Tasmania’s Waterhouse Island has been snapped up, reportedly by Singapore billionaire hotel magnate Koh Wee Meng.
Although the identity of the buyer officially remains a secret, The Straits Times reports a property title search showed Mr Koh bought the freehold island through a firm registered in Victoria, of which he is the sole shareholder.
Koh, 52, the boss of the Fragrance chain of hotels, is believed to have paid $5.5 million for the idyllic 287ha island, and plans to use it as a private retreat and ecotourism project.
Koh is 14th on the Singapore billionaire’s list, with a net worth of $US1.3 billion.
He’s bought a couple of properties in Australia recently, including a Hobart CBD investment and plans to build a Beyoncé-inspired curvy skyscraper in Melbourne.
Waterhouse Island sits just 3km off Tasmania’s northeast coast, 30km, as the mutton bird flies, from the nearest town, so the slice of paradise has a reasonable claim to being millions of miles from anywhere.
While the island has been farmed for 150 years, with mostly sheep, it is also a haven for fishing, swimming, snorkelling and exploring.
“It has been in the one family for 45 years but the time has come for them to let it go,” Ray White Southern Tasmania director Ant Manton told The Mercury.
He will have to share one corner with the federal government, which popped a lighthouse on it.
“I think down the track there might be some plans for an eco-tourism type development, but at this stage just a magnificent private retreat in the middle of Bass Strait,” said Mr Manton.
“But obviously there would need to be significant upgrades to services if they were going to use it any further.”
Here’s more of what Waterhouse Island offers for $5.5 million:
The large colonial three bedroom house and shed have stunning views
A guest house for visitors is situated 100-metres away and comfortably sleeps four.
Both houses are run on solar power and have rain water catchments.
Getting there is easy.
While it’s only three kilometres from the mainland the island is very accessible by multiple modes of transport.
A short 10-minute plane ride will get you there from nearby Bridport.
Or better still…
It’s a short boat ride from the world-class Barnbougle Golf course and resort, and the jetty makes for an easy landing and departure.
All the activities
One of the best things about being on an island? Plenty of water. Although Bass Strait is a popular thoroughfare for great whites.
But if you prefer the safety of long walks on the beach…
There are these glorious white sand beaches to explore.
Even the land itself is breathtaking.
Despite once being used as grazing pasture for sheep, the land – which stretches roughly 4.5km from end-to-end – is idyllic.
And just when you thought sunsets couldn’t get any more beautiful.
Have you experienced a sunset on your own private island? On the winter solstice, you can watch it rise at 7.30am and set at 4.59pm. In summer, it’s around 8.30pm.
So, for over $5.5 million, is it worth it?
Koh obviously thinks so. We’ll let you be the judge.
(We’re with Koh.)
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