Iconic eco-tourism venture hits the market in North Qld

One of the rustic cabins at Hidden Valley Cabins near Townsville

An iconic eco-tourism venture in North Queensland has hit the market, with its owners hoping to cash in on the Covid-19 tree-change trend.

Opened in 1986, Ian and Bonnie McLennan have run the award-winning Hidden Valley Cabins at Paluma, north of Townsville, for 35 years.

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Hidden Valley Cabins is for sale

Surrounded by rainforest and waterfalls, the 3.18 hectare property boasts 13 cabins, a 40-seat restaurant, a covered timber rotunda barbecue area with a camp kitchen, and a three-bed, two bath managers residence.

A 13-seater bus is also included in the sale.

A note from the owners on the Hidden Valley Cabins website says the McLennan’s have decided to “hang up the khaki’s and move into retirement”.

“We have been planning to retire for a few years now, we have done our share,” Mr McLennan said.

“We are very proud of where we have taken the place, proud of its sustainability.

“But we are not finished yet, we are putting in solar hot water next week.

“Really, if we don’t sell it, we will just keep working at it. We love the place.”

The camp kitchen

But if they do sell, the couple have plans to hit the road once the borders are all open.

They also plan to spend some quality time with their two grandchildren.

“We just want to start living life a bit differently,” Mr McLennan said.

As for who they hope buys their life’s work, the couple hope it goes to “someone with a vision”.

“Everything is in place but we hope it goes to someone who can take it even further,” Mr McLennan said.

Mrs McLennan said the property “has a lot going for it”, especially given the population shift towards a tree-change or sea-change.

“It is hidden away from everywhere,” she said. “We have no neighbours.”


The property is for sale by expressions of interest and is listed with Colliers Townsville agent Angelo Castorina.

Mr Castorina said there had already been some interest from a potential interstate buyer.

“It is still early days (in the campaign) but we think this is very much a property for someone looking to make a lifestyle change,” he said.

“Over the past four to six months, we have been getting a lot of inquiry from Sydney, Melbourne and southeast Queensland.

“It is not the sort of business that comes onto the market very often.”

Mr Castorina said that while a buyer could turn the property into a private retreat, what the current owners had created was “something spectacular”.