billionaire lang walker

Yacht owner and Australian property magnate Lang Walker dies at 78

29 January 2024 • by Holly Margerrison

Yacht owner and Australian property developer Lang Walker has died aged 78 at home in Woolloomooloo. According to a statement in local media, Walker passed away peacefully on the evening of Saturday, 27 January.

The philanthropist was the owner of the Kokomo yacht series and dynasty, including three sailing superyachts designed by the late  Ed Dubois.

His first was a 42-metre sloop with interiors by RWD and built by New Zealand’s Alloy Yachts, which was the same combination he used for his following two builds. It was launched for the 2000 America’s Cup down in Auckland and raced in the Millennium Cup there. The next was a 52-metre sloop, before he set to work on his third, focusing on improving performance and further enhancing the social spaces. Walker also enjoyed racing Farr 40s, where the Kokomo team gained back-to-back wins in the Farr 40 Australian Championships and the Australian Farr 40 circuit in 2007 and 2008.

Walker's projects didn't end with superyachts, either. The visionary also bought the Pacific island of Yaukuve Levu, which had been abandoned part way through development following the coup in Fiji in 2006. He saw potential in the island, now named Kokomo, with its diving opportunities and the ability to moor a yacht, even at low tide. Kokomo Private Island established itself as one of the world’s leading barefoot luxury resorts.

One of Walker's most famous ventures was the regeneration of Finger Wharf at Woolloomooloo, where he passed away, in the late 1990s. It saw the transformation of a 400-metre-long former wool processing port into a mixed-use development with 300 apartments – a place he and his wife resided when they were not on board or visiting his island.

Credit: Kokomo Private Island

Aside from his love of superyachts, racing and urban transformation, Walker was also a passionate diver, a hobby he picked up throughout his time in the Navy when he completed his clearance diving and instructing course. 

He also was a renowned philanthropist, making donations through the Walker Family Foundation. These included an investment of $20 million in the Powerhouse Museum at Parramatta, $26 million in the new Lang Walker AO Medical Research Building in Macarthur and supporting Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, to name but a few.

Walker is survived by his wife Sue, three adult children and 10 grandchildren.

Read More/On board with Lang Walker, owner of the Kokomo yacht series

More about this yacht

Azimut   26.24 m •  1999
Alloy Yachts   58.4 m •  2010