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Fancy owning your own island?


Mon 27 May 19 | Source: Commercial Real Estate


Victor Island in the Whitsundays is being sold with everything included!

One of 74 islands in the Whitsundays, Victor Island is located two kilometres from the mainland, just south of Mackay, and has been extensively renovated by the current owners.

Now the 3-hectare island is being sold for $3.5 million – and it doesn't include the island.

The asking price includes a fully furnished 4 bedroom house, self-contained caretaker's cottage, bed-and-breakfast licence, 4WD tractor, ride-on lawnmower, equipment and a 4.7 metre Tailcraft Profish boat.

The four bedroom home has an assortment of king and queen sized beds, two bathrooms, and a modern kitchen, so there are no renovations or repairs to be done. 

“Victor Island has very nice accommodation,” Mr Vanhoff said.

The property on also generates its own power using a solar electricity system with a back-up generator, and there are ten rainwater tanks (totalling 200,000-litre) and a 100-square-metre freshwater dam for water storage.

According to Richard Vanhoff from Private Islands Australia, who is not handling the sale, it is one of less than 20 islands, or parts of islands, currently for sale in Australia.

The cheapest is Worthington Island in Queensland at $385,000, and the priciest is the freehold portion of Dunk Island, the former resort, for about $20 million.

But what, or who, determines the price of islands? “It’s challenging to price islands,” said Mr Vanhoff.

But “at this point in time, islands are a lot cheaper than people imagine.”

It is often the owner who determines the asking price, and the price can fluctuate. Mr Vanhoff said that the 120-hectare parcel on Wild Duck Island in Queensland was originally listed for $4.5 million, “and now they’ll take $2.5 million”.

Accessibility is very important. Mr Vanhoff said that most islands need to have a runway. “Or at the least a helipad. Or they have a wharf – and then you look for deep water.”

Mr Vanhoff said that the quality of the dwellings also influences the sale price.

Islands that don’t have extreme weather conditions, such as cyclones, are preferred. Islands in the far north of Australia can be trickier to sell. Mr Vanhoff said that when visiting islands in Queensland’s far north, “the first thing you see is the bent trees, and that’s a bit of a turn-off.”

The only damage Victor Island incurred from cyclone Debbie in 2017, was a few leaves on the white sand.

Megan Sullivan, who owns Victor Island with her husband, Paul, said: “We’re like the Greyjoys [from Game of Thrones]. We’re on our own little island. We’re safe.

“Catching your own rainwater, creating your own power, catching your own fish, growing your own fruit and veg, it’s very rewarding,” Mrs Sullivan said.

There are many walking trails that wind their way throughout the island, plus plenty of birdlife to enjoy as well. 

It was often difficult to predict who would buy an island, Mr Vanhoff said.

“It’s a funny market. It’s not always the people you expect who will buy.”

He said that Chinese citizens used to be large buyers of Australian islands, but now that market “has dried up”.

After a tropical four years, a new grandson in NSW is luring the Sullivans back to the mainland, but they can’t figure out where to live next. 

“What could you possibly beat an island with?” Mrs Sullivan said.