'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'
A QUICK Google search and a last minute decision caused a couple to travel almost 800km from Gayndah to Cape Hillsborough to buy the property of their dreams.
The sailing, views, simplicity and affordability is what drove the Sunshine Coast pair to purchase their "treehouse" home.
Max Worger and Karen Worcester had just finished a sailing trip with her children in the Whitsundays last month and were driving home when Ms Worcester decided to search through properties in the region.
As the couple own a boat, they liked the idea of having a holiday home close to their favourite sailing spots.
"So we got to about Gayndah when I Googled and saw the property and just thought 'my god'," Ms Worcester explained.
She had found a property on Kippen St in Ball Bay which was built almost entirely of natural wood and overlooked Cape Hillsborough.
The original owner had built it to be simple and open, and it was these features which attracted the couple to the house.
"It was an amazing price, and an amazing looking home," she said.
"We had to make a very quick decision by then because there was a crossroad coming up where we would either take the road to go home, or turn around and come all he way back up.
"So that's what we did."
On the drive north, they called the real estate agent and enquired about the house.
"I think they thought we were a bit crazy," Ms Worcester laughed.
"They said we'd better go out and have a look around outside first and if we're still interested to give her a ring.
"Once we got there, we rang her immediately and asked her to come out straight away."
After looking through the inside of the property, the couple spent one night thinking about it, but the next morning put in an offer. They bought the property for $165,000.
Ms Worcester described the house as like being "a big tree house", but a "very high tree house though".
The house is built on high stilts, the longest being 6metres to the lower deck.
To lift items to and from the house, the couple had to make a small crane which helped avoid carrying goods up the steep hill to the entrance.
During the first day, reality quickly set in for Ms Worcester when she became daunted by the work required to fix their new home. However, all it took was one night to bury her doubts.
"We've got a blow up mattress on the top level and the view in the morning when we woke up was just amazing." she said.
"Waking up in the morning and seeing those views was all I needed."
Despite being left to deteriorate over the past few years, the couple don't plan to change much and want to keep it similar to the original owner's vision. However, there is one aspect of the home they might update.
"I'll just let you know, the disco ball, it works," she said with a laugh.
"I'm not exactly sure why the old owner had a disco ball there, but we plugged it in and it works.
"This house is everything we've been looking for, we just love it!"
The original vision
More than just a beautiful location, the spot at Ball Bay was born out of the imagination of a park ranger with a flair for creativity.
Cameron Fraser moved from Brisbane to Mackay in 1992 and bought the empty block of land because of the amazing views.
His mother, 84-year-old Heather Fraser, said while all the other houses faced the street, her son's dream was to build a home on poles facing toward Cape Hillsborough.
After arriving in Mackay, Mr Fraser worked odd jobs around the region for several years before becoming a park ranger for the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
His love for nature kept him in that job until the day he passed in February 22 last year. He was 54 years old.
Ms Fraser described her son as someone who made friends easily and was loved by everyone.
"I've never heard of a workplace doing this before, but when he died, the director gave the whole office the entire day off," she said.
"They planted a Mackay Cedar and put up a plaque in his honour at Cape Hillsborough."
Ms Fraser laughed when she explained her son started a band in his early years called The Aardvarks.
"He was the drummer and they actually won Molly Meldrum's Battle of the Bands," she explained.
"He continued to play drums all his life."
When asked if she knew why there was a disco ball in the middle of the house, Ms Fraser wasn't sure, but said that's where her son had kept his drum kit, "so he probably turned it on when he practised".
After Mr Fraser passed in 2016, Ms Fraser could have kept the property for herself or the family, but as they all lived in Brisbane she knew they couldn't continue her son's vision.
She decided she wanted to find someone who would take over the house and keep it as close to original as possible.
Despite listed for sale for about a year, when she was contacted by Ms Worcester and Mr Worger, she was excited as she knew she had found people who believed in what her son had started.
Sad to finally say goodbye to her son's home, she's happy knowing his legacy will live on.