Chinese group adds $25m South Molle Island to Queensland portfolio

Queensland’s South Molle Island has been sold for $25 million.
Queensland’s South Molle Island has been sold for $25 million.

Asian investor interest in Queensland’s leisure and tourism sector has been solidified with China Capital Investment Group’s acquisition of the perpetual lease of South Molle Island for a reported $25 million.

Located in the Whitsundays, the 4.66 square-kilometre island, which is 12km east of Airlie Beach, is home to a 188-room resort and national park.

It is Shanghai-based CCIG’s second acquisition in the region, after the group also purchased the neighbouring Daydream Island Resort and Spa in early 2015 for $30 million.

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The 4.5-star Daydream Island Resort has 296 rooms and suites.

The latest deal was brokered by JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group’s Peter Harper and Tate Stubbs, after long-time owner Craig Ross put the perpetual leasehold for South Molle on the market in April.

The perpetual leasehold interest features more than 12ha of developable beachfront land, including a frontage of more than 600m to one of the only sheltered north-facing white sand beaches in the region, and a 15ha parcel in the middle of the island, surrounded by national park.

CCIG says purchasing the island is a great opportunity to expand its presence in the region.

South Molle Island is home to a 200-room resort and a national park.

South Molle Island is home to a 188-room resort and a national park.

A swathe of tropical islands are currently on the market in Queensland, including Keswick Island and Turtle Island.

Located on the Great Barrier Reef, 34km north-east of Mackay, the 517ha Keswick Island – of which 400ha is national park – is expected to fetch as much as $30 million.

The island is owned by Keswick Developments, which is owned by Edward Dawson-Damer, a former equerry to Queen Elizabeth, and is being sold with a 117ha development lease from the state government until 2096, along with a 25ha seabed lease for a 180-berth marina and deep water jetty.

Expressions of interest close in late August, with Colliers International’s Steam Leung acting as marketing agent.

Meanwhile, Turtle Island, which is located 4km off the coast from Gladstone at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, is one of only nine freehold islands in Queensland.

The 9.4ha island is expected to sell for around $4 million and comes with council approval for usage as a tourist resort, or the option to purchase as a private retreat.

The island, which is being marketed by Colliers International on behalf of Phoenix Avoca’s ATF Phoenix Avoca Trust, which is controlled by Sydney actor Brendon Lunney, has previously piqued the interest of actress Julia Roberts and reality star Kim Kardashian.