Chesapeake mansion
Chesapeake Mansion. Lot 6, 186 Mandalay Road. Photo – Th3rd Dimension Media.
  • Chesapeake Mansion sits on 76 hectares overlooking the bay and islands
  • Originally developed by New Zealander Don McDonald as a survivalist enclave
  • Property is up for sale for $3.5 million

Airlie Beach is known as the ‘heart of the reef’, and for those that have travelled in the region, it surely is a place of stunning natural beauty. The Whitsunday Islands are just offshore, the gateway to the great barrier reef.

Palm-fringed beaches, waterfront parks and alfresco restaurants… what else could you want?

Well, perhaps you might be interested in a signature property that sits high up on the hill on Mandalay Road overlooking the bay, Chesapeake Mansion.

It’s been put up for sale, occupies 76 hectares of land, and offers 618 square metres of internal space, plus balconies and terraces, 3 bedrooms and those expansive views.

Chesapeake mansion views
Chesapeake Mansion – those views. Photo – Robyn Bonner.

There’s a back story too, as the place was originally proposed as the central component of a survivalist enclave, marketed as ‘Parc Exclusif’. The original development was the brain-child of New Zealander, Donald McDonald. Whilst most of the buildings Don planned to construct never eventuated, millions were spent on elaborate plans and infrastructure.

His unusual vision didn’t appeal to the market at the time, so the financiers moved in. The entire swathe of land was later bought by Don Algie of Hog’s Breath Café fame and subsequently renamed as ‘Chesapeake Estate’.

The most recent sale at Chesapeake Estate was Lot 3, which was bought by Victorian horse-breeder Alan Galloway for $6.5 million in August 2020. Next door Mandalay House last sold for $14 million a few years ago.

If you’re also into yachting, which you may be if this property is in your price range, then you’ll be pleased to know the famous Airlie Beach Race and Hamilton Island Race Week will both be held again in August this year.

Price tag for Chesapeake Mansion? $3.5M from the owner Bruce Bickerstaff.

A quick check on property websites shows there are about 90 properties for sale in Airlie Beach at the moment, several in the same price bracket.

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