Barbara Wolveridge scores $15m property to sell


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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The remote Bloomfield Rainforest Lodge at Weary Bay at Cape Tribulation. Image: Supplied.

Local realtor Barbara Wolveridge is in awe of the task that lies ahead, but is looking forward to the challenge of selling Bloomfield Rainforest Lodge which has a record $15 million asking price.

Mike Gooley, a British travel industry pioneer, purchased the remote Bloomfield Rainforest Lodge at Weary Bay at Cape Tribulation in 1990 after he became interested in the region when Thai Airways started direct flights from Bangkok to Cairns, reported the Financial Review.

The 2.9-hectare oceanfront property, originally a fishing lodge, was developed by Gooley into a luxury eco-resort with 18 guest suites for his personal use, family, friends, and paying guests.

Accessible only by chartered plane, helicopter or boat and nestled within the Daintree Rainforest, the Lodge was voted the world’s best remote hotel by Forbes magazine in 2010, said the report.

This is a significant coup for Sotheby’s International Realty, Port Douglas, after Gooley appointed Lynne Malone and Barbara Wolveridge to sell the lodge.

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to sell Bloomfield Lodge,” said Wolveridge.

“The way things are going; this could surpass the buying cost of $15m.

“Lynne Malone and I now have six islands as part of our portfolio. It’s a privilege to be invited to sell them.

“In my 30 years of real estate, I have never seen such exciting opportunities coming my way,” said Wolveridge.

Although the lodge has been mothballed for five years – live-in caretakers have been maintaining the property during this period – the superlatives tell the story.

It is unique, enchanting, beautifully remote and a hidden gem. A luxury boutique hideaway set in the heart of the lush tropical Daintree Rainforest and on the shores of the Coral Sea and pristine waters of the Great Barrier Reef, offering guests an unforgettable experience of two World Heritage sites.

This multi-award winning rainforest Eco lodge is one of Australia’s most exclusive getaways, delighting its guests with gourmet dining, friendly personalised service and a rare chance to truly relax and get away from it all.

Stylishly appointed timber retreats with stunning sea and rainforest views provide luxury accommodation.

Tucked away almost unseen in the rainforest canopy are individual private lodges, complete with hot tub and day bed on a spacious verandah.

Ms Malone told the Financial Review the buyer of Bloomfield Lodge would likely be a “high-net-worth individual looking to own their own extraordinary escape.”

“It will take no more than $250,000 to get the property up and running again and a month in time for it to be ready to take guests,” she said.

According to the report, price expectations for Bloomfield Lodge start from $15 million but it could sell for considerably more given another Daintree resort, Silky Oaks Lodge, was purchased for $20 million by luxury resort operator James Baillie in December 2019 and is undergoing a $20 million revamp.

“Gooley, who turned a ‘seemingly pathetic little start-up’ he founded in 1970 into Trailfinders, one of Britain’s biggest privately owned travel agencies, has an estimated fortune of close to $700 million, said the report.

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