Melbourne man spent $ 280,000 to buy tent on remote island off Queensland


A man tired of the lockdown paid $ 280,000 for a tent on a remote island on the other side of the country he can’t even see due to border restrictions.

Chris Havre was researching the online real estate market during his sixth foreclosure in Melbourne when he stumbled upon the Perfect Escape 3,000 miles away.

Prince of Wales Island, also known as Muralag, is the largest island in Torres Strait off Cape York Point.

“It’s a unique part of Australia; it feels like a whole new world out there just waiting to be discovered,” he said.

It is closer to Papua New Guinea than any major Australian city and has no electricity, water, trash, or sewage system.

And that is exactly what attracted Mr. Havre.

Chris Havre hopes to share the glamping tent with his friends and family. (

Photo provided: Marc Havre


‘Very good deal’

Mr. Havre’s new purchase sits on 8,000 square meters of land and includes outdoor showers under a water tank, as well as a carport that doubles as a kitchen.

While some people might scratch their heads at the thought of spending a small fortune on a glamping tent, Havre considers it good value for money.

“It’s a very good tent, but you also have to look at the terrain and the location and I was like: ‘this is a really good deal’.

“Right now, living in Melbourne, everything is so uncertain about what COVID is going to mean for us.

“It’s good to know that if we can fly freely across the country, we don’t have to leave the national border to go to a place like this.”

A water tank with an outdoor shower underneath.
The property has an outdoor toilet and an outdoor shower under the water tank. (

Photo provided: Colliers Real Estate


Cairns real estate agent Stacey Quaid sold the property to Mr. Havre.

“The owners had been using the block as a weekend getaway for many years and they decided it was time to put it on the market and sell it to someone else,” he said.

“Most of the island is a national park and this particular property is in an area called Long Beach, which is a long white sand beach with a small reef in front.”

It looks like a true island paradise, but Mr Quaid said the beauty of the property is what it doesn’t have.

“While it doesn’t have all of the amenities you would find in a city like Sydney, it does have everything you need to make a beautiful home,” he said.

No store in sight

Mr. Havre visited long before the world was turned upside down by COVID-19, and he decided he wanted to spend more time there.

The majority of the island is vacant public land and is used primarily for recreation by the residents of Thursday Island.

A double bed in a glamping tent
The bed inside the African-style glamping tent on Prince of Wales Island.(

Photo provided: Colliers Real Estate


“Ultimately, I hope it ends up becoming some kind of shared space between my family,” he said.

If he renovates the cabins or the outhouses, Mr. Havre keeps the tent and he will not bring in the builders.

“The word ‘development’ and this block of land – I wouldn’t mention it in the same sentence,” he said.

“We had 13 weeks of foreclosure earlier in the year and now we’re looking to do a similar number.

“I think a lot of people would like to leave it all behind and have a potential butt hole to escape.”

A few small buildings photographed from the sky hidden by the tropical forest leaning against a white sand beach
The property backs onto a white sand beach on Prince of Wales Island(

Photo provided: Colliers Real Estate


When he finally emerges from Melbourne’s last hibernation, Mr. Havre is anxiously awaiting his great escape, when it will be.

“There is no store on the island, so you have to eat whatever you can grow or whatever you can catch,” he said.

“It’s a very different way of living and it will suit some people.”


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