HOG’S Breath Cafe co-founder Don Algie has sold his hilltop Whitsundays mansion in the region’s biggest sale in years.
The local legend, who opened his first restaurant in Airlie Beach back in 1989, has offloaded the three-storey property known as ‘Chesapeake Whitsunday’ at 3/188 Mandalay Road to horse racing personality Alan Galloway.
The off-market sale, through the Ray White Whitsunday office, is the highest sale price achieved on the Whitsunday mainland since 2018, when Mandalay estate sold for $14 million to a Sydney family.
Mr Galloway, of the world famous Alabar horse breeding stud in Victoria, said he fell in love with the architecturally designed Chesapeake when he saw it from the air.
“I was flying and I saw the mountain with Chesapeake on the top at 1000ft above sea level, it was like a beacon,” Mr Galloway said.
“It’s a magic location here. Johnny Depp stayed at the bottom of the mountain when they filmed Pirates of the Caribbean.
“It’s a very special part of the world and it’s been rebuilt after Cyclone Debbie, but now the tourism industry has taken a knock as there’s no international tourists.”
Mr Galloway’s father was well known for breeding horses and he also owned the yacht, Koomooloo, which won the Sydney to Hobart in the late 1980s.
Mr Algie built the four-bedroom house on the site, boasting 360 degree views to Shute Harbour and Hamilton Island from every room.
The property comes with not one, but two, helicopter pads and a 25-metre lap pool.
The sale of the Whitsundays mansion is the largest transaction in the region for two years.
It comes as this column reported last week that Mr Algie had sold a block of land he was holding onto for future development in Airlie Beach.
The property at 21-23 The Cove Road sold to a prominent local in the real estate industry.
Whitsunday Regional Council records show that a site, which can never be built out, was granted a development permit for change of use to short-term accommodation in July.
The sale comes as agents in Queensland’s far north report unprecedented demand from southerners looking for luxury tropical getaways.
Ray White Whitsunday principal Mark Beale said his team had just sold more than $21 million worth of stock in August and was fielding “dozens of calls” a day from southerners ready to travel to Airlie Beach as soon as the lockdown was over and the borders reopened.
“So many people are looking to buy a holiday home in Airlie Beach with the option of living here full time or working from home,” Mr Beale said.
“It feels like everyone from down south wants to have a property here. So many of our buyers are working remotely anyway.
“Next time there’s a pandemic they will escape the lockdown as things are pretty much normal compared to down south. Rentals are going nuts. Holiday letting inquiries are very strong in particular for the expenses homes at Mandalay and on the waterfront in Airlie Beach.”