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Whitsundays’ South Molle Island to go on the market

By Mark Beale

The Whitsunday’s South Molle Island will be on the market in coming weeks, and international and Australian buyers are expected to be interested.

The 4.66 square km island is home to a 200-room resort and national park.

The island lease is currently held by tourism operator Craig Ross, who has been approached for comment.

JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group’s Peter Harper and Tate Stubbs, based in Sydney, are managing the island’s sale.

“The ability to acquire the perpetual leasehold interest in South Molle Island presents an incredible opportunity to secure one of the last large-scale island development opportunities in the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Harper said.

“It’s certainly the premium sale offering in this part of the world at present and we expect global investors and developers to act accordingly.”

Mr Stubbs said he couldn’t comment on the island’s value.

“We’re very excited about it. We know that there’s been considerable interest in the past,” he said.

Mr Stubbs said formal marketing was expected to begin next week, followed by a five-week period where investors could lodge expressions of interest.

PRD Nationwide Whitsunday principal Christie Leet, who is managing the sale of the adjoining Long Island, said the island was likely to have the interest foreign and Australian investors.

“We’ve had possibly more interest than we were expecting,” Mr Leet.

He said the sale was likely to be on the condition that owners use it partly for tourism purposes.

Expressions of interest for Long Island will close on May 12.

Ray White Whitsunday principal Mark Beale said with a recent boost in tourist numbers to the Whitsunday region, there would likely be a lot of buyer interest in the island.

“Given the current status of tourism numbers, it’s an excellent time for them to put it on the market,” he said.

“There’ll be be some international buyers, particularly from Asia, and some Australian chains.”

Tourism Whitsundays chair Allen Grundy said South Molle Island’s natural and rugged beauty set it apart from other islands in the region.

“The bush walks are amazing… the views from the top (of the island) are mind blowing,” he said.

“Redevelopment of South Molle Island would be wonderful for tourism and the Whitsundays.”


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