Action aplenty in Cairns historic hotel market

The Grand Hotel Cairns is on the market.

Queensland’s hotel and pub sector continues to bubble along, with two of the states most prominent historic hotels placed on the market.

The first, the Grand Hotel Cairns, is positioned on a 2035sqm high-profile corner site in the heart of the Cairns CBD.

Similarly, the historic Nebo Hotel, in the township of Nebo, about 93km south west of Mackay, is also being offered for sale as a freehold going concern.

The Grand Hotel Cairns’ listing comes just days after the sale of another nearby historic hotel – the Cairns Courthouse Hotel – was muddied by claims that the Cairns Regional Council could serve the owners with a “notice to acquire” the property as part of its ambitious plan to create a cultural precinct in the City’s CBD.

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The ASX-listed Lantern Hotel Group has entered into contracts to sell the heritage-listed Courthouse Hotel to a national hotel operator for about $6.25 million, but the sale has not yet settled due to Liquor Licence Transfer approvals.


The Grand Hotel Cairns comprises the Croc Bar which features a distinctive timber crocodile bar top and serves as a communal space within the hotel, as well as an adjoining public bar including a casual lounge and dining area, and full commercial kitchen.

The hotel also features two alfresco dining areas, a designated gaming room with 20 machines, first floor accommodation comprising 19 guest rooms, communal lounge and kitchen areas, and an adjacent dual lane drive through with two detached bottle shops.

The historic Nebo Hotel is the latest Queensland establishment to hit the market.

The historic Nebo Hotel is the latest Queensland establishment to hit the market.

CBRE’s Paul Fraser, who is marketing the property with Danny Betros, says there is a clear appetite for Cairns hotel assets.

“The strong level of enquiry recorded throughout the sale of the Cairns Courthouse Hotel reflects the emphasis that astute investors are placing on the consideration of leisure market investments,” he says.

“The development opportunities accompanying the purchase of the adjoining site [subject to availability] are also likely to entice developers to consider the alternate use potential of a larger holding,” Betros adds.

The Nebo Hotel still retains great character and hasn’t changed much since it was built in 1862

Meanwhile, Ray White Hotels Australia senior executive of investment sales Leon Alaban says the Nebo Hotel returned annual revenue of about $2 million in 2015-16, servicing travellers, tourists and shift workers from neighbouring coal mines.

The heritage property, located at 2 Reynolds St, overlooks the Nebo River and has a land area of 5059sqm on an L-shaped corner site.

“The Nebo Hotel still retains great character and hasn’t changed much since it was built in 1862,” Alaban says.

The double-storey timber hotel comprises a main bar, commercial kitchen with dining area, a large outdoor deck area and a beer garden gaming area with five electronic gaming machines and Keno facilities.

The accommodation includes eight hotel rooms located on the first level of the hotel. There also 50 demountable rooms within 14 buildings.

Expressions of interest for Nebo Hotel close on November 10, while expressions of interest for the Grand Hotel Cairns close on November 23rd.