Daintree Rainforest Trio Comes to Market

A trio of accommodation and hospitality assets in a Far North Queensland bucket list tropical getaway destination have been put on the block.

Rich-lister Chris Morris is expecting to fetch more than $8 million for the renowned Daintree Ecolodge, Red Mill House Bed and Breakfast and Daintree Village Hotel.

The move is part of a portfolio shift with a focus on the high-end travel market by the Computershare founder-turned-tourism entrepreneur’s boutique luxury resorts business Northern Escape Collection.

“While Daintree Ecolodge has delivered countless memorable experiences to guests of the collection, the strategy for the group has shifted towards super-elevated, luxury experiences such as those delivered at Orpheus Island Lodge, Mount Mulligan Lodge and an ultra-luxury experience that the group is set to launch toward the end of 2023 on Pelorus Island,” Morris said.

He said Northern Escape Collection and its parent company, Morris Group, would continue to reinvest in its luxury tourism portfolio, which includes superyacht business Morris Nautical.

And other strategically aligned acquisitions also will be considered to complement the group’s luxury tourism portfolio.

Meanwhile, the Morris family’s three Daintree assets have been put up for sale “to capitalise on investor demand for north Queensland accommodation offerings”.

CBRE is marketing the properties, which are surrounded by a World-Heritage listed 180-million-year-old rainforest home to crocodiles, cassowaries and thousands of other Australian wildlife species.

Daintree Ecolodge sits on a 6.57ha freehold site and comprises 15 freestanding villas, a restaurant and bar, wellness spa, pool and sun deck. It also includes an adjoining 5.39ha vacant parcel of land with approvals in place for the development of an additional 10 units.

▲ Inside one of the Daintree resort rooms.

Along with the Red Mill House Bed and Breakfast comprising two double-storey Queenslander buildings with eight rooms—currently closed to provide staff accommodation for the Ecolodge—and the Daintree Village Hotel including a bottle shop and general store, it is being offered for sale via an expressions of interest campaign.

CBRE’s Wayne Bunz and Hayley Manvell are the marketing agents.

“This portfolio provides prospective investors with a substantial opportunity to acquire three assets within the Daintree’s highly constrained and tightly held accommodation and hospitality market,” Manvell said.

“The incoming owners will be acquiring high quality, established and well-renowned assets that have significant long-term development, repositioning and branding upside with strong economy of scale benefits.”

Bunz said tourists were increasingly seeking out sustainable yet high-quality eco-tourism experiences within Australia.

“As a result, we expect interest and enquiry throughout this campaign to be strong from a variety of investment sources looking to gain a significant foothold in the industry via the Daintree Ecolodge.”

The Daintree offering is the latest in a flurry of sales and acquisitions of Queensland tourism and hospitality assets by the ultra-rich in the past two years.

Lindeman Island in the Whitsundays recently sold to an unnamed high-net-worth Singaporean family in a $10-million deal. 

Meanwhile, nearby Pumpkin Island eco-resort, formerly known as XXXX Island and used for beer commercials, has been listed for only the second time in 62 years.

In May last year, Sydney hotelier Glenn Piper bought the Hook Island Lodge leasehold. 

Annie Cannon-Brookes, wife of tech billionaire Mike, bought the abandoned tropical island resort of Dunk Island in July.

A year earlier, Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest and his wife Nicola’s private investment company Tattarang splashed $42 million for Lizard Island.

Article source: Queensland Property Investor

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