Buy a Private Island like Larry Ellison

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The travel community was all a buzz when the word came out that the Island of Lanai was bring bought by Oracle founder Larry Ellison. Perhaps because he failed to buy the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, Ellison apparently had $500-600 million lying around. The biggest question I hear was not why would someone buy an island but how is it possible to buy an entire island. In reality, Ellison only bought out 98% of the island which had been owned by David Murdock and Castle & Cooke.

If you are kicking yourself that you would have purchased a tropical island like Lanai if only you had known it was possible, never fear, it is not too late to buy a private island. While the private islands for sale my not offer two different Four Seasons resorts as Lanai does, I was surprised at the variety of islands available and at a great variety of prices.


Pym Island – British Columbia, Canada

Available for only $9.8 million this 5-acre island is only 5 minutes from the ferry Terminal and Sidney B.C. That price includes a luxurious main residence, four cottages, and a separate caretaker’s residence. With all the money you saved from not buying Lanai you can afford a pretty nice yacht to tie up at the dock.


Gili Nanggu – Indonesia

Want to buy a tropical island instead? The same $9.8 million will buy not just a tropical island but a tropical resort on the Indonesian island of Gili Nanggu. These white sand beaches are located on a 12.33-acre island in the Bali Sea. The sale includes 10 cottages 7 bungalows, a restaurant, a billiards bar, a laundry room, 10 turtle breeding ponds, 14 staff rooms and even a meditation center (mosque) and monastery.


Red Rock Island – San Francisco Bay

If you are looking for something with a better commute than Indonesia, how about a private island, Red Rock Island, which is near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in San Francisco Bay. $22 million will buy you the rocky acre island, including the mineral rights, Consider this island a “fixer-upper”.


Pigeon Island, Nicaragua

For less than the price of a home in my neighborhood, you can buy a piece of paradise in Nicaragua. You can buy a lot on Pigeon Island for $69,000 or can negotiate for the entire 7.2-acre island. Pigeon island is surrounded by the waters of the Caribbean and has agates, sea turtles, birdlife (pigeon’s one would assume), and world-class fishing.


Half Crown Island, Quebec

$1.8 million will buy you Half Crown island which is a 90-mile drive north of Ottawa. This island includes a 4,000 square feet main house as well as 4 other “cabins” that sleep 2-6 people each. The current owners will even throw in 7 powerboats, 2 sailboats, and 5 canoes. No mention was made of a snowmobile, but I am going to bet that lake freezes solid in the winter.


James Island, British Columbia

$78 million will buy you the 780 acres James Island in British Columbia near Sydney. This is an island fit for a billionaire. The current owner is U.S. cellphone billionaire Craig McCaw, of Seattle. It includes 5,000 square feet main home, 6 beautifully appointed guest cottages, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course and an airstrip. James Island was once used to manufacture explosives… now it is just “the bomb”.


East Sister Rock Island, Florida

But what if you don’t want guest houses or guests for that matter? For only $12 million you can buy East Sister Rock Island off the coast of Florida which comes with its own moat (really a breakwater), a 5,000 foot home and a helipad.

Many of these private islands are also available for rent if you are watching your cash flow. is a great resource to find even more islands for sale. Or you could just visit Ellison on his new island. Consider it window shopping.

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

2 Responses to “Buy a Private Island like Larry Ellison”



Aww…I want an island. This is pretty awesome. Now I just need to do some fundraising.

Doug Cates


Here’s another island for your list, on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia…

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