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Inside the 41-room mansion with its own zoo for sale

Balwyn Mansion for sale
A 1930s Melbourne mansion is up for sale for an eye-watering price. (Source: Marshall White)

A luxury Melbourne mansion, which previously had its own zoo, is up for sale for an eye-watering price tag.

Located at 41 Yarrbatt Avenue in Balwyn, the two-storey mansion was most recently used as retirement apartments and called ‘The Connault’.

The historic property spreads across 5,027 square metres. It includes four buildings of a combined 2,469 square metres, 40-rooms as well as communal areas.

Balwyn Mansion Interior
A look inside the mansion. (Source: Marshall White)

But you’ll have to pay a hefty price if you want to call the mansion home.

According to, the asking price is between $20 to $21 million.

The property is being sold by Marshall White via expressions of interest until October 26.

Balwyn mansion kitchen
The property comes with a large kitchen. (Source: Marshall White)

An artificial lake, aviaries and a zoo

The property was originally built in the 1930s by wealthy retailer Oliver Gilpin, who named the home ‘Idylwylde’.

It was one of the most lavish mansions built in Victoria in the inter-war period, according to the National Trust Heritage Register.

Balwyn mansion interior
A dining area. (Source: Marshall White)

The house has a Mediterranean-inspired interior, while the interiors feature extravagant and ornate details including Rococo-inspired plasterwork ceilings, coloured and patterned wall tiles and mosaic floors in the entry hall, ballroom and some other rooms.

According to the National Centre of Biography, the property formerly covered 20 acres of garden and included an artificial lake, huge aviaries and a zoo of Australian animals.

The residence was also described as having a glassed sunroom, indoor swimming pool, servants’ quarters, as well music, billiard and card rooms and a ballroom.

Balwyn mansion
The mansion includes these tiled bathrooms. (Source: Marshall White)

Gilpin originally intended to extend the property to eight storeys but this did not eventuate.

In 1945, following Gilpin’s death, the mansion was purchased by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart.

They renamed the property Mary’s Mount, according to Boroondara Heritage Review documents, and used it as a place to care for missionaries released from internment camps after the war.

Later in 1945, the indoor swimming pool was covered and the area was turned into a chapel.

The property was later sold to the Uniting Church.

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