Australia Today

This Tropical Island Could Be Yours for the Price of a Sydney Terrace

What would you rather: a private island or a one-bedroom shoebox in Sydney's inner west?
Gavin Butler
Melbourne, AU
Poole Island and the Great Barrier Reef
Image supplied by Australian Islands

How much would you pay for an island? Like your own private, tropical island, on the Great Barrier Reef, with a runway, and a swimming pool, and two separate houses? Because one of those is up for sale right now. And for a $50,000 deposit it could be yours.

Poole Island, in the Whitsundays, is currently listed at $1.2 million. That’s a whole island for about the same as an average house in Sydney—and the sellers are flexible on the price. They want the island sold by Christmas. They are “prepared to take on all offers.”


“It’s great value,” Richard Vanhoff, bona fide island salesman, told VICE over the phone. “I was there just half an hour ago, and it’s incredible. The water is as blue as you’re gonna get it.”

House on Poole Island

All images supplied by Australian Islands

Bedroom, Poole Island
Pool on Great Barrier Reef, Poole Island

Richard is looking after the sale of Poole, and says there’s already been a lot of interest from some “very serious buyers”. He’s looking for a deposit of no more than ten percent, but also suggests he’d consider going as low as half that if it means getting the sale over the line. That is, he says, is an outrageous deal.

The island is located about a kilometre off the north Queensland coast, at the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and has one large, five-bedroom house facing out onto the Coral Sea as well as a second, smaller house that was built in the late 1800s. There’s a 200 metre runway for small aircraft and helicopters, a handmade rock swimming pool that tops itself up with the “crystal clear” waters of the surrounding ocean, and a boat shed with its own slipway for small fishing vessels.

House on Poole Island
Poole Island windmill
Poole Island

Keen to throw a tropical rave, start a hobby farm, or just let a hundred dogs run free across the island? Poole also boasts a good 21 hectares of wide open space, leaving you plenty of room to realise your paradisal dreams.

It’s not without a few fixer-upper elements, though. One of the houses has lost its roof to a cyclone; the exterior could use a fresh coat of paint; and a new solar system needs to be installed to power the island. Most of the work to be done is cosmetic, but Richard estimates that anyone wanting to bring the island up to a “modern standard” would be looking at forking out an extra $100,000 or so.

“It just needs tidying up,” he says. “It’s a remarkable deal. Anyone interested in buying should get in touch soon.”

Poole Island, Great Barrier Reef