Optimistic future for Port Douglas as real estate booms


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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The region is attracting big spenders and celebrities such as radio host Kyle Sandilands who recently purchased this 2.5ha tropical retreat in the Mowbray Valley outside Port Douglas.
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It may be repetitive, but at least we are singing from the same song sheet when we say Port Douglas is on the up.

This much is evident based on the more than 15, million-dollar mansions sold over the past year; the more than casual potential buyers who are now purchasing ‘site unseen’; and the hint that Port Douglas could rival Byron Bay.

And with recent assurances, the two multi-million dollar developments – the $300m Fairmont Port Douglas on the old Havana site; and Tim Gurner’s $60m project on the Esplanade – will go ahead once all the approvals are in place.

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As COVID-19 becomes a part of daily living, we can still expect visitation to pick up once restrictions are eased and the number of cases reduced.

“We have to be optimistic. We have to hope that there will be a turnaround in fortunes and Port Douglas will again be a popular venue for those on the east coast,” said one observer.

The region is obviously an attraction for shock jock, Kyle Sandilands, who co-hosts with Jackie O, the weekday morning radio program The Kyle and Jackie O Show on Sydney's radio station KIIS.

It has been reported that Sandilands purchased a 2.5ha tropical retreat in the Mowbray Valley outside Port Douglas.

The house was listed for $1.3million and it's believed he paid somewhere in that range. This adds to his property portfolio, which includes a farm in the NSW Southern Highlands and a $5million mansion in Los Angeles.

High-profile realtor, Barbara Wolveridge, who leads Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty’s Port Douglas-based office, said there is a positive shift.

“I think the tide is turning. What is heartening is to see is the number of younger people buying the million to three million-dollar properties.

“This augers well for the future of Port Douglas. Add the fabulous $60m Tim Gurner development on the Esplanade to the mix, and I believe it will bring more young, wealthy people to the area. Finally we will have our very own Qualia,” said Wolveridge.

The past year was extremely busy for Wolveridge who was involved in a number of million-dollar sales, including John Morris’ – aka Mr Port Douglas – mansion on 1-3 Wharf Street which was reportedly sold for more than eight million.

“The rest of Australia is now discovering what we locals have known for years. Bring it on I say,” she said. 

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