gardens and a dam.
Records show it was owned by investment banker Gary Bailey, who sits on the board of Disability Services Australia. He bought the property in 2004 for $1.14 million.
The four-hectare property is expected to be a weekend escape for Bridges, her partner Steve “Commando” Willis and their son Axel. The celebrity trainers are ordinarily Elizabeth Bay locals, where Bridges bought her three-bedroom apartment in the Pomeroy building in 2013 for $2.9 million.