Good Reading : December January 2009
. a saving SUSAN DUNCAN has followed up her successful Salvation Creek: An unexpected life with a book about life in her beautiful home, The House at Salvation Creek. She shares some of its secrets with us. I n 1925, iconic Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar built a beautiful, quietly authoritative house on the isolated shores of Lovett Bay, on the edge of the wild Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, about forty-five minutes north of Sydney's CBD. It was a bold and adventurous undertaking for the 40-year-old and very proper Miss Mackellar, who'd been cocooned by wealth and privilege all her life. This was not a home where her devoted chauffeur could drive her safely and comfortably to the front door. To reach the house she named Tarrangaua, which means high, rough hill in a local Indigenous dialect, she had to climb into a boat at Church Point and put-put in rain, wind or hail, beyond the remote inlets of McCarrs Creek and Elvina Bay before swinging into the glossy green waters of Lovett Bay. The house was built with grand proportions but Dorothea Mackellar's favourite room, I have been told, was the small sleep-out tucked into the corner at the eastern end of the massive, columned verandah. It had shutters painted the same blue-green as the spotted gums that surround the house like a stern army. But 22 good reading I DECEMBER 2008 / JANUARY 2009 Susan Duncan and views of her Salvation House. Opposite page, below: the enclosed verandah, Dorothea's favourite room.