Andrew Forrest buys Lizard Island

Lizard Island (right) is costing $42 million.

Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Fiveight, a subsidiary of Tattarang which holds diversified investments, has snapped up the Lizard Island leasehold from Hong Kong listed SEA Group.

Last week we reported Gina Rinehart was paying $50 million for Great Keppel Island.

The $42 million deal reflects a major capital gain for the vendor which, in partnership with Sydney businessman Don Fletcher, paid Suncorp $16m in 1997.

Since 2009, the asset has been sub-let to Delaware North for $2 million per annum.

The five star resort was the subject of a high profile spat last year when SEA threatened the operator against following state government orders to close during the COVID lockdown or face being sued for breach of its rental agreement.

News of the sale comes three days since we reported Gina Rinehart – Australia’s richest person – was in negotiations to acquire Great Keppel Island, also on the Great Barrier Reef, for $50m with plans to reposition it as a world-class resort.

Also last month Mr and Ms Forrest – the country’s second wealthiest people – paid a consortium including Olivia Newton-John c$30m for the Gaia retreat at Brooklet, about 15 kilometres south west of Byron Bay.

Twelve months ago, Fiveight made its first commercial property investment, spending $55m for a Perth CBD office.

Tattarang also recently outlaid $190m for the RM Williams fashion brand.

Billionaires and islands

A Tattarang spokesman confirmed the Lizard Island purchase when contacted; the deal needs state government approval (story continues below).

Delaware North is expected to see out its agreement until 2050.

Elsewhere in Queensland, Sir Richard Branson and Brett Godfrey – Virgin Australia founding partners – established Noosa’s Makepeace Island as a resort in 2009.

Mr Godfrey, with Australian businessman Rob Sherrard acquired that asset three years earlier (Sir Richard later snapped up the latter’s stake).

That vendor, artist Brian Spencer, held it since 1986; for decades prior it was known as Pig Island.

It now sports 22 guest suites.

Also in Queensland, five years ago, Singapore billionaire Koh Wee Meng agreed to pay actor Brendan Lunney $3.45m for Turtle Island off Gladstone.

That buyer also owns Tasmania’s Waterhouse Island.

Clive Palmer, which like the Forrests and Ms Rinehart earned their wealth from mining – in 2012 paid $10m for Tahiti’s Club Med – about a seven hour flight east of Sydney.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of