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Beach Grit

Buy: Dion Agius’ Shipping Container House!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Don't blow the chance to live like a king!

Do you dream of, one day, living in a sub-tropical paradise where everyone is young and beautiful and sex positive? And with waves that have crystalline lips and that crash onto powder white sand?

This place exists and it is called Byron Bay.

If you’ve a little cash in the bank or a generous line of credit, therefore, you might want to make an offer on the pro surfer Dion Agius’ “Forest Bungalow”, a shipping container bungalow midway between Byron Bay and Suffolk Park.

Pretty girl magnetises from outdoor tub.

(See it or rent it on Air BnB here) 

Dion, who is thirty-three years old (“Crazy! I can’t believe it! Where did those years ago?’) and  lives alone in a little house in north-east Tasmania, has put the property he bought four years ago on the market last night and is asking for “expressions of interest.”

Pretty girl in Dion’s Byron studio hammock.

From the real estate advertisement, 

This stunning 1289m2 block comes with approved council DA plans for a beautiful architecturally designed home. Given the size of the land STCA there is potential for subdivision. The land currently hosts a very cool converted shipping container.

Treed crown reserve on both the north and eastern sides enhances the appeal and privacy, as does the beautiful established trees and tropical gardens that are well positioned along the boundaries giving you your own private forest home to an abundance of local birds.

The little house Dion built.

Earlier today, I spoke to Dion about the sale. It is a rare thing to get Dion on the telephone. There is no reception in his little wooden cabin in the town of Scamander at the mouth of the Scamander River between Saint Helens and Saint Mary and he has to walk down to the river to make or take a call.

He hadn’t surfed for a month since busting an ear drum during a trip to Indonesia.

“It was horrible. I slapped my head super hard,” he says.

I was living in LA with my buddy who ended up passing away and it got to the point where I was living in this shithole traffic going to showings and thinking, ‘What the fuck am I doing? This is horrible.’ It made me revaluate my life. It’s not about making a quick buck. I found a spot down here, forty acres on a river, no one around.”

Dion moved to Tasmania after two years in Los Angeles selling Epohke sunglasses that he describes as “the worst two years of my life. It changed my whole perspective on life. I was living with my buddy who ended up passing away and it got to the point where I was living in this shithole traffic going to showings and thinking, ‘What the fuck am I doing? This is horrible.’ It made me revaluate my life. It’s not about making a quick buck. I found a spot down here, forty acres on a river, no one around.”

His plan when he bought the Byron property in late 2014 for $610,000 was to winter in Byron and summer in Tasmania, where he grew up and lived until he was fourteen. As it transpired, after he built his shipping container studio it was booked out so often he could never find a slot.

Dion says he doesn’t particularly want to sell the Byron house but, well, property is going pretty nuts in town and he figures why not cash in before the boom evaporates.

“I haven’t put a price on it. The real estate agent and I are just feeling it out, seeing what people are thinking. The thing is, I love the block. It backs onto crown land and the previous owners planted a little tropical forest on it. That was the reason I bought it so, for me, it’s worth quite a bit. I looked at a lot of other spots but I didn’t find anything as special.”

The money would be useful. He’s doing up his house (He’ll be slinging VJ lining on the walls and installing lights after he hangs up) and is trying to convince buddies to build their own shacks on his forty acres, “a little getaway commune with my friends,” he says. “I want to create a gallery, a studio, do events, festivals, fun stuff.”

As it is, he hangs by himself most of the time, although his parents are fifteen minutes drive away and some of his best friends from primary school are nearby, although family commitments usually keep ’em busy.

“I surf or go skate. And I have space and trees,” he says. “That’s what it’s all about.”