April 09, 2003 11:00 AM

Russell Crowe and his bride of two days, Danielle Spencer, are shelling out nearly $8.5 million for a new matrimonial waterfront penthouse in Sydney, the city’s Morning Herald reports.

That hefty sum paid for an entire floor of a modern apartment complex on the tip of the historic Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf, and it’s considered a record price for any residence in Sydney.

Although the Crowes’ nest is the penthouse, it’s only on the third floor, reports the paper, noting a local preference for modern, low-rise buildings. The residence also reportedly has high security.

As for the “Gladiator” groom’s neighbors, he’ll apparently be riding the elevators with an Australian radio broadcaster, a businessman and an entrepreneur.

Built between 1910 and 1914, Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf is said to be the longest timber-piled wharf in the world and at one time was Australia’s main berth for overseas passenger liners.

Besides the new honeymoon pad, Crowe also maintains an 800-acre Coffs Harbour cattle farm in northwest Australia, where on Monday (his 39th birthday) he married Spencer, 32, in a ceremony outfitted by Italian fashion icon Giorgio Armani.

Crowe, clearly in a check-writing mood — as any man in love should be — supplied $50,000 Harley Davidsons as gifts for his groomsmen. The guys used them to ride up to Monday’s sunset ceremony.

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