Spending 5 days with squatter-castaway David Glasheen

Jun 02, 2017 · Curiosities

It was 20 years ago this month that David Glasheen decided to abandon civilisation and become a voluntary castaway.

This ex-businessman lost all his fortune during the famous stock exchange crack in 1987. On top of that, he also lost his wife when she asked for a divorce!

After various years fighting for his existence Dave (who is now 74 years old) decided to start all over again on a desert island, which he has made his home.

His story is similar to the one of the Japananese Robinson who became the voluntary castaway who has lived the longest time on a desert island (29 years away from civilization) and with whom also I spent another 5 days.

Restoration Island can be found in a remote area of the north-east of Australia.David Glasheen Australian Robinson Crusoe

Quasimodo, the castaway dog in Australia

He left behind a succulent life full of luxuries to immerse himself in a very different life, existing with very little, but totally happy. 

However, the authorities put their eye on him years ago but it is now that they want to throw him off the island. The Queensland government have an eviction order on him and recently emitted a judgement in which he is claimed to be a ‘squatter’. That’s the reason he is always asking for help like on this video

David white beard dog help



Two years ago I was lucky enough to spend a few days with this white bearded castaway. I wanted to meet this endearing person, his dog Quasimodo (Quassi) and, at the same time, to spend a few days cut off from civilisation in this inhospitable part of Australia. I was also able to record some short Youtube videos like this one 

Alvaro Cerezo Docastaway

There I discovered that Dave is really a very sociable person who loves visits. Also, this Robinson Crusoe is enjoying his experience just as our clients do on our Comfort Mode islands. This is because Restoration island also has certain services and commodities. You can learn more of this in a further article.

Australian castaway squatter


This island isn’t as idyllic as the ones we offer to our voluntary castaways. Dave’s island is plagued with dangerous animals such as tiger sharks and white sharks. There are also taipan coastal snakes and above all, and the most dangerous, is the fearsome saltwater crocodiles. Dave’s dog, Quassi, survived two attacks from this predator.

Sadly, he wasn’t as lucky with the third attack by a dangerous animal and last year a taipan snake ended Quessi’s life, leaving Dave alone on the island.

“Only a mad man would think to swim carelessly in these waters” Dave told me.

Quasimodo quassi castaway dog

However, his is very determined. He won’t move from the island for ‘all the money in the world’. At the end, if the police evict him, he is prepared to live on the beach, to be precise, on the remains of a shipwrecked boat on the edge of the sea. In Australia all the beaches are public.

David Glasheen Robinson White beard old

Nonetheless, I fear that Dave will have to assume the risk of being ‘surprised’ by a saltwater crocodile at some time when he is distracted, just like what happened to Quassi twice, as these animals can attack on the edge of the sea. You can see a surprising meeting we had with a crocodile on this Youtube video.

Alvaro Cerezo Docastaway

Whatever happens, Mr. Glasheen decided that Restoration Island is the place where he wants to live the rest of his life. The future will tell us if he is lucky or not.

You want to know more about my experience with him? You can read this other article I posted. You can also find the world’s largest coconut. I found it at Restoration. 

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Boris Stermotić June 22, 2017 at 8:37 am

Go David & Quassi Go!


Alvaro Cerezo September 30, 2017 at 1:14 am

🙂 🙂 🙂


Terry smith December 13, 2017 at 2:29 am

Well done to you l am not so good at writing but I would love to give you a call if you would send me your Phone number to my email I would give you a call For some bazar reason your path has passed me a couple of times anyeway I am Terry from Nottingham (Robin Hood Country) in England. I would give you a call. cheers for now. Terry


Alvaro Cerezo August 11, 2018 at 5:04 am

Just send me an email alvaro@docastaway.com


dammika December 23, 2017 at 10:25 am



Alvaro Cerezo August 11, 2018 at 4:52 am



dammika December 23, 2017 at 10:27 am



Alvaro Cerezo August 11, 2018 at 4:51 am

Thanks 🙂


Vince Glauser February 21, 2018 at 1:44 pm

I hope David prevails. 25 years of squatting is all that is required in the United States.


Alvaro Cerezo August 11, 2018 at 4:49 am



Flo April 5, 2018 at 12:27 am

Hey there,

my name is Flo and I’m currently in North Queensland.
I’d like to visit David in a few weeks.
Do you know how to get in contact with him?
An answer would be really appreciated.
Thanks in advance.




Alvaro Cerezo August 11, 2018 at 4:48 am

Hey FLo. Send me your email and I will ask him to contact you 🙂


Professor Nahabu June 20, 2018 at 9:18 pm

Thanks, David and Quassi! this is an interesting and useful post.


Alvaro Cerezo August 11, 2018 at 4:46 am

Thanks to you for reading it 🙂 Unfortunately Polly his new dog was killed last week by snake, again. Same happened with Quassi. You can read more here http://paradise.docastaway.com/polly-castaway-dog-killed-snake-robinson-dingo/


Patricia Moyano July 4, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Me encantan tus artículos, aunque tenga que traducirlos porque no sé inglés. Muchas gracias.


Alvaro Cerezo August 11, 2018 at 4:10 am

Muchas gracias Patricia. Es un honor 🙂


Ali Ertan Güney July 15, 2018 at 3:18 am

Hi Alvaro, you are doing great!. Is David still living on the island?


Alvaro Cerezo August 11, 2018 at 4:01 am

Yes he is still living. Actually this week his new dog was killed by another snake. YOu can read more on this new article about this castaway http://paradise.docastaway.com/polly-castaway-dog-killed-snake-robinson-dingo/


Zahid Iqbal October 7, 2018 at 11:49 am

After knowing about Dave; I feel human is made so powerful that can do and live in any circumstances.

I am sad for him but relaxed to know he is happy in his island.
I want to be a former instead.


Aaron Jesson October 16, 2018 at 7:55 am

Hi Alvaro,

I’d like to contact Dave if possible? Could you help?


Ryan November 4, 2018 at 12:26 pm

I think Dave is a living legand!! I’m interested in contacting Dave as I myself one day hope to live free from the chaos of modern life an hope he could share some wisdom with me plz could anyone put me in contact with Dave


Eileen March 20, 2019 at 7:30 pm

I visited Restoration Island for a couple of days in July 1993 (before Dave lived there). Is the odd fiberglass building north of the beach house still there?


Ernest March 22, 2019 at 5:05 am

my name is Ernest and I’m currently in North Queensland.
I’d like to visit David in a few weeks.
Do you know if it’s possible to life there for some days/weeks and how to get in contact with?
An answer would be really appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

my email is ernest95@hotmail.de




Brian May 4, 2019 at 5:29 am

G’day mate. I saw this man on Where the wild men are and would dearly love to spend some time there and meet this amazing man. Im wondering how to go about contacting him or whatever authority required. Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.


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