Chance to buy your own island

LOOKING for a quick sale, Wild Duck Island is up for sale – and is to be sold by June.

The island is in the Great Barrier Reef, off Stanage Bay, about 19km east-southeast of Carmilla and 6km north-northwest of Long Island.

The island was last sold in 1999 and has more than 50 years remaining on the 75-year rolling lease.

The opportunities for the island are endless, from budget backpacker accommodation to an up-market resort.

Plans for an eco resort were lodged in 2007 and were approved in 2012.

It included accommodation for more than 300 people, including one to four-bedroom units, staff units and central resort facilities including pool, gym, conference centre and day spa.

At the time, the forecast economic benefits of the development included 700 direct construction jobs, 400 jobs in building material manufacturing and 200 jobs in industries that supply construction.

Financially it was estimated to cost $34.6 million in products to build the development, generate more than $21.7 million in employee earnings and a further $24.1 million of corporate small-business profits.

The island has 25 separate two-bedroom brick bungalows that have already been built, however the project was abandoned 15 years ago.

The buildings are now in disrepair and will need plaster walls, roof and amenities replaced but are structurally sound.

Australian Island selling agent Richard Vanhoff said all a new owner would need to do was get one bungalow operational to live in and work on the rest.

The island has been for sale for a while, however access was an issue.

About two years ago, the caretaker and a team did a big clean-up and cleared trees from the runway to allow for planes to fly in directly.

They also cleared up the waterways, large grasses and buildings, re-cut a lot of the tracks and burnt off a lot of the old building material.

“Since the rain, it has taken on a nice green tinge as well,” Mr Vanhoff said.

The island is quite secluded, the perfect place to isolate amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

“You could walk on the beach and guarantee you’ll be the only footprint on the beach,” Mr Vanhoff said.

“It’s the ideal place to hang out and sit it through, you could isolate yourself, wonder where the time went and by the time you left the island the isolation would be all over.

“Three hundred acres is a lot of area to lose yourself in.”

Australian Islands agent Richard Vanhoff.
Australian Islands agent Richard Vanhoff.

Mr Vanhoff likened the island to a “mini Hamilton Island”.

“By the time we get out of the dilemma we are in, tourism will be a big hit,” he said.

“It has great viewpoints, 1km white sandy beach.

“It could be the next Great Keppel Island, has the same aspects, same waters – a lot cheaper.”

The owners are looking to consolidate their portfolios and are looking for a quick sale.

The island was originally listed at $4.5 million.

“The owners have said any reasonable offer, could be just over $1 million and if anyone can come in with $1.5 million to $2 million I am sure I can get it sold,” Mr Vanhoff said.

“Because of the classification, all the buildings, it’s not a $1 million resort, so this is a giveaway.

“We are looking for the most uncomplicated purchase.”

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