Dunk Island sells

Dunk Island will be redeveloped.

NB: This Upsense sale didn’t proceed but Dunk Island sold again in 2022. Read that story here.

Upsense Media Capital, a Sydney based entertainment fund led by Mark Spillane, is paying a speculated $20-$25 million for Dunk Island.

The property was offered by Linc Energy founder Peter Bond who acquired it from Hideway Resorts for c$7.5m in 2011 – shortly after it was ravaged by Cyclone Yasi.

The vendor seized control of the 970 hectare property in November – after a 2019 deal worth $31.5m to Mayfair 101 didn’t settle.

Former owners include Avis Rent a Car founder Eric McIlree, P&O Australian Resorts and Qantas.

JLL’s Nick Roche and Andrew Langsford represented Mr Bond.

Dunk Island

Mr Spillane is planning to resurrect the property – one of three freehold Great Barrier Reef islands.

Mayfair 101 had also intended to refurbish it as part of a $1.5b tourist hub which would also have included about 200 Mission Beach dwellings; the blocks which were to have made way for those properties have since been sold (story continues below).

Mr Bond also proposed a revamp, in 2014.

About 240ha of Dunk Island is developable and serviced; it previously accommodated a resort with 160 rooms in several buildings, multiple food and beverage outlets, a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts and day spa.

“We are delighted at the opportunity to bring new life to this iconic Australian asset, and we look forward to working closely with the local community, regional and state government and other key stakeholders in planning a sustainable development,” Mr Spillane said.

Mr Langsford added Australia’s regional hotel market has been a beneficiary of high overseas spend being diverted domestically.

“However, when international travel resumes, we expect to see accelerated demand from international travellers visiting Australia, as our attractiveness as a safe and trustworthy place to visit has been significantly enhanced,” according to the agent.

“Dunk Island attracted significant interest from a broad range of capital sources, both domestic and international, despite the uncertainty around the COVID-19 environment,” Mr Roche said.

“This deal is a clear demonstration of the capital depth in the Australian hotel and resort market, and we anticipate our appeal as an investment destination will only increase as domestic travel continues to soar”.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.