Habitat: Mick Fanning

From the street you’ve gotta crane your head back to behold Mick Fanning’s impressive new home. Four stories high, Mick’s newly completed residence reaches for the clouds and sits on 800 square meters of steep hillside land he bought for the measly sum of 150,000 dollars just three years ago. A shrewd investment right before the recent Gold Coast property boom, now the land’s probably worth three times that.

I wasn’t sure I had the right place when I spotted a Porsche Boxter sitting in the driveway, but Mick had assured me his house was two doors down the street from where he grew up with his mum Liz, and brothers Sean and Ed. Turns out the sports car, like the home, is not the only new thing in Mick’s life. The car was a gift from National Rugby League Sponsor Manager Barry “Baz” Russell. Baz’s instructions to Mick? Just drive the thing around and be seen in it. Not a bad deal, eh? Just watch those speeding fines, buddy …

And while the land may have been an absolute steal, Mick has gone all out on the construction of the home. His personal estimate for start-to-finish building is close to a million Aussie bucks (pretty impressive!), and he moved in just after he busted his hamstring, around four months ago. Mick only insisted on three things for the design of the home-a game room, spa, and home theater, his favorite feature of the house. The theater’s a circular room just off the main entrance that boasts extra-high ceilings, a 76-inch plasma-screen television, and a seven-point (“two more than most”) kick-ass surround-sound system that would make P-Diddy jealous.

Up a level and we’re near the kitchen/dining area, complete with robust restaurant-style appliances (including an impressive two-cup espresso coffee maker recessed into the wall), another telly, leather couch, and a dining-room table Mick imported from New Zealand. “Old Cowrie wood, made from trees 50,000 years old,” he says. Tiiiiimber!

Near the kitchen are the guest bathroom, Mick’s incomplete and messy home office, and a laundry room that opens to a clothesline area on the back hill. Up a little higher are three guest rooms, the biggest of which opens to a teetering balcony and grandiose views of the Hinterland in the west. Perfect five-star accomo for stray, drunk mates.

The uppermost level, Mick’s master bedroom and bath, is space specially dedicated to rest, hygiene, and sawing up buzzards. (Making love to women). Should he require it, Mick’s king-size bed could probably accommodate five, and the sparkling-clean Jacuzzi (unused at this stage) is the perfect place for a late-night suds fight. “Too bad I can’t get into it yet,” groans Mick. “Soon, though. Another coupla weeks I reckon.”-J.J.