A small rocky island just off the north coast of Tasmania is on the market again – the third time in less than two years – and with a higher price tag, after its sale earlier this year fell through.
Located in Bass Strait, Ninth Island is probably best known as the name of a popular Tasmanian winery, as well as for its populations of penguins and birds.
The island, 1.3 kilometres long and 550 metres wide, was believed to be sold for more than $1.2 million in March, after passing in at auction for $1.19 million in July 2015. It has since been relisted with an asking price of $1.68 million.
Yong Real Estate agent Peter Huang, who is overseeing the current sale, said the previous deal fell through after the buyer failed to secure the necessary funding.
“There’s been a bit of drama,” Mr Huang said. “The buyer couldn’t get the funding from China and didn’t finalise the deposit. [The price] was for well, well over $1 million and he lost the 10 per cent deposit. It’s now back on the market.”
In February 2015, the island was sold by Kreglinger Australia – which owns the Ninth Island winery on the Tasmanian mainland – for $300,000 to a Queensland buyer.
This sale was due to “special circumstances” and was well below what the island is worth, Mr Huang said.
“It’s a different time and with different circumstances, and it will be sold in the near future,” he said. “This is a really perfect, private holiday home and island for a buyer, at an affordable price.
“This is the cheapest island available in Australia. You could get a small apartment in Sydney, or this beautiful island with great history and in a beautiful place. There’s a 360-degree view in every direction.”
Ninth Island is 12 kilometres from Tasmania and has no jetty, meaning it is accessible only by helicopter.
There is a small fishing shack on the vacant land, which is a “paradise” for wildlife including penguins and native birds, according to its listing information.
The previous buyer this year was said to be interested in establishing an ecotourism venture on the island, and Mr Huang said it was a good opportunity for some form of development.
“It could be used for ecotourism or just as your private island, just like Richard Branson,” Mr Huang said.
”You can build your own pre-manufactured house…then reap the benefits of capital appreciation.”
Ninth Island is one of only nine freehold islands off the coast of Tasmania, and was reportedly the site where survivors from a shipwreck, which included the grandfather of Princess Mary of Denmark, found solace in 1962 before being rescued.