David Glasheen was a wealthy executive in the 1980's, but he lost about $10 million in the 1987 market crash
. That was his family's fortune, which lead to their house was repossessed by the bank, then his marriage of 22-years ended. Glasheen found his way to the semi-remote Restoration Island
, where Captain William Bligh landed after the mutiny on the Bounty
. Once Glasheen settled down, it was his plan was to live as a custodian of the island, until he died
. Unfortunately, the beer-brewing hermit who hopes for love might be forced to leave, due to the fact that he hasn't been able to get an eco resort built on the property.
David Glasheen moved out to the island, located less than half a mile from the north-east coast of Australia, in April of 1997. He is subleasing the land from Restoration Island Pty Ltd, which holds a 50-year lease on one third of the island that is valid until 2039. He and two partners had agreed to build an eco-resort within 5 years, but there were conflicts with the Kuuku Ya'u people of Lockhart
, who have property rights apply to the remaining two-thirds of the island. About a decade later, Glasheen was on good terms with the Kuuku Ya'u people, but there was still no eco-resort. He is now leasing just 30 acres
, which he has turned into a farm.
Glasheen first moved to the island with his girlfriend at that time, but according to him, she left because she wanted more civilization that the island could offer. After living on the island for twelve years, Glasheen went searching for a new lady friend to join him
. He had no luck finding his "mermaid." Until he finds that special someone, there are the random visitors and lost folk who stumble across his island, and he has his faithful companion, Quasi
, the pitbull/Rhodesian ridgeback/mutt mix.
The portion of the island where David lives has been put up for sale a number of times over the years, and was listed for $3 million in 2005
, and there have been interested buyers, but there's still the issue of David. A civil suit was filed by the owners of the lease against David, citing his lack of improvements to the island
. But according to the interview in this Sydney Morning Herald article
, that effort was done to ensure the current lease owners could evict David at any moment, should another buyer be interested in the property. Colin Lindsay, the director of Restoration Island Pty Ltd, said: "I don't have any animosity towards Dave. The island is for sale, but I am not in a hurry. He can stay there on a month-by-month basis."
You can visit Restoration Island, or Resto, as the locals call it. The two-thirds to that the Kuuku Ya'u people hold property rights is part of Ma’alpiku National Park
, which is open to the public but lacks any roads. If David Glasheen is still there, he sounds like a welcoming fellow, as he's had Wwoofers visit
as part of the Willing Workers on Organic Farms program
, though it seems his farm isn't listed on the Australian site
any more. Russell Crowe and then-wife Danielle Spencer also visited, when the couple were on their honeymoon in 2003
. One thing to note, as Russell and Danielle found out: David isn't too up-to-date with current events and popular culture at large. Most of his references are frozen in the early 1990's.
Bonus bits: My Modern Met has a collection of photos of David Glasheen
, taken by Brian Cassey
, who also put together a 2:21 long video with short clips from a visit to David and Resto
. There's also the dormant Restoration Island blog