Search

Paradise has a $4.5m price tag

COCKATOO Island, the remote far North West Australian wilderness hide-away once owned by Alan and Eileen Bond is up for sale – again.

The multi-million dollar luxury property, frequently described as the world’s ultimate island paradise, is whetting appetites at the top end of the real estate market.

This exotic, unspoiled, unseen and least known get-away-from-it-all island resort lies 2,000 kms north of Perth off the rugged Kimberley coast-line amid the glittering turquoise blue waters and 1000 tiny islands which make up the Buccaneer Archipelago.

Few visitors, apart from yachtsmen, pearl divers, barramundi fishermen and the seriously determined not-to-be-found traveller, venture there.

The address is pretty exclusive too – Latitude 16 deg. 05 S., Longitude 123 deg. 35 E. By post – Yampi Sound, Derby, WA will probably find it, a 35-minute flight from Derby or an hour and five minutes by air north from Broome.

Under the personal flair of the always stylish Eileen “Red” Bond, Cockatoo Island resort, set on 24.52 hectares with 20 pink luxury air conditioned cabins and a spectacular blue pool 100 metres above sea level and its own 750 metre recently upgraded airstrip, underwent an extensive A$5 million facelift when it opened for business 11 years ago.

It had its own restaurant, cocktail bar, billiard room, open air cinema, tennis and squash courts and even a yacht club.

The asking price for the island paradise advertised for sale on the Internet by Darwin real estate firm Loveridge Mining and Pastoral Agencies (LMPA) is A$4.5 million.

The island resort was last sold after it went into receivership being managed by KPMG Peat Marwick acting on behalf of the R&I Bank of Western Australia Ltd, at an asking price of $2.25 million.

The owner of Cockatoo which still operates as a resort is a consortium under the chairmanship of Wayne Thomas. The price paid when it changed hands has never been disclosed.

Cockatoo has a chequered history.

Perched as it is at the top of King Sound early pearling boats stopped off there to load ballast from the beaches until it was discovered that the ballast was in fact some of the world’s richest ironstone. A clifff of iron ore of 69 per cent purity 2 kms long and 40 metres thick was discovered later found to extend to another 210 metres below sea level.

It was to become for many years the “jewel in the BHP crown”.

The first known leases were granted in 1918 eventually changing hands several times before going to BHP but it was not until 1936 that the first geological party of six men came from Wollongong, NSW to carrry out survey work.

In July,1951 the Iron Lady sailed for Newcastle carrying the first cargo of 10,553 tonnes of Cockatoo iron ore. By 1979 they were extracting a total 1.3 million tonnes a year.

It was 1960 before regular air services began. In 1982 the island saw the end for iron ore mining on Cockatoo with the arrival of Australia’s largest hydraulic back-hoe the massive DEMAG H2411. Two years later it was all over. Mining on the island finally closed down.

Add your comment

BNIQ sponsored byECU School of Business and Law

Students

6th-Australian Institute of Management WA20,000
7th-Murdoch University16,584
8th-South Regional TAFE10,549
9th-Central Regional TAFE10,000
10th-Saferight8,000
49 tertiary education & training providers ranked by total number of students in WA

Number of Employees

BNiQ Disclaimer