Ever wondered how the other half lives? For the first time, the doors to one of the country’s most revered properties have been flung open, with 14 Bunya Parade in South Coogee emerging in the most unusual of places. A winding sculpture of concrete and stone, the property blends avant-garde and industrial design with resilient stoicism in the most remarkable of ways. Simply looking at the mass construction set against arguably one of Australia’s greatest natural coastlines makes for an interesting juxtaposition, not unlike the man who owns it. One-half of the brains behind comparison juggernaut Finder, Fred Schebesta is the embodiment of traditional entrepreneurship, a quirky character who turned a simple idea into a multi-million dollar global business, however, he’s more than just a one-trick pony.
While the tech tycoon may have made his fortune, which is estimated at over AUD$200 million, in the conventional manner, Schebesta is also an avid cryptocurrency investor. The Finder co-founder and former CEO reportedly bought into the digital currency game when Bitcoin was in its infancy, netting him massive returns on top of his already stellar portfolio. According to Schebesta, it was precisely that bump in bottom line that served as the catalyst for his purchase of the seaside mansion last year, when he shelled out a whopping AUD$16.85 million. In an interview with TikTok star Fonzie Gomez in 2021, Schebesta revealed that the stunning five-bedroom fortress was (proverbially) built by crypto.
“You’re in the house of crypto. Crypto built this house,” Schebesta told Gomez while taking the TikToker on a tour of his lavish 800 square metre two-level home.
But Schebesta’s meteoric rise to success isn’t even the most remarkable part of this story. As Dmarge rightly points out, some eagle-eyed onlookers have found the ‘Crypto Castle’ available to rent on Airbnb, for the juicy price of AUD$25,000 per night. So, what does that actually get you?
According to the official listing, the home features endless views that sweep across the Pacific Ocean from Bondi to Lurline Bay. Designed by renowned architect Renato D’Ettorre, the property formerly belonged to Macquarie Bank executive director Laurie Macri. Crafted from concrete, steel, stone and glass, and set over a sprawling 800sqm, the fortress looks eerily like a moated castle, and for good reason. Designed to withstand the elements, from strong coastal winds and salt swept conditions, the raw and robust outer structure perfectly plays against the untamed beauty of South Coogee. Naturally, an infinity-edge pool takes centre stage outside, marrying the seascape to the outdoor living spaces with subtle ease.
Inside, the Crypto Castle is something to behold. It features five large bedrooms, all placed on one level, complete with balconies, four ensuites and a master retreat. The winding design of the space flows naturally through the large open areas, with walls of glass framing the ocean and making the already enormous home seem even larger. The kitchen, the traditional heart of the home, features Gaggenau appliances and a butler’s pantry, while the lower levels house a rumpus with a gym, jacuzzi and a pool viewing window.
Of course, no seaside mansion would be complete without a few creature comforts and exorbitant extras. Take, for instance, the four-car garage and multiple wet bars, which include a temperature-controlled wine cellar. Best of all, Schebesta’s monster home is up for grabs to whoever has the dollars to book it, with vacancies available throughout the next few months. Want to take in the sights for a night or two in arguably the Eastern Suburb’s most luxurious estate? Should’ve got into crypto, after all.