Pumpkin Island is being touted as Australia’s most luxurious and sustainable tropical hideaways, hitting the market this month, with a flood of inquiries arriving from across the globe.

Interested buyers have a deadline of Sept. 1 to submit offers, with owners Wayne and Laureth Rumble expecting about A$25 million (US$17 million) for the 18-acre property they have owned for the last 17 years.

Sales records show it is only the second time the island has been listed for sale; the first time was 2003, when the couple purchased it from Roger and Merle Mason, who, over their 40 years of ownership, set up five rudimentary beach cottages.

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The Rumble’s purchased the island, which lies 14 kilometers off the coast of Queensland in Australia’s northeast, for A$1.3million through their boutique resort company, Sojourn Retreats.

During his 40-year ownership Mr. Mason, who passed away aged 88 last year, maintained detailed log books on Pumpkin Island’s weather, environment and guests.

He stayed in touch with the Rumble family, sharing his log books and details around his 1963 purchase of the property for £60 from the original occupant, Snigger Findlay, who had a lease to collect oysters from the island.

“At the time, there were five cottages on the island with basic facilities like a little fishing shack, and over the past 17 years we’ve completed four major sets of renovation, updating bathrooms and kitchens, building new buildings,” Ms. Rumble said.

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“We saw a lot of potential in it. It has a very unique character. The landscape on one side is very rocky; on the other it’s very calm with a beautiful white sandy beach,” she said. “You can snorkel straight off the sand, along a fringe reef which is considered one of the most beautiful reefs in the Great Barrier Reef.”

The Rumbles have upgraded the five beach cottages, adding two waterfront bungalows that contain a games room, a library and a lounge and a licensed bar. Also on the island are a manager’s cottage, staff quarters and a double-story lookout.

There are two waterfront bungalows on the island.

Knight Frank Rockhampton

The Rumbles have run the island as a resort since their 2003 purchase, but it is being marketed for sale either as a boutique resort or private family estate.

As a resort, individual bungalows start from A$2000 for a week or for a group of 34 guests, the whole island is available, starting from A$17,325 for the week not including a private chef.

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“The character of the island really captures you.” Ms. Rumble said. “There are no roads, only walking paths, and no cars. It’s quintessential island life.”

Included in the sale of the island are two registered moorings, a helicopter pad and a custom-built 36-passenger boat.

A passenger boat is included in the sale.

Knight Frank Rockhampton

Despite feeling a million miles from anywhere, Ms. Rumble said a large part of the appeal lies in its proximity to the Australian mainland, with the major regional township of Yeppoon a 30-minute boat trip away.

There’s reliable phone and internet coverage, and the Queensland capital city of Brisbane is 650 kilometers to the south, or 55 minutes by plane.

Pumpkin Island’s resort business shut on March 23, after the Queensland Government forced the closure of all non-essential tourism services to control the spread of coronavirus. The resort has been operational again after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in mid-June.

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During the restrictions, the Rumbles, who have three young children under 5, embraced the isolation and lived fulltime in the manager’s cottage.

Lauded for its sustainability practices, Pumpkin Island offsets 150% of its annual greenhouse gas emissions through recycling, minimal waste as well as the use of solar panels and wind to generate power. A filtering system turns rainwater into drinking water.

“We’re passionate about the environment we operate in, and we’ve been given an opportunity to live in this breathtakingly beautiful environment with a reef that’s in such good condition and nature that’s untouched, so we feel a great sense of responsibility to preserve and protect that,” Ms. Rumble said.

It’s taken a couple of years for the family to come to terms with the sale, which will allow them to be closer to family in New Zealand.

Despite travel restrictions in place banning non-essential international visitors entering Australia, the timing of the sale has done little to dampen buyer interest according to Knight Frank Rockhampton principal Pat O’Driscoll, who says he has received the strongest level of inquiry he’s seen during his 40-year career in property.

“Coronavirus has provided an extra layer of desirability to a property such as this,” Mr. O’Driscoll said. “Businesses looking to invest in the tourism and hospitality industry look at this as an opportunity knowing that once we get through [the pandemic] Australian tourism will be stronger than ever before.”

He added that, “in addition to the corporate interest, we’re getting inquiries from families themselves, both nationally and internationally, as groups look to secure a safe haven for themselves.”

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International buyers would need to seek permission to purchase through the Foreign Investment Review Board.

The Keppel Islands is an archipelago of 17 islands of which Pumpkin Island is the only privately owned holding. It is owned under a leasehold arrangement with the state government, with a rolling permit that can be renewed every 24 years.

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