To understand how Perth man David Williams fell in love with a 120-year-old house on a former hobby farm in the windswept waterways of southern Tasmania, it helps to approach the property from the same angle he first did, namely the northeast at 3000ft.

“We’ve got a head wind slowing us down,” says helicopter pilot John as we climb above the River Derwent and set course south, passing the towering sea stacks and soft coves of Bruny Island, gazing down on idyllic settlements sprinkled up the Huon Valley and dolphins playing in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. In the distance, the snow-capped Hartz Mountains puncture the cloud.

“Slow is good,” I reply. “No hurry.” After a thrilling 25 minutes we swoop in to land beside the Cape House, a stately homestead with steeply pitched gables and bay windows, perched on a bush-covered peninsula at the entrance to Port Esperance.

Our rock star arrival traces the route David took in 2006 to inspect the 83ha property. His wife, Noellene, wasn’t keen on the chopper so drove from Hobart. The couple immediately recognised the property’s potential as both a holiday destination and a wildlife sanctuary, with its 360-degree views.

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