Kangaroo Island marron farm attracts Chinese investment

Colliers International sells unique business and lifestyle property

A Chinese government-backed investment group is set to invest in the local Kangaroo Island community following its acquisition of a sizeable aquaculture and tourism property on the pristine island off South Australia.

Colliers International’s Jesse Manuel and Tim Altschwager have facilitated the sale of Andermel, a 289ha property which is home to Andermel Marron Farm, The Marron Café and Two Wheeler Creek Wines, to Shandong Geo-mineral International Investment Co Ltd for more than $1.6million (AUD).

“This property represented a unique business and lifestyle opportunity in one of South Australia’s most picturesque and popular tourist destinations, Kangaroo Island,” Mr Manuel said. “Andermel is a diverse regional business combining agriculture, food, wine, hospitality and tourism activities in one enterprise."

Mr Manuel said the Heads of Agreement for the sale was signed during the South Australian Premier’s Trade Mission to China in May 2015 and has now settled after an extensive due diligence period.

“The purchaser has been a regular attendee at the Shandong-Australia Investment and Trade Promotion Forum organised by the South Australian government and it is excellent to see a significant deal finalised as a result of this initiative,” he said.

“We have seen a rapid increase in enquiry in the demand for agriculture and tourism assets on Kangaroo Island. With $171million worth of projects either approved or planned for Kangaroo Island over the next few years, including an $18million joint investment by the State and Federal Governments to extend the island’s airport runway and allow direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne, it is the perfect time to acquire property in this unique part of the country."

Established in 1997, Andermel Marron Farm is an extensive established marron production business which consists of six breeding ponds, nine nursery ponds and 52 grow ponds. The farm breeds and grows marron – native Australian freshwater crayfish – for domestic markets as well as through the onsite ‘Marron Café’ restaurant and farm gate sales.

The 289ha property also includes an 8ha vineyard planted to Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, producing fruit for Andermel’s own ‘Two Wheeler Creek’ label and a licenced cellar door.

Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third largest island and one of South Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, located 112km south-west of Adelaide and around 15km off the mainland.

Mr Altschwager said Kangaroo Island was renowned for its pristine beaches, native wildlife, tourist attractions and fresh local produce.

“Kangaroo Island generates some of the state’s finest produce and features some of the most eye-catching scenery and touring opportunities,” he said. “Tourism is a significant cultural characteristic of the island and many local farmers and businesses alike thrive on the allure that Kangaroo Island offers.

“Growers and producers are within accessible distance from Adelaide and there are numerous on-site facilities to attract visitors, including farm-gate sales. The countryside is picturesque and the elevated sites around Kingscote and American River provide spectacular vistas.

“Andermel is strategically located within close proximity to some of Kangaroo Island’s most iconic destinations including Seal Bay, Remarkable Rocks and Flinders Chase."

Australian marron is native to the south west of Western Australia and is the largest commercially grown fresh water crayfish.

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