New Aquarium provides another boost to the Cairns Economy

The new Cairns Aquarium opened on 24th September 2017 after 6 years of planning and construction. The newest attraction in Cairns was completed at a reported cost of $54 Million AUD and has delighted both tourists and locals. It is estimated that approximately 700,000 people will visit the attraction every year.

This is the first aquarium to be constructed in Australia in 18 years and is a further sign of increased confidence and investment in both the local market and in the tourism industry.  

The aquarium is a three-level building with total gross area in the vicinity of 7,800 square metres comprising 71 live exhibits. The underwater viewing tunnel is the main feature of the attraction.

The adjoining 250 seat “Aqualuna” Restaurant also features a 70,000 Litre Black Tip Reef Shark Tank where you can watch the fish and sharks swim while enjoying some fine Italian cuisine.  

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Valuer-General’s 2017 Property Market Movement Report shows minimal changes in land values in Far North Queensland

Land photo

The Valuer General Office Market Movement Report was issued in conjunction with 2017 Statutory Land Valuation assessments conducted for the Mareeba; Tablelands; and the Cassowary Coast Council areas in Far North Queensland. An update to the Statutory Land Valuations within Cairns Regional Council local government area was not conducted for 2017.


The report showed that land values of residential allotments on the whole remained relatively unchanged from the previous assessments carried out in 2015.


Townships with the Atherton Tablelands experienced stable land values over the period. “The main property driver for the Atherton Tablelands is the agricultural and intensive grazing sector which is strong and underpins the values within the townships of Atherton, Malanda and Yungaburra. Values in these townships have generally remained unchanged.”


The report also noted that Mareeba has similar drivers to those found in the Atherton Tablelands. Residential land values in the locality has also remained relatively similar, however some of the rural residential market has seen some level of increases: “The rural residential market adjacent to the town of Mareeba is still strong and has experienced minor increases in value.”


Residential land within the Cassowary Coast Regional Council area has experienced relatively stable values in the coastal towns of Mission Beach and Cardwell, as well as in the town of Tully. Whereas residential land values in the town of Innisfail and surrounding townships have fallen slightly. “Residential values have generally softened in the town of Innisfail, as well as in smaller coastal and hinterland localities such as Wangan, Mourilyan, Mundoo, South Johnstone, Silkwood, El Arish and Kennedy.”


The report noted that land values for farming land have increased slightly over the assessment period due to increasing demand for quality farming properties. “The agricultural sector is generally strong with high commodity prices, particularly within the sugar and grazing industries, being a major driver in the property market. Farming land values have generally increased over the last 24 months as sales volumes have picked up.“


Commercial and Industrial property sales activity has been relatively slow over the assessment period. Land values of such properties have remained stable to having some decreases, particularly in Innisfail and other localities on the Cassowary Coast, where demand has further softened in line with the trend for residential land. “Commercial, industrial and multi-unit lands have generally mirrored the residential trend in Cassowary Coast townships. Values have softened for premium sites within Edith and Rankine streets, Innisfail.”


Sales activity in the Pastoral sector has been limited to only a small number of sales reportedly due to a “lack of buyer capacity”.  Land values in this sector of the market have remained stable despite positive indicators for this market sector. “The broader market fundamentals for large grazing enterprises in North Queensland…..are better than they have been in some time.”


The Valuer Generals Market Movement Report for the North Queensland localities results overall in no significant changes to land values over the assessment period, with some localities having slight decreases in assessed land values. The trend for the regional areas assessed is similar to slightly contrasting to the Cairns market wherein land values have remained stable to marginally increasing. Residential land sales volumes in the Cairns suburban areas has been decreasing over the past 18 months, however prices achieved in some newer subdivisions have experienced steady growth in this time. A somewhat subdued demand for non-prime located Industrial property has seen land values in this sector remain relatively unchanged in recent times. Some high profile sales of commercial land within the last 2 years has resulted in growing confidence for Cairns CBD and prime located commercial property which has caused some upward pressure on pricing in this sector.


A full copy of the Valuer-General’s Property Market Movement Report can be accessed at:


Cairns Units Showing Strong ROI

Unit groups in Cairns show strong returns

Unit groups in Cairns show strong returns

CoreLogic have recently reported that Cairns suburbs have been included in 4 out of 5, and 6 out of 10 of the country’s top yielding suburbs for Residential Units. The suburbs of Woree, Bungalow, Manunda and Westcourt were Australia’s top performers with regards to rental returns in data to November 2015. Yields achieved were around 8.0% to 8.5% on a gross basis (source: PropertyValue by CoreLogic – Feb 2016).