Private islands for sale around Australia

Not often does the opportunity come along to buy an entire island, but for those with the desire – and the budget – there are a selection on the market right across Australia.

Goodnight Island on the picturesque NSW south coast is the latest piece of paradise to tempt buyers and dreamers alike.

There’s also a $30 million jewel of the Whitsundays, right down to a ‘modest’ natural paradise in Tasmania, which will cost you less than a fixer-upper home in parts of Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Here are some of the private islands currently on the market, providing an opportunity to combine a commercial income with a once-in-a-lifetime lifestyle.

Goodnight Island, NSW

Price guide: $10 million

For those who want privacy, but also want to be close to the action, Goodnight Island is just moments from the tourist hotspot of Culburra Beach and less than 15 minutes from Nowra, the commercial hub of the Shoalhaven region.

Goodnight Island sits near some of the most popular holiday destinations on the NSW South Coast. Picture:

Even more rare than its size and position is the fact that the island is not leasehold, but freehold, spanning 40 acres of cleared manicured land. There is also the ability to build subject to DA approval, the listing states.

The rare freehold island has an established jetty and mooring point. Picture:

Originally purchased from the government by Alexander Berry in circa 1830, the island has its own jetty and mooring point, plus two large sheds – one with a quaint living quarters.

And if your own private island isn’t enough, an entire Aussie village – which also has ties back to Alexander Berry – is up for sale nearby.

South Molle Island, Queensland

Price guide: Circa $30 million

Newly listed and dubbed the ‘crown jewel’ of Queensland’s famed Whitsundays, South Molle Island is the latest tropical island to hit the market, following transactions that have seen Lindeman, Dunk, Lizard, Long, and Hook Islands change hands in the last two years.

Fresh on the market, China Capital Investment Group listed South Molle Island for sale in August 2023. Picture: Supplied

The island boasts 28 hectares of pristine beachfront and was once home to the 188-room Adventure Island Whitsunday resort.

The current owners have also undertaken a $10m redevelopment of the jetty, to allow for marine vessels to drop off and pick up island visitors.

National Director of CBRE Hotels, Wayne Bunz, says the island’s beachfront and central land parcels and could be redeveloped in line with other nearby successful luxury resorts – such as Qualia Hamilton Island – or could see a more experiential offering such as boutique villas or glamping sites.

The island was once home to the 188-room Adventure Island Whitsunday resort, before it was destroyed by Cyclone Debbie in 2017. Picture: Supplied

Mr Bunz added the Whitsundays has proven to be one of Australia’s most resilient tourism destinations through the pandemic.

“The region has largely benefited from the continuing trend of Australians rediscovering their own backyard, which, coupled with the further recovery of inbound international tourism, will see the Whitsunday’s tourism market go from strength to strength,” he explained.

Pumpkin Island, Queensland

Price guide: circa $20 million

Further south and also on the Great Barrier Reef, buyers are circling the 6.07ha Pumpkin Island, aka XXXX Island, off Yeppoon in North Queensland, with a price tag less than Brisbane’s most expensive home.

Both South Molle Island and Pumpkin Island are listed through CBRE Hotels. Picture:

Unlike other resorts listed for sale or recently sold which are either closed or in a rundown condition, the self-powered private island is also a fully functioning award-winning eco resort.

Pumpkin Island has five cottages that can sleep 34 people as part of its boutique accommodation offering, plus two moorings and a helipad. There’s also an oyster lease that allows the owner and their guests to shuck their own oysters. The lease on offer is until 2046 when it becomes a rolling lease.

Unlike South Molle Island, Pumpkin Island has a functional eco resort. Picture:

It’s just a 20-minute boat ride from Great Keppel Island, which also remains on the market after Australia’s wealthiest woman Gina Rinehart pulled out of a sale in 2022.

Ram Island, Tasmania

Price guide: $5,500,000 – 6,000,000

When one thinks of an island, the tropics naturally spring to mind. Ram Island, however, is a 26-hectare rural gem on Tasmania’s pristine east coast – just 75-minutes from Hobart Airport.

Ram Island is one of only eleven privately owned islands in Tasmania. Picture:

It comes with a luxurious 3-bedroom residence with modern living and entertaining, and a completely off-grid with a 45kw solar system.

Private but accessible, the Tasmanian mainland is mere minutes away via a private barge, inclusive to the island. Picture:

Nick Morgan, Sales Manager of The Morgan Group, said the dwelling would be well suited to the luxury, short-term accommodation market.

“The current owner also considers the island perfect for low impact, luxurious accommodation pods that could be sympathetically scattered around the island to capture the mesmerising water views, native wild life and dramatic sunrises and sunsets,” he added.

The bespoke property has been designed to function self-sufficiently, completely off-grid. Picture:

Commercial ventures could also target the area’s popular recreational activities such as fishing, boating and winery tours, water sports and 4-wheel driving adventures.

The sale includes a private barge connecting the island to the mainland.

Boogee Boogee Island, NSW

Price guide: Expressions of interest

There’s bucolic seclusion and then there’s Boogee Boogee Island – a private 66.7ha paradise situated on Karuah River, near Port Stephens on the NSW mid-north coast.

The 67 ha private island offers a fishing, camping, boating paradise ideal for private residential or commercial use. Picture:

The island currently holds a rustic cabin – perfect for weekender trips – and the opportunity to further develop and create your own private dream home oasis.

The sales listing also noted the island’s exceptional commercial opportunities, which include tourist activities such as fishing adventure stays, camping and glamping accommodation and commercial boat trips.

A rustic cabin sits within a circle of grassland and surrounded by tall trees. Picture:

There are also several significant cleared tracts of land available across the island for further dwelling expansion.

Ninth Island, Tasmania

Price guide: $2.5 million

Why spend $2.5 million on an upscale 3-bedroom Sydney apartment when you could own your own Tasmanian island instead?

Modestly sized but incredibly idyllic, Ninth Island is a freehold opportunity situated in the Bass Strait, encapsulating a picturesque 40-acres.

Ninth Island is a freehold island in the Bass Strait between Melbourne & Tasmania. Picture:

The island is a paradise for wild animals, including penguins, dolphins and seals and numerous native birds.

“It would be great for those into bird watching as there are around 20,000 native birds on the island,” said Harvey Huang, General Manager of Yong Real Estate.

Mr Huang said concept plans for both a low-density single level residence and a higher density Airbnb offering has been recently submitted for DA approval.

Concept plans have been submitted for DA approval for both a low-density single level residence and a higher density Airbnb. Picture:

Ninth Island is accessible via a short helicopter flight or 1-hour drive from Launceston, and a quick 12km boat ride from the mainland pier at Bridport.

Fraser Island, Victoria

Price guide: Expressions of interest

Dubbed “one of Victoria’s best-kept secrets”, the ecological paradise of Fraser Island is one of the most unique offerings to ever hit the Australian property market, explained selling agent Daniel Schoeman of RE/MAX Genesis.

Not only idyllic, Fraser Island is also a prosperous commercial enterprise with an established holiday and function business. Picture:

The 31ha island on the eastern end of Gippsland Lakes is home to an established holiday resort with a suite of first-class amenities, making it a lucrative business opportunity.

A charming century old homestead with 11 bedrooms can accommodate more than 30 guests.

Facilities include a 9 hole golf course, two flood-lit tennis courts, a games room and pool. Picture:

Superb additional amenities include two flood-lit tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course, swimming pool, private beach and a jetty that can moor a 50ft boat or four smaller vessels of approximately 18ft each.

Mr Schoeman said the island is also a great opportunity for those wanting to preserve its heritage or to craft a truly special home – or home away from home.

“The natural beauty is truly irreplaceable,” he said.

SOLD: Elizabeth Island, Victoria

It failed to sell in 2018 when it was last listed with a $6.95m asking price, but it was second time lucky for Elizabeth Island in Western Port Bay, snapped up for a seven-figure sum a month after hitting the market.

Measuring 26.1ha, Elizabeth Island in Western Port Bay – which features 3km of coastline, two houses and two helipads – fetched more than $7m, according to industry sources.

An entire island off the coast of Victoria has returned to the market with a higher price tag. Picture:

Accessible via boat, barge or helicopter and stretching across 26.1ha, the island comprises two houses — a main residence and another which has been rented as an Airbnb — plus a caravan site with a permit for a third dwelling.

RT Edgar Manningham director James Hatzolos said the new owners were planning to initially enjoy the island as a holiday spot, but had not yet decided upon final plans for its future.

What buyers need to keep in mind

As with any property purchase, the unique island lifestyle has its ups and downs.

Extreme weather conditions can result in high insurance premiums while buyers should also keep in mind the logistics of long-distance construction and connecting utilities.

If owning your own island is too much, buyers can still go on holidays forever with these tourism attractions on the market.

But you can have your island and enjoy it too.

Freehold vs leasehold terms

State governments own the majority of Australia’s coastal islands, meaning buyers only own the lease, rather than owning an island outright on freehold terms.

Private Islands Online Australia director Richard Vanhoff says freehold islands are rare, adding that 96% of Queensland’s islands are sold as leaseholds.

However, leasehold terms can last between 20 to 99 years and often roll over automatically on renewal.

Mr Vanhoff says island leaseholders needed to pay council rates plus annual rent.

Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) sets the latter cost, which is based on 6% of the government’s evaluation of the island.

NSW’s river islands are generally sold as freehold. Tasmania’s Ninth Island is also one of just nine freehold islands in the state.

Utility and water connections

Island buyers need to consider what residential property owners all often take for granted: electricity, water and sewage.

While some islands, including their sewage treatments, are connected to mainland power grids, many others aren’t.

Even island owners who generate their own power, water and sewage treatments may still have to pay annual council rates of $1000 to $2000 and off-the-grid systems also need regular maintenance.

However, Mr Vanhoff says new technology ensures island living is easier than ever before with 350-watt, rather than 200-watt, solar panels now available and generators no longer large and cumbersome.

He says water is usually collected from the roofs of island buildings or could be obtained from aquifers, which are usually available below islands’ ground levels.

Construction and building

An increasing number of barges can accommodate everything from small graders to big bulldozers, according to Mr Vanhoff.

“You can now get huge machinery onto islands,” he said. “It’s a little bit more expensive using a barge but it’s not so much of an issue.

“You do your order with Bunnings, they’ll deliver to the barge and the barge will take it across to the island.”

Mr Vanhoff said while island building construction is definitely exacerbated by distances, most islands feature dwellings which can be utilised as is, or improved if necessary.

“Worthington Island, which I sold late last year, had an old packing shed on it,” he said. “It suited the owner who thought it was his castle but different people have different needs.”


Cattle can alleviate the costs of island living and enable buyers to enjoy commercial gains. However, approval may be needed for island animals.

Livestock may also need to be relocated in harsh weather. Just before 2011’s Cyclone Yasi wreaked havoc on Dunk Island in far north Queensland, the resort island’s trail-riding horses – some of the few to be found on the state’s isles – had to be rescued and rehomed via the island’s private barge.

Dunk Island sold in 2022 to Annie Cannon-Brookes, the former wife of Atlassian chief executive Mike Cannon-Brookes, for about $25m.


Weather issues, such as severe flooding in NSW, can result in higher insurance premiums.

While it may not be for everyone, Mr Vanhoff says there wasn’t much that could be said against owning an island.

“I get a lot of people asking about them – and it’s only their capacity to pay that’s in question,” he said. “They just have a desire to own an island.”