An entire island for the price of a Sydney home? Seriously
THERE'S never been a greater appetite for island living and the latest Queensland offering to hit the market is everything the COVID-weary could wish for.
Dunk Island is back on the market with $20 million hopes, Pumpkin Island is going for $25 million, and a resort on Long Island is up for grabs for $8.75 million.
But for the price of a house in Sydney, you can buy an entire island in the Whitsundays and indulge in barefoot luxury all year round without having to share it with a single person.
Victor Island, a 20-minute boat ride from Hay Point Marina or a six-minute helicopter ride from Mackay Airport, is for sale for the bargain price of $4.5 million plus.
Unlike most islands, this one is just 2km from the mainland and has only one house on it.
It's also available for rent for the first time since its owners took over five years ago, with rates starting from just $1550 a day.
The island has more than 3ha of tropical surrounds and a recently renovated four-bedroom, two-bathroom home that could be used as a private residence or as a bed and breakfast.
There's also a caretaker's cottage with a sleeping quarters, kitchenette and separate bathroom.
You can also work remotely as the island has internet and mobile service.
And it's almost completely self-sufficient, with a desalination plant, a solar farm, a backup generator and storage for up to 225,000 litres of rainwater.
But it's the complete privacy of having an island to yourself that's really priceless, according to marketing agent Lynn Malone of Queensland Sotheby's International Realty, who said Victor Island was a "one-of-a-kind offering".
"An entire island, under two kilometres from the mainland and 100 per cent off-the-grid, yet offering luxurious living where you call the shots, so to speak," Ms Malone said.
"Ideal as an exclusive getaway or operated as a holiday letting business."
Ms Malone said the appetite for island life and resort-style properties had increased exponentially since COVID-19 and also due to a limited supply.
She said Victor Island was attracting strong interest from Sydney and Melbourne, but also internationally, including the United States.
"The interest has been from buyers who want an exclusive and private retreat - not as a business operation," she said.
"I was surprised. These are people who don't want to work, they want it exclusively for themselves."
Owners Paul and Megan Sullivan bought the island about five years ago after moving back to Australia from Bali.
"Most people don't even know we exist," Mr Sullivan said.
"The biggest decision we have to make is what to have for lunch!"
They take their boat into town once a week and Mrs Sullivan gets her "town shoes" out of the car boot.
"It's a very relaxed lifestyle," Mrs Sullivan said.
"There's no doing your hair or makeup. You can stay in your pyjamas all day.
"I mean, if you really wanted to be risque, there could be no tan lines here as well!"
The Sullivans now have a grandson in NSW who they would like to be closer to, and are ready for another adventure.
Mrs Sullivan said she would miss the privacy and the peace and quiet the island offered.
"I think the attraction here is we own the lease on the whole island - it's just us," she said.
"It's so totally private... you can fly into Mackay Airport, hop on a helicopter, land in the backyard in six minutes and noone knows you're here.
"When people say; 'where do you live?' and we say; 'oh, we live on an island' and everyone goes; 'oh, you're so lucky' and I think well, yeah we are."
Ms Malone is also marketing Elysian Retreat on Long Island in the Whitsundays - a fully operational boutique resort, which is on the market for $8.75 million.
It features 10 king villas and a 100 per cent off-the-grid, boutique resort with a day spa and guest-only restaurant.
Originally published as Everyone wants an island home