A 69-acre island that’s just hit the market is one of the cheapest in Australia, priced at just six figures that come to only half the median house price in Brisbane.
Remote but within a 30 minute boat ride to the nearest city, the island off the Queensland coast was described as a place where fishermen hide behind trees to bait lines so the fish don’t spook, where beehives are empty because the bees prefer the bush, and where you pick a crab off the beach for brekkie.
The island, used for fishing and gardening by the seller, was listed for sale at $385,000 — and even that may be negotiable for cashed up buyers ready for a quick transaction.
Private Islands Australia agent Richard Vanhoff told The Courier-Mail that he’d never seen anything like it.
“It’s easily the cheapest island I have ever seen,” he said. “The owner just wants to sell the island and move on. He’s had it for many, many years and he doesn’t visit the island all that often now. When he was a keen fishermen and gardener he used to but these days he rarely gets to it.”
He said Worthington Island was leased from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines — with eight years left to run but a 25-year renewal could be sought.
“It only just came on the market,” he said. “It’s in the last 20 per cent or so of that lease and they will renew the lease for another 25 years.”
He described it as a “fairly unique island”, located a 30 minute boat ride from Gladstone Harbour — “remote but fairly close to all facilities”.
The fishing was so good, he said “you have to hide behind a tree to bait your hook for fish”.
“Formerly it was a working farm, with mangoes and all sorts of trees. One tree there is Carambola, there were beehives, veges and other things. In the early days it was quite an active island when it came to fruit and vegetables.”
Among other islands on the market in Queensland right now were Temple Island — back on the market off the coast of Central Queensland for $1.5m — and Quoin Island, a freehold estate off Gladstone for $1.9m.
According to Mr Vanhoff the buildings on Worthington were “rustic” including an old packing shed.
“It’s ideal for family or a bunch of fishermen that love the outdoors,” he said. “There’s an abundance of crabs and fish. The current owner tells me he can live off the back door for a whole month just eating fish and crabs — and mangoes.”
“The location is fairly remote, It can be accessed via the Port of Gladstone by a small boat. It used to have a jetty years ago when it was a commercial operation that allowed deepwater vessels to access the island — there’s only remnants of that remaining.”
Among income generation ideas, Mr Vanhoff said, were “orchids scattered all over the island”. “To resurrect the orchard would help generate an income, offsetting any costs”.
As well, “the house has bee boxes but no bees, however the bees are on the island and have been seen, so it’s a matter of finding them and bringing them back home.”
“The island is east facing so the beaches are a little rougher than usual but what we’ve done in the past (in the area) is imported the sand from Gladstone and created the beach within the bay, everything’s possible.”
The island has a 240 volt generator, plus a 12 volt solar system as well as a rainwater system and a well created in the 1800s.
“It hasn’t been used for a long time but on inspection it has fresh water still within. Most islands have an aquifer with ample fresh water.”