Pumpkin Island, a private island eco-retreat nestled in the Keppel Islands, Central Queensland.
Pumpkin Island, a private island eco-retreat nestled in the Keppel Islands, Central Queensland.

FOR SALE: Famous CQ island hits the market in rare offering

EVER dreamt of owning a tropical island off the Capricorn Coast?

Here’s your chance.

One of Queensland’s most sustainable and boutique tourist destinations, Pumpkin Island, is up for sale.

The rolling lease for the six-hectare island, situated in the Southern Great Barrier Reef’s Keppel Group of Islands, 14km off the coast of Yeppoon, will be taken to the market in a sale campaign run by Knight Frank’s Deborah Cullen and Pat O’Driscoll.

Pumpkin Island is being sold by Sojourn Properties Pty Ltd, a Queensland-based company with a boutique collection of properties operated under the Sojourn Retreats brand.

This is just the second time Pumpkin Island has come to the market since 1961, with the last sale being to Soujourn Properties 17 years ago in 2003.

The current owners have decided to pursue new ventures and move closer to family in New Zealand.

PARADISE: Pumpkin Island, off the Capricorn Coast.
PARADISE: Pumpkin Island, off the Capricorn Coast.

Pumpkin Island first opened to guests in 1964 and is a private whole island escape for couples, families or groups.

It offers eco-friendly accommodation for up to 34 guests in five fully self-contained oceanfront guest cottages and two bungalows with an open-air kitchen and bathroom facilities. The island is completely off-grid and powered by solar and wind, with plenty of rain water storage.

The property also contains staff quarters, a large work shed, a double-storey lookout building, a bar lounge area, a manager’s cottage, a children’s playground, two registered moorings, a helicopter land pad and a custom built 36-passenger catamaran.

The reef off Pumpkin Island.
The reef off Pumpkin Island.

An oyster lease also belongs to the owner and can be sold with the island allowing guests to shuck their own oysters off the rocks.

Pumpkin Island was named Australia’s most sustainable hotel in Australasia in 2018 at the World Boutique Hotel Awards, and was the first beyond carbon neutral island in Australia, offsetting 150 percent of its annual greenhouse gas emissions.

After 10 years of being an advanced eco-tourism certified operator, Pumpkin Island has now been awarded the position of a “green travel leader” in Australia and is currently a finalist for the Green Hotel of the Year category in the Finder Green Awards.

The island is solar-powered with a back-up three-phase diesel generator.

All water is provided by rain and there is about 410,000 litres of storage.

Pumpkin Island was leased by Queensland brewery Castlemaine Perkins between 2012 and 2015 and was renamed XXXX Island as a promotional campaign for its beer, with 3000 people visiting the island over those three years.

Lion Nathan chose Pumpkin Island as the spearhead of its campaign from a pool of 17 other islands.

The Pumpkin Island Eco Retreat - Southern Great Barrier Reef.
The Pumpkin Island Eco Retreat - Southern Great Barrier Reef.

Ms Cullen said Pumpkin Island was a rare offering that was expected to attract local, interstate and even overseas investors.

“The buyer will be purchasing an entire island - rather than just a parcel of land on an island - on a rolling lease current until 2046, which is an opportunity that only presents itself once in a blue moon,” she said.

“Pumpkin Island is a very unique property offering privacy, seclusion and exclusivity, and is a fantastic destination for tourists or locals wanting an escape.

“We expect it will be even more attractive in the current climate post COVID-19 for someone who wishes to use it as a safe haven during any possible future pandemics. During this pandemic life continued on the island as normal.

“The island is easy to access from Keppel Bay Marina, being just a short boat ride of 25 to 40 minutes, and the airport at Rockhampton is close by, with Australia’s major capital cities of Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne only a few hours away.”

ESCAPE: Pumpkin Island, a private island eco-retreat nestled in the Keppel Islands, Queensland.
ESCAPE: Pumpkin Island, a private island eco-retreat nestled in the Keppel Islands, Queensland.

Mr O’Driscoll said the property offered the potential for further development or redevelopment, with approval to be required from council and state authorities for building standards.

“At the moment the island can have a maximum of 34 guests but this has the potential to be increased, subject to state government ministerial and local government approval,” he said.

“Capricorn Enterprise is incredibly supportive of tourism in the region and assists in marketing, sales and training for Pumpkin Island.

“They also lobby local council and government when needed to achieve desired results, including tourism development plans.”

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