Billioniare buys Turtle Island off Gladstone, Queensland

Billioniare buys Turtle Island off Gladstone, Queensland
Billioniare buys Turtle Island off Gladstone, Queensland

The somewhat idyllic Turtle Island, one of nine freehold islands off Queensland, has always been on the purchasing radar of celebrities.

No less than Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were supposed keen buyers in 2014.

Actor Julia Roberts was the reputed underbidder on the island almost 20 years ago. 

Lesser lights like Dr Geoffrey Edelsten and former wife Brynne considered buying it a few years back.

It has been owned for the past few years by the lowkey Sydney actor Brendon Lunney who has recently secured its sale.

The $3.45 million buyer has emerged as a Singapore billionaire, according to the now lodged paperwork.

It is the same hotel magnate Koh Wee Meng who hit the headlines just a few months ago when he bought a 287 hectare Tasmanian island for $5.5 million.

Waterhouse Island is just 3 kilometres off Tasmania’s northeast coast, as the mutton bird flies.

Koh is 26th on the Singapore billionaire’s list, with a net worth of $US1.13 billion. 

Koh, the boss of the Fragrance chain of hotels, has been acquiring development sites in Australia, recently unveiling plans for an apartment skyscraper in Melbourne with a Beyoncé-inspired curvy shape.

On its sale, the Coldwell Banker island specialist Richard Vanhoff said then undisclosed buyer purchased the island for personal use. 

The new owner he said had plans to improve the two helipads and build a tennis court.

It was advertised as a tropical island getaway, or a developer's island with a four bedroom house, a swimming pool and pontoon.

It boasts views of the Gladstone harbour. There are 15 water tanks and two dams.

The island was developed by horse racing enthusiasts Bob and Sue Bentley who paid $300,000 in 1994 for the then dormant island.

Believed to have been used as a Chinese market garden in the early 1900s, from 1999 to its $2.1 million sale to Lunney, it was the getaway for Sutherland Shire property developer Steven Christofidellis, his wife, Marcia, and their kids.

The Bronte-based Lunney is an actor best known for his 1970s roles including Rush, I Can Jump Puddle and Division Four.

Hollywood stars who do own islands include Mel Gibson, who bought Mago Island in Fiji 2005.

This article first appeared in The Daily Telegraph.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

Gladstone Turtle Island


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