Fiona Abela took on a massive DIY project by building a castle in her backyard at Habana. Picture: Heidi Petith
Fiona Abela took on a massive DIY project by building a castle in her backyard at Habana. Picture: Heidi Petith

A Mackay castle fit for the bride and groom

WHAT started as a backyard trial of building blocks has transformed into a castle fit for a bride and groom.

Habana resident Fiona Abela said she began the DIY project in 2005 after about a year of contemplation.

A new arch was installed at the weekend but Mrs Abela said she still had another garden to plant before her son would be married there in a matter of weeks.

The steps Fiona Abela's future daughter-in-law will walk up when her second youngest son gets married soon. Picture: Heidi Petith
The steps Fiona Abela's future daughter-in-law will walk up when her second youngest son gets married soon. Picture: Heidi Petith

"You've got to have something to do," Mrs Abela said with a laugh.

She built the castle into the hill, adding more soil to give it height.

 

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The gathering lawn has a fire pit for those chilly winter nights and looking into the distance, you can see Cape Hillsborough and Mt Jukes.

WHO GOES THERE? The whimsical gargoyles guard the Habana castle. Picture: Heidi Petith
WHO GOES THERE? The whimsical gargoyles guard the Habana castle. Picture: Heidi Petith

From atop of the turrets, whimsical gargoyles stand guard, although Mrs Abela said her husband was not a fan.

But inside, at the bottom of the spiral stairwell, large wooden doors lead you into the family's powered cyclone shelter which they used during Cyclone Ului in 2010.

Underneath the castle in a Habana backyard is a cyclone shelter / sleep-out. Picture: Heidi Petith
Underneath the castle in a Habana backyard is a cyclone shelter / sleep-out. Picture: Heidi Petith

"We lost trees and whirlybirds in the cyclone," she said.

Incredibly, the mum-of-four said she had no formal building experience before taking on the project but perhaps building the family home from scratch with her husband only served to show what was possible.

 

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"I should have been born with balls and a beard," she joked.

Fiona Abela built this castle in her backyard at Habana, which includes a spiral staircase and a cyclone shelter. Picture: Heidi Petith
Fiona Abela built this castle in her backyard at Habana, which includes a spiral staircase and a cyclone shelter. Picture: Heidi Petith

She said the next step was to build a roof and add some finishing touches but there was no rush to do so.

Roof or no roof, the castle was a hit among the kids for sleepovers and nerf gunbattles, Mrs Abela said.

Check out the full gallery below:

 

 

This story was thanks to the My Town series - a Daily Mercury and Mackay Regional Council initiative.

My Town is about telling the stories of Mackay and surrounds that matter to you.
My Town is about telling the stories of Mackay and surrounds that matter to you.

Next up, reporter Zizi Averill will visit the Northern Beaches area on Tuesday, September 22 alongside Mackay councillors.

Let us tell the stories that matter to you and if you think we should come to your town, send us an email to news@dailymercury.com.au