Lonely Planet Writer

An island on the Great Barrier Reef is up for sale - Keswick Island can be yours for $30m

Have you got AU$30million in the bank? Have you always longed to buy your own private island? Well then, consider buying yourself an island in Australia’s Whitsundays.

Just off the Queensland coast from the city of Mackay, the 517-hectare Keswick Island (of which 400 hectares is national park) has just been put on the market. The current owner, Edward Dawson-Damer, a former employee of Queen Elizabeth and a family friend to the royal family, has decided to move onto other ventures. The island comes with a 117-hectare development lease from the Queensland government until 2096 and a 25-hectare seabed lease for a 180-berth marina to park your yacht, and deep water jetty.

The island will be able to accommodate 1000 dwellings and 3000 people (that’s only AU$10,000 per person for a slice of paradise right?). And there is already a sealed airstrip, 150 subdivided lots, and preliminary infrastructure such as water and fuel storage, a barge ramp, power generation units, landscaping equipment and a dry marina to store your boat, so some of the hard work building your dream community has already been done.

The Australian Financial Review has reported that there has already been attention from several Chinese billionaires and developers to buy the island for as a potential tourism development for their growing Chinese tourism market. “The island being in the Great Barrier Reef is particularly unique and a very important destination for Chinese tourists,” marketing agent Colliers International’s Steam Leung told the newspaper. “Chinese developers realised, to buy something this unique is not that expensive, and they can make the resort work with their own market.”

Heading towards the long weekend! What are your plans?

A photo posted by Keswick Island (@keswickisland) on Mar 22, 2016 at 12:15am PDT

“This is such an exciting opportunity as it is possibly the last chance to create a residential and tourism vision in the Great Barrier Reef’s spectacular Whitsunday region – an area regarded internationally as a ‘must-see’ destination,” said the CEO of Keswick Developments, chief executive officer Eytan Udovich.

The island is described as a natural wonderland of tropical rainforests, fringed by white sands and a coral reef bursting with vibrant marine life. Expressions of interest for the island close in late August. Perhaps it’s time to set up an island paradise crowd-fund like those entrepreneurial Kiwis did?