Tech billionaire nabs Great Barrier Reef resort island

Aussie tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes, the co-founder of Atlassian, and his wife Annie recently purchased Dunk Island; a resort island on the Great Barrier Reef.

The purchase follows the recent trend of wealthy Sydney investors purchasing resort and retreat islands on the reef.

The Australian Financial Review reported that the 147-hectare island was purchased by Green Seaweed 1 (as trustee) for $23.65 million.

The deal was brokered by JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group’s Andrew Langsford and Nick Roche and CBRE Hotels’ Tom Gibson, according to The Australian.

“This transaction reinforces the appeal of investment in coastal locations and the sentiment that leisure travel across Australia is poised for continued growth,” Langsford said.

Gibson added: “Given the history of this special asset, this is a very significant transaction for both Mission Beach and the greater Queensland tourism market.”

The director of Green Seaweed 1 is Catherine Manuel, who is also a director of the Cannon-Brookes Foundation, Cannon-Brookes Services, and other companies tied to the tech billionaire and his wife.

The deal is said to have been driven by Annie Cannon-Brookes.

“Annie has purchased the land with the intent to preserve its natural beauty for years to come,” a spokeswoman for the couple said.

The couple has purchased the island amid a massive resurgence in domestic tourism and international travellers.

They purchased it from Aussie mining and energy executive Peter Bond and his family after a troubled three-year chapter in attempts to sell the property.

The bond family purchased the former 4.5-star resort and golf course for about $7.5 million in 2011 from Hideaway Resorts.

$5 million dollars was spent cleaning up the resort and installing a new jetty

The sale of Dunk Island follows a number of island resort deals, including Six Senses Fiji as well as major islands off the east coast of Australia such as Lizard Island and Hook Island.