Paradise in ruin: The sad demise of an island party resort

Shocking videos have revealed how a prominent island party paradise fell to rack and ruin.

McLarens Landing on South Stradbroke Island, just off the Gold Coast, was once a Schoolies and corporate party hot spot, but had been left to apart after a sordid turn in events.

Local boatie Chris Porep frequently visited the venue in its heyday but said a recent visit to the now closed bar was "devastating".

McLarens Landing on South Stradbroke Island was a beautiful place for parties and casual drinks. Picture: Mike Batterham
McLarens Landing on South Stradbroke Island was a beautiful place for parties and casual drinks. Picture: Mike Batterham

 

Full bottles of wine laid strewn across the ground, while bar equipment has been left untouched for months in the dilapidated resort.

"It's like a ghost town," Mr Porep said.

"It was one of my favourite spots … you'd feel like you were somewhere else in the world.

"This place used to be paradise.

"It's such a shame, it's such a good spot and has so much potential.

"They've just up and left."

McLarens Landing on South Stradbroke Island is falling to ruin despite once being paradise.
McLarens Landing on South Stradbroke Island is falling to ruin despite once being paradise.

He said vandals had "trashed" the facilities.

"It's devastating what's happened to it," Mr Porep said.

For years the venue was a hub for both booming parties and laid back drinks for boaties but its charm was depleted in recent times.

The venue was the site of a dance party in 2015 where six people overdosed on what police described as "near fatal" doses of liquid fantasy.

McLarens Landing on South Stradbroke Island is falling to ruin despite once being paradise.
McLarens Landing on South Stradbroke Island is falling to ruin despite once being paradise.

Former director Jason Allan Nicholls was last November committed to stand trial for allegedly using thousands of dollars from Christmas party deposits to fund a gambling habit or to give to his partner.

The leasehold to the resort came on the market that same month after receivers were appointed.

 

McLarens Landing on South Stradbroke Island is falling to ruin despite once being paradise.
McLarens Landing on South Stradbroke Island is falling to ruin despite once being paradise.

However the venue stands to be rescued after Sydney publican Ben May, a co-owner of Burleigh Pavilion, teamed up with family members and other stakeholders to buy the McLarens Landing leasehold on South Stradbroke Island in May this year.

The group paid $825,000 via a $1 holding company for the leases to the purpose-built eco-tourism facility and ­popular corporate party spot.

A spokesperson for the new owners said the project was currently in the initial planning phase.

"We hope to work closely with council and the State Government to deliver magnificent new tourism infrastructure to SEQ," they said.

Originally published as Paradise in ruin: Sad demise of island party resort



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