September 22, 2021

Chinese company buys island in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

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The Shanghai-based China Capital Investment Group has bought an island at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia, for about A$25 million ($19.21 million), China Daily reports.

The South Molle island in Whitsundays had been put up for sale by owner Craig Ross in April, Fairfax Media reported on Wednesday.

“The sale includes a 12 hectares’ developable beachfront land, including a frontage of more than 600 meters to one of the only sheltered north-facing white sand beaches in the region and a secluded 15-hectare parcel in the middle of the island, surrounded by national park.” – Fairfax Media
It also came with an existing 188-room resort and amenities.

“It’s been a joy to share South Molle. It’s a wonderful island. It’s been an amazing 15 years. I wish the new owners all the best,” Ross said.

The island is believed to offer the potential for “unparalleled large-scale development potential,” according to the information memorandum with the opportunity to develop a 1,300-room resort, subject to the government’s approval.

This is not China Capital Investment Group’s first purchase in Queensland. The company had previously snapped up the Daydream Island (West Molle) Resort and Spa last year from Nature’s Own founder Vaughan Bullivant for about A$30 million ($23 million).

South Molle Island
South Molle Island, part of the Whitsunday Islands, is a resort island in the Whitsunday section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia. The hilly island has numerous bays and inlets accessible by 16 km of walking tracks, with 420 ha protected in the Whitsunday Islands National Park. The islands were named by Lieutenant Charles Jefferys in 1815 after Colonel George James Molle, the then Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales. Nearby islands include Mid Molle, North Molle, East Molle and West Molle (known as Daydream Island). Just to the east and southeast, respectively, are the small islands Planton and Denman.

Wild goats were introduced to the island in the nineteenth century as a food source for shipwrecked sailors.[citation needed]

First established in 1937, the island’s resort lies on Bauer Bay on the northern end of the island and so is well protected from the prevailing south easterly winds. The resort area, now known as Koala Adventure Island Resort, has a nine hole golf course in addition to 200 rooms that can accommodate 600 guests. In 1961 a large jetty was built as the small jetty that existed was only usable at high tide., Jim Berrie

IMAGE: Photo: Creative Commons / Toby Hudson

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