Southerners Swoop on Far North ‘Gems’

Southern investors are moving into Far North Queensland to snap up beachfront accommodation as domestic travel continues to thrive in the post-Covid climate.

Purchaser Ben Davidson, along with two business partners, recently acquired the Eco Village Mission Beach for almost $3 million.

It’s the first time the property has changed hands since it was developed in 1992.

The beachfront resort comprises 17 bungalows, a couples retreat, pool and restaurant on a 9080sq m site.

Davidson said they were looking to reposition the property.

“We were looking for another property anywhere on the east coast,” he said.

“The value of Eco Village was the location and proximity to the beach—without any improvements the land parcel is pretty irreplaceable.

“It’s a good-sized smaller property with flexibility in terms of what it can handle. We can create a product and market it to a niche demographic.”

Davidson also owns a motel at Port Macquarie, which he and a business partner successfully renovated and repositioned.

He said that although Mission Beach had suffered some serious setbacks after the demise of Mayfair 101, which had bought up “half the town”, there was a growing positivity within the township as new blood joined its ranks.

Mission Beach QLD

▲ A motel owner has bought up the Eco Village at Mission Beach for almost $3 million with a view to repositioning the “irreplaceable” property.


The Cassowary Coast Council was completing its upgrade of the Dunk Island Spit and campgrounds, and plans for the $10-million town centre rejuvenation were gathering pace for a start in 2023.

“We think there’s more space in the Mission Beach market for mid-range accommodation,” Davidson said.

“We think that the area is going to support more [localised and destination] tourism in the future.”

While the fate of the abandoned Dunk Island continues to hamper tourism in the area, JLL hotel and hospitality group senior vice-president Gareth Closter said the Cassowary Coast was a boutique location that appealed to investors.

Eco Village Mission Beach in QLD

▲ Castaways at Mission Beach is on the market.

And Closter said more Far North Queensland accommodation sites were going on the block.

“I think there’s been a significant shift in tourism spending,” he said.

“People are looking more at luxe boutique accommodation which has broad appeal, and people will spend more per night on accommodation than they ever have.

“This transaction is yet another example of the investor market that exists for quality accommodation assets not only in Tropical North Queensland, but across Queensland more broadly.”

The Eco Village Mission Beach transacted for a per-key rate of about $150,000 and a yield of less than 7 per cent.

Castaways Resort and Spa in Mission Beach has been listed with an ambitious price expectation of $12 million, while down the road the Tully backpackers, Banana Barracks, was expected to fetch about $5 million.



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