A unique property in North Queensland has the potential to offer its new owner an explosive return on investment.
Lot 10 McKeown Road, East Barron, is home to one of seven cinder cones in the Atherton Volcanic Province known as the Seven Sisters – and is the only one still fully intact.
The property currently hosts a hoop pine plantation which is ready for harvest. Photo: Supplied
A cinder cone is a steep, cone-shaped hill made up of volcanic material such as ash or scoria, which forms around a vent during an eruption, according to Geoscience Australia.
The East Barron cone was created around 40,000 years ago, when the surrounding area was a hotbed of volcanic activity.
It sounds complex, but the reality today is a large hill with a crater in the middle – something interesting to look at from afar or a perfect vantage point from which to take in the surrounding tablelands.
“This is probably one of the most interesting properties I’ve ever sold – I’m in love with it,” listing agent Michael Piagno said.
The property – 41.75 hectares in size – was once home to a sizeable avocado planation before being struck by the devastation of cyclone Larry in 2006.
The surrounding land was filled with an avocado crop prior to Cyclone Larry. Photo: Supplied
Now the blank canvas – a shed and access road are the only above ground infrastructure on the property – comes with three key potential uses, according to Mr Piagno, who is selling the property in conjunction with Colliers International.
“There are three uses, one agriculture, two lifestyle block – the soil is unbelievable, the views are unbelievable,” he said.
The property’s water bore, which connects to a partial irrigation system, makes that first option particularly viable – particularly in an area where 40 hectares of good agricultural land can sell for upwards of a million dollars.
“Really importantly it’s got water. It’s got a bore. You can’t drill for bores around here anymore and none of the surrounding properties have water.
“All the main lines are laid down – you could go right ahead and plant blueberries, macadamias, avocados.”
In addition, the property also has a hoop pine forest which is ready to be harvested.
The third option involves capitalising on the growing number of international tourists visiting the Cairns region – set to boom further if the casino section of the proposed Aqius resort is eventually given the go-ahead.
“Even with the existing number of tourists we have, we don’t have enough facilities, and our local councils are very progressive when it comes to looking at ways we can improve that,” Mr Piagno said.
The property is well situated to capitalise on North Queensland’s growing tourism industry.
The site would be well positioned to operate as a hotel or conference centre with a novel twist, but a simpler option would be to keep it for yourself.
“If it was me I’d buy it, build a house on the cinder cone and enjoy the views for the rest of my days,” Mr Piagno said.
Building a house on top of a volcanic structure might seem like a risky prospect but there’s little cause for worry, says Geoscience Australia volcanologist Victoria Miller.
“The Atherton Volcanic Province is SW of Cairns and contains more than 50 known centres of eruption. The most recent volcanic activity in this part of Queensland was at least 10,000 years ago,” she said.
“Hence the region is considered dormant, which means that it has not been active in recorded history and has a low likelihood of activity any time soon.”
- Colliers International Cairns is offering the property for sale by expressions of interest closing on Thursday, September 8 at 4pm.
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