- First time the property has been on the market for more than 50 years
- The principality had been involved in numerous disputes, mainly with the ATO
- Sale was due to debts accumulated by the late 'Prince' Leonard
Some loyal readers of The Property Tribune may recall earlier this year we covered the sale of half a Tasmanian village for less than the cost of a house in Sydney.
Now buyers have an opportunity to express an interest in purchasing another unique regional property – the (unrecognised) former Principality of Hutt River.
Open to the market for the first time in 50 years, the Hutt River Province will be sold by Elders.
History of Hutt River
The property, 43 kilometres northwest of Northampton – about a five-hour drive north of Perth – was originally purchased in the 1960s where it was cleared and developed for cropping and grazing.
In 1970, due to an issue with the Western Australian government surrounding wheat production quotas, owner Leonard Casley declared Hutt River an independent province, seceding from the state. Later, Mr Casley styled himself as “His Majesty Prince Leonard 1 of Hutt”.
Despite correspondence from the Governor-General that referred to Prince Lenoard as an “Administrator of the Hutt River Province” and even Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II congratulating Prince Leonard on the “…forty-sixth anniversary of the Principality of Hutt River…” the province was never formally acknowledged.
Since the 1970s, the province has been involved in many legal cases – most notably with the Australian Tax Office. In fact, in December 1977, the principality declared war on Australia, ceasing hostilities just a few days afterwards.
Aside from wheat, the province generated income from tourism, which included stamps and coins. The European Union even had to issue a memorandum at one point to identify Hutt River passports as “fantasy passports”.
‘Prince’ Leonard passed away in Geraldton in early 2019 at the age of 93, handing the rein (or even ‘reign’) to his son Graeme. Just under a year ago in August 2020, Graeme abdicated the throne due to accumulated debts – reportedly in the millions – hence the sale.
The Hutt River property boasts 12 titles totalling 6,105 hectares – or over 15,000 acres – with grazing area of 3,184ha.
“The property’s topography is undulating with areas of breakaway country and pristine bush along the river. An abundance of native vegetation adds beauty and character to the property, while multiple dams and bores provide valuable access to water.”
Elders listing for the property
“An astute investor will have the choice to enhance the farmland and current infrastructure to improve on what’s there now or lease out the settlement area for any number of commercial ventures,” Elders Agent Kris Teakle, who is managing the expressions of interest campaign.
“The location of the property has the Coral Coast only a short drive away and boasts stunning flora & fauna… not to mention the prized marron that are in the Hutt River itself.”
Kris Teakle, Elders agent
The property will be sold in an “as in” the state when settled.
A price guide has not been disclosed, but given the uniqueness of the property, it is likely to generate interest both nationally and internationally. How often do you get to buy a whole country, after all?