Queensland island resorts, including the newly listed Pumpkin Island once famously rebranded XXXX Island, are still on the radar for high net-worth Aussies despite the latest sale of Lindeman Island in the Whitsundays for a reported $10 million to an offshore investor.
CBRE Hotels’ Wayne Bunz confirms Lindeman Island has found a buyer after being placed on the market by China-based White Horse Australia Holdings in July last year.
Bunz has declined to reveal the price paid for the ageing resort, citing client confidentiality, although he can confirm that the buyer is a private Singaporean investor with substantial hospitality investments in Australia.
The offshore sale of Lindeman Island has broken a run of well-heeled Australian investors taking the plunge into tourism assets along Queensland’s tropical coast over the past two years.
Among the deals have been Annie Cannon-Brookes, wife of Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, buying Dunk Island for $25 million, and Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest and his wife Nicola’s private investment company Tattarang paying $42 million for Lizard Island. Recent deals also have included NSW-based Oscar Hotels paying about $20 million for Long Island and Glenn Piper’s Meridian Australia buying Hook Island last year.
White Horse had been seeking $20 million for Lindeman Island, after paying $12 million for the island resort in 2012. However, the Lindeman Island resort, which once was home to Club Med, has remained closed since 2012.
The sale to the Singapore investor is still subject to Queensland ministerial consent, but Bunz says the deal is expected to settle before the end of this financial year.
Bunz says while it was ‘pretty unique’ selling Lindeman Island to an offshore investor, he is confident the run of domestic buyers snaring local tourism assets is likely to continue.
“Most of the investors have all been domestic Australians who have been looking at how strong our market fundamentals are in tourism and hospitality in Queensland,” Bunz tells Business News Australia.
The next cab off the rank is Pumpkin Island, located just north of Great Keppel Island, which is being marketed internationally with price expectations of around $20 million.
The island, which rose to fame a decade ago after Japanese brewery giant Lion’s marketing department temporarily renamed it XXXX Island, was last put on the market by owners Wayne and Laureth Rumble in 2020 seeking around $25 million.
“We’re genuinely putting forward an international marketing campaign off the back of the success of other successful deals we’ve done,” Bunz says.
However, Bunz is confident of finding a buyer this time, adding that the vendors have placed realistic price expectations on the island getaway.
“Pumpkin Island is a different kettle of fish altogether,” he says.
“If you look at Lindeman and Long which have been sold, they all need a substantial renovation program.
“Pumpkin Island is a really beautiful island – solar powered and 100 per cent self-sustainable. Most people hire it out for a minimum of three days, so it’s a very different offering to the likes of Lindeman which has 250 rooms.
“This is far more private, far more luxurious and no need for capital expenditure.”
The 6.07ha island features secluded beaches, seven villas that can accommodate up to 34 people, a manager’s residence and a staff guesthouse.
Guest facilities and amenities include a licensed beachfront bar and sunset lounge venue with a library, fire pit and activities hut.
The offering includes a custom-built 36-seat passenger boat, three registered boat moorings, a helicopter landing pad and an oyster lease.
“Pumpkin Island is a profitable island resort which is largely booked out three years in advance to 2026, averaging over 90 per cent occupancy levels and an average rate in excess of $400,” says Bunz.
Pumpkin Island is being marketed by Bunz and his CBRE Hotels colleague Hayley Manvell via an expressions of interest campaign that closes on 18 May 2023.
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