REVEALED: The truth behind Old Woman Island - Queensland Property Investor
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REVEALED: The truth behind Old Woman Island



STUNNING photographs taken by a drone have shown what is on one of the Sunshine Coast’s most mysterious and iconic landmarks, Old Woman Island.

Property Today real estate agent John Anderson took the photographs with his drone as he always gets asked questions about the island located less than a kilometre off Mudjimba.

It shows the dilapidated ruins of an old building, which begs the question “who lived there”.

One of the last people to own the lease on the island’s wife has revealed a little of its history.

Libby Troy’s late husband, Peter, the Australian surfing legend, used to stay in a “hut” on the island and commute to Marcoola with a tinnie when he owned the lease in the 1980s and 1990s.



Mrs Troy has also dispelled one of the most common urban myths about the island, that Sean Connery owned it or stayed on it for his honeymoon with Diane Cilento.

The couple owned a unit at Parkyn Parade in Mooloolaba.

But James Bond never made it to the island.

“He never once set foot on the island,” Mrs Troy said.



“The truth is, a female surfer on the Coast, Kim McKenzie, who had the lease on the shark nets was asked by Connery and his wife, Diane Cilento, to take them out to the island.”

“But the sea was too rough, they never came ashore.”

Peter took the lease on the island as it gave him the perfect opportunity to get the best surf breaks.

“Basically, he wanted it for surfing,” Mrs Troy said.

“He could walk out in the morning and have a surf on the right or have a surf on the left.”

The island had a “hut” on it, which Mrs Troy said had been built by a retired airline pilot, John Sewell who once also owned the lease.



“He and his wife built a hut out there, from concrete and salt water,” she said.

Apparently it even had a swimming pool on it and vegie patch.

The island wasn’t a cheap holiday home for Mr Troy.

“We paid more leases and fees for Old Woman Island than the person who leased Hamilton Island had to,” she said.

The couple also had to pay council rates and taxes, including fees for garbage collection.

It was just ludicrous, we paid the same rates as those on the Mudjimba shore line.”

Peter used to get annoyed when he would return to his island home and find surfers got into the house.

Mr Anderson’s photos show the scattered remains of the original dwelling.


Mrs Troy said “you can thank the environment and heritage people for that”.

A decision was made around 2006 to remove the roof on the hut because it had asbestos.

“A chopper came in and took the roof off, which destroyed the house,” she said.

By this time, Mr Troy no longer owned the lease.

He sold it in 1991, but within a year the State Government took the leases back.

“It is an environmental park now,” she said.

“There are a lot of islands that no longer have leases and they don’t do anything to maintain the islands.

“About 12 years after Peter gave over the lease, rangers rang Pete to ask how to get on the island.

“They’d had it for over 10 years and the couldn’t work that out.”

Peter never returned to the island after the no longer had the lease.

“He wasn’t interested in going to it. It was a chapter in his life that was over.”

Sunshine Coast Daily journalist, Bill Hoffman, has had a long association with the island and was involved in securing its inclusion as part of the Maroochy River Conservation Park.

He said it was the subject “of at least two Aboriginal legends”.

One involved two women making a home on the island, where there were midyim berry bushes. When only one of the women could be seen on the island, it became known as Old Woman Island.

The same legend concerned the midyim berry bush – hence ‘midyam’ becoming altered to ‘Mudjimba’.

A second legend interpreted the island as being the head knocked off the top of a warrior, Coolum, which is represented as the flat-topped Mount Coolum about 6km northwards.


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Revealed: The Brisbane suburbs that defied the housing downturn


BRISBANE has emerged the capital city least affected by the housing downturn, according to new evidence revealing the suburbs that recorded double-digit growth over the past year.

It has been a tough year for the nation’s residential property market, but new research from shows the Queensland capital weathered the storm better than most capital cities.

Brisbane took out three of the top 10 national spots for suburbs that defied the downturn and recorded double-digit growth in the 12 months to September — the only city to do so apart from Adelaide, which also had three suburbs in the top 10.

Revealed The Brisbane suburbs that defied the housing downturn 7

House prices in Chelmer, Northgate and Ipswich jumped at a time when most suburbs around the nation were going backwards.

Chelmer and Northgate even beat the affluent suburb of Vaucluse in Sydney.

From waterfront enclaves to first homebuyer hot spots, Greater Brisbane’s lifestyle, affordability, amentiy and access to jobs proved just how resilient the city’s housing market is.

The leafy riverside suburb of Chelmer, in Brisbane’s west, recorded the strongest house price growth of 31 per cent year-on-year in the 12 months to the end of August, according to


The phenomenal growth saw Chelmer’s median house price increase to $1.29 million.

Chelmer residents David and Yvonne Todd are selling their stunning, five-bedroom Georgian-style house at 17 Lama Street after living there for 11 years.

Mr Todd said he was not surprised by the growth in the suburb because it had so much to offer.

“There’s certainly been a lot of investment in the area from people improving their properties, so we’re certainly very cognicant of the suburb’s performance,” Mr Todd said.

The couple was initially attracted to Chelmer because of its proximity to good schools, the fact it was on the train line and the community feel of the suburb.

“What is interesting in the area is there seems to be a huge amount of people who live all their lives here, but might move within the area,” Mr Todd said.


Now that their three children have grown up and left home, the Todds are looking to downsize and plan to spend more time in Europe.

“My wife is a photographer and our youngest son is in Europe … so what we need is more of a lock up and go, rather than a family home,” Mr Todd said.

Ann-Karyn Fraser of Place Estate Agents, who is marketing the home, said she had noticed the increase in house prices in Chelmer and the continued strong interest in the suburb and the surrounding suburbs of Graceville and Sherwood.

“I put it down to the liveability of the suburb,” Ms Fraser said.

“The community Chelmer embraces is so rare and that’s why so many people flock there — the beautiful homes, the infrastructure we have, the schooling, the railway line, and the easy access to the CBD.”

Northgate experienced house price growth of 25 per cent in the year to September, despite general weakness in the overall housing market.

Unlike Chelmer, it has a more affordable median house price of $733,500, but bargains are becoming harder to find.


Rebecca and Marko Vuksanovic have just sold their house at 51 Junior Terrace in Northgate for $1.05 million, making a healthy profit on what they bought it for six years ago.

“We were quite pleasantly surprised,” Mrs Vuksanovic said.

“It was a bit of a record for this little pocket and sold after the first open home.”

The couple are relocating overseas, but could not be happier to have invested in the suburb.

“It was perfect for us,” Mrs Vuksanovic said.

“My husband and I both work locally, it’s got awesome proximity to the city, the airport and freeways north and south.

“We just think it’s the perfect suburb.”


Selling agent Dwight Colbert of Ray White – Aspley Group said he had noticed “continuously strong” growth in Northgate in the six years he had been selling homes there.

Mr Colbert said he had sold more than 20 homes in the suburb in the past 12 months and part of its appeal to buyers was its proximity to the airport, Northgate train station and the CBD.

“I think everyone thinks Northgate is the older suburb, with older homes, but … people udnerestimate the value of the homes in Northgate,” Mr Colbert said.

“It is now becoming one of those attraction locations people want to be in.”

The Ipswich region also featured prominently on the list of suburbs to record double digit house price growth in the year to September.


The median house price in Ipswich rose 20 per cent to hit $385,000, while North Ipswich experienced 12 per cent growth and Ripley recorded an 11 per cent increase in its median house price to $415,000.


On the Gold Coast, premium suburbs with homes with $1 million-plus price tags recorded the highest growth.

Suburbs such as Kingscliff, Paradise Point, Clear Island Waters, and Surfers Paradise weathered the downturn — recording double digit price growth.

Now that buyers are back and auction clearance rates are improving, some experts are calling the bottom of the market.

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said he believed Brisbane home prices were “close to fair value” after an extended period where there was a wind-down of housing prices relative to incomes.

“The worst overvaluation recorded was early 2008 whereby the market was 45 per cent overvalued,” Mr Christopher said.

“This occurred as a result of the Brisbane housing boom of 2003 to 2008 — a period where housing prices doubled in just five years.”

Mr Christopher expects the Brisbane market to respond to recent interest rate cuts and relative loose credit for the remainder of the year.

“We are forecasting a 0.6 per cent rise in housing prices for the current September quarter and a further 1.5 per cent for the December quarter,” he said.




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Gold Coast

REVEALED: The waterfront Gold Coast suburbs where house prices are climbing


It’s been revealed the Gold Coast property market is on the rise, with fresh data showing our waterfront suburbs have recorded a generous growth in house prices.

According to, a number of coast suburbs with over $1 million price tags strongly defied the recent property downturn, recording double-digit year-on-year growth.

House prices in Paradise Point, Clear Island Waters, Surfers Paradise and Jacobs Well all grew by at least ten per cent or more in the past 12 months.

But it was our neighbours over the border in Kingscliff who took out the top spot, with a massive growth of sixteen per cent.

Maudsland, Palm Beach, Tweed Heads South, Tweed Heads West and Casuarina also made the list, with growth ranging from 5% to 8%.


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The best new developments: The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations

The best new developments The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations

Never before have buyers had so much flexibility in picking a lifestyle haven.

Whether luxurious riverside homes in Brisbane central, a beachside address on the Gold Coast, or a master-planned community in a major growth corridor, these new developments offer not just residences, but communities too.

River Homes

The best new developments The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations 1

If you want a hard time finding property, try searching for freehold riverfront houses in Brisbane.

With an average of just 15 transactions annually, these homes are a scarce commodity in the river city and attract an increasingly elite demographic.

Before this development, there were only two freehold riverfront properties between Hamilton and Newstead. Now, River Homes is offering the otherwise unattainable.

River Homes is located in Hamilton Reach, a $700-million master-planned community within the blue-chip suburb of Hamilton, just six kilometres from the Brisbane CBD.

The best new developments The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations 2

These are so desirable, in fact, that just two of eight properties remain: a three-level home and a two-level home.

The former offers four bedrooms, each with en suites, a powder room and two multipurpose rooms spread across a 444-square-metre floor plan, with the entire third level dedicated to a lavish 86-square-metre grand main suite, accessible by stairs or private lift.

The two-level home comprises 376 square metres, with similarly spectacular views complemented by nine-metre voids in the living areas and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Principal at Rothe Lowman Architects Jeff Brown said the design process for River Homes was collaborative and intense, and focused specifically on the needs of prospective residents.

The best new developments The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations 3

“The project in our opinion is successful because of the design’s focus on providing a very clear and deliberate space for the individuality of the residents,” he said.

“The design is not a prescriptive answer that demands a particular way of living.

“We were very conscious of ensuring the houses left room for adaptation and personalisation.”

He said a key part of the design brief was prioritising lifestyle and environment over fashion and fad.

The best new developments The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations 4

“We have received feedback from Frasers Property Group that a key and recurring theme from residents is that of how simple and functional the houses are to live in,” he said.

“We hope the River Homes endure the test of time in a bold and confident way.”

Riverside Homes is located at 84 Parkside Circuit, Hamilton, Queensland.

For more information, contact Cecilynne Jurss on 0417 647 591, visit the display centre at 310 MacArthur Avenue, Hamilton, Queensland, or head to

Brookwater — Dress Circle

The best new developments The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations 5

The newest precinct in Brookwater’s well-established neighbourhood has arrived – and it’s offering some luxury land parcels.

This development takes master-planning to a whole new level. More than just a housing complex, Brookwater is building the city of Greater Springfield, 25 kilometres southwest of Brisbane’s CBD.

One of six neighbourhoods that make up Greater Springfield, Brookwater sits within a major growth corridor, surrounded by established infrastructure in health, education and leisure.

Dress Circle, its newest offering, comprises 40 hectares of spacious plots, centred around the front nine holes of the award-winning Greg Norman-designed championship golf course.

The best new developments The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations 6

The development has delivered more than 1000 blocks in the precinct to date and is already home to 3300 residents, with 3300 more to come over the next 10 years.

Dress Circle features spacious blocks, which range from 600 to 800 square metres with generous frontage.

Prices for land that faces the golf course average $635,000, while land further from the course averages $450,000.

More unusual is Brookwater’s design process for prospective buyers, a far cry from the hands-off approach of traditional housing developments.

The best new developments The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations 7

Buyers go through the full process of home building with complementary assistance from Brookwater, from consultations with architects and landscapers to interior design services.

General manager of Springfield City Group Nick Kostellar said the development’s focus was on high-quality collaborations with aspirational buyers, who were usually downsizers or second or third-home buyers.

“Our buyers don’t really want to be pigeonholed into what they need to buy and build,” he said.

“Instead, we provide the blank canvas for people to really build their dream forever home in Brookwater.

“Our process is more about the experience, so it’s not, ‘here’s a price list, here’s a home-and-land package, goodbye and good luck’. It’s about the journey of design.

The best new developments The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations 8

“Ultimately we want to help people realise their dream home.”

Brookwater – Dress Circle is located at 3 Birchwood Crescent, Brookwater, Queensland.

For more information, contact the Brookwater team on 07 3814 5177 or visit


The best new developments The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations 9

For those after a sea change or lifestyle upgrade, look no further than this sophisticated beachside retreat.

Situated on an elevated site in the heart of the Gold Coast’s Palm Beach, Aqua offers one, two and three-bedroom apartments with breathtaking ocean views.

The development features 62 properties with prices starting at $495,000, and 80 per cent of them have already been snapped up.

The development has also just launched two rooftop sky homes for the discerning buyer: spacious penthouses featuring three bedrooms, three bathrooms and panoramic ocean views from wraparound balconies.

The best new developments The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations 10

Both span between 240 and 250 square metres of luxurious living space and are priced from $1.695 million.

Acqua’s construction is well underway and completion is scheduled for November.

Managing director at Cru Collective Chris Bolger said the development had proved a popular choice for owner-occupiers hailing from surrounding suburbs.

“We have recently had a surge of buyer interest from Brisbane, with those buyers snapping up the great value properties on the lower levels to use as their personal weekend beach pads,” he said.

The best new developments The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations 11

“Acqua offers a fantastic mix of product and the size of the site enabled us to wrap the building around a central open-air atrium, which is a magnificent point of difference to anything else in the area.”

He said the development’s amenities were unparalleled in competing developments.

“The covered open-air landings mean residents are not walking down a standard closed hallway to reach their front door; Acqua’s walkways are landscaped platforms that border the open-air central atrium,” he said.

“The ground floor is designed around the swimming pool and this level also provides access to the fitness centre and a cafe positioned on Third Avenue corner [so] caffeine convenience doesn’t get better than that.

The best new developments The most sought-after lifestyle options in top SE Qld locations 12

“The rooftop zen platform offers ocean vistas for the entire building, although most enjoy ocean views from their own apartments.”

Acqua is located at 10 Third Avenue, Palm Beach, Queensland.

For more information, contact Brent Dallow on 0416 202 304, visit the display suite at 5 Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach, or head to




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