$500m Dunk Island resort development to rival Port Douglas

DUNK ISLAND

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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One of Queensland's most iconic photos of the 90's was Dunk Island's Ulysses butterfly pool. The photo taken by everyone who visited the island was a quinessential image of a Great Barrier Reef holiday. IMAGE: Supplied
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Boasts that a proposed $500m development on Dunk Island – which is expected and predicted to rival Port Douglas – are not being taken seriously at most levels.


Tom Sommers’ vision, which will take up to five years to complete pending approvals and the purchase of the island, is for the development of a hotel, villas, a golf course and a new runway capable of welcoming direct flights from Australian capital cities, Cairns and Townsville.

And the co-founder of Property Bay, an integrated property development and investment company, was not shy to say in media reports that with more investment in the region’s infrastructure, the Cassowary Coast and Dunk Island could “knock Port Douglas off” as the region’s premier tourist destination.


But Douglas Shire mayor Julia Leu said while it is great to see investor confidence in Dunk Island, to put the proposal up with Port Douglas – you are comparing apples and oranges.


“Port Douglas is at the doorstep of two World Heritage-listed icons with the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest.

“The resort town’s lively restaurant and bar scene, world-class tourism experiences and beautiful Four Mile Beach are just some reasons why it continues to thrive as the region’s premier tourist destination.


“The town is also home to world-class resorts, golf courses and an iconic Sunday market that draws huge crowds every week,” she told Newsport.


And Port Douglas business leaders were unanimous when they questioned if this project would even get off the ground.


“The island has yet to be purchased from the current owner (Adam Bond), and the local council is not involved.  Why should we be concerned?”


Dunk Island falls within the jurisdiction of the Cassowary Coast Regional Council and lies four kilometres off the Australian east coast, opposite the town of Mission Beach. It was heavily damaged by Cyclone Yasi in 2011 and has not been repaired.

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