in paradise Peter Michael - 30th January 2007
Johnny Depp has one. So does Mel
Gibson. And fellow private island owner and billionaire
Richard Branson likes them so much he bought several.
an island is the ultimate status symbol,"
Port Douglas-based island broker Cheyenne Morrison
beats a knighthood, having a private jet or possessing
underwear laced with diamonds."
Morrison should know. He makes a living from selling
some of the more than 4000 privately owned islands
around the world.
is not like selling a house; sometimes I wish
I had a normal job," the 43-year-old said.
he is not working from home in Port Douglas on
his laptop, the self-professed "islomaniac"
is jetting around the world negotiating multimillion-dollar
deals with the world's rich and famous.
latest deals include the $6 million sale of a
Scottish island complete with 13th century castle
and a manor house. Yesterday, he sealed a $9 million
deal on a luxury resort development project involving
the sale of 23 islands in the Louisiade archipelago
in Papua New Guinea.
really have a unique job. There is only one other
person in the world who does the same thing I
people think my job is glamorous and exciting
and, despite the 15-hour days, sometimes I do
step out of a seaplane on to a sandy beach somewhere
in the Pacific and think 'wow, this is amazing'.
deal with the mega-famous and mega-wealthy, who
are not the easiest of clients, and I don't earn
as much as some think.
I've only got to sell one island a year and I'm
doing pretty well."
latest client, Cairns-based mining magnate Len
Miles, yesterday met with Papua New Guinea Prime
Minister Sir Michael Somare to approve a $US50
million ($64.7 million) gold refinery project
in Milne Bay.
the deal, his client will develop a luxury diving
and game fishing resort in the Conflict Island
group on the coral-studded archipelago, about
960km northeast of Cairns.
Queensland islands are listed for sale with Mr
Morrison's company, Coldwell Banker Australia.
They are Keswick Island, with a hefty $33 million
price tag; Bamborough Island, for a relatively
cheap $3 million; and two luxury villas on the
honeymoon destination of the stars Bedarra Island,
for an undisclosed sum (if you have to ask you
can't afford it).