Noah's Retreat in Jewells listed for sale

A small acreage in the middle of suburbia which has become a wildlife refuge and retreat for people experiencing difficult life circumstances has been listed for sale.

Noah’s Retreat is a 5.2-acre property in Jewells featuring two homes, stables, fenced yards and a number of animal enclosures.

It is being marketed through Lance Jensen of Dowling Belmont Eastlakes and is set for auction on February 10 with a price guide of $1.95 million.

Mr Jensen said the “unique” property offered a range of uses including a private hobby farm, rental and agistment potential or a commercial business opportunity. There is also potential for the development of an eco tourist resort, subject to council approval.

Owner John Burke said it was “by accident” the retreat and wildlife refuge was established when a community need for pastoral care was discovered to assist people who were experiencing difficult life circumstances.

After being diagnosed with symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis in 2003, he sold his architecture and engineering business and bought the property at 144 Pacific Highway.

“I always had a heart to help other people in similar circumstances,” Mr Burke, who is also a lay pastor, said.

He began with mentoring troubled youths visiting the property who offered to help feed the animals.

Interest followed from other organisations, prompting Mr Burke to develop animal care programs then eventually establish Noah’s Retreat Community Services.

“It’s an awesome place to shift focus where people feel far away from all of life’s problems,” he said.

Administration work has grown with the community services and Mr Burke has decided to sell the property to transfer his efforts more into the leading the charity into helping people.

The first inspection will be held January 20 at midday.