We know about the Great Wall of Sutton Forest – a 250m long, 2.5m high dirt wall erected by Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, to shield their 100 acre Bunya Hill property in the NSW Southern Highlands from the prying lenses of Sydney’s notoriously aggressive paparazzi. Not to mention their fourth line of paparazzi defence: a line of conifers they subsequently planted between the dirt wall and two fences (to which another barrier of green shadecloth has since been added). You have to wonder what the "Kurbans" would make of what frockwriter can reveal is the latest installation to be made adjacent their property: a monster, 4m high, 6m wide bonfire, erected on the grounds of their next-door neighbour, the Sutton Forest Inn and looking their hillside mansion straight up the barrel.
When we called the Inn, a rep told us the bonfire was erected in preparation for a 31st July fireworks display.
That promises to be one hell of a display.
At 20 acres, the Sutton Forest Inn technically qualifies for "backyard burning" under the provisions of the Wingecarribee Council. That said, the bonfire is so ridiculously big, once lit, it could potentially pose a fire hazard. There is a lot of dry winter grass all over the region.
How close to Bunya Hill is the bonfire? Right at the property’s front fence. The previous owners of Bunya Hill reportedly used to drive their car to the bottom of the hill, park their car and climb over the fence to head to the pub.
Here is a shot of Bunya Hill from the Sutton Forest Inn carpark taken in July 2008, standing where the bonfire is located now:
This is the same pub that has proposed an extension of 100 additional motel beds – and which at one stage offered to sell to the Kurbans if they had a problem with the development.
The Kurbans made a well-publicised visit to the property at Easter in 2009.
Frockwriter’s sources say the couple has returned in the interim – and that while they are not in residence, the property is “used regularly” by Kidman’s parents, her sister Antonia and her nephews and nieces. Other local sources report that a jogging track was recently installed around the property for Kidman and that there have been "a lot of staff problems" at the property, with numerous personnel changes.
Whoever is in residence on July 31, let’s hope their fire extinguishers are in good nick.
all images: copyright © 2010 patty huntington