Mount Tamborine’s Curtis Falls flooded after a deluge on Thursday. (Supplied: Kevin Litchfield)
The Chairman of Binna Burra Lodge in the Gold Coast hinterland says the region’s recent record-breaking rain means the reopening of the fire-ravaged property will be delayed several months.
- Binna Burra Lodge’s reopening has been delayed until the second half of the year
- The State Government has announced a $50,000 grant for a festival to celebrate the resort’s partial reopening
- The lodge is considered to be a key component of the region’s tourism market
The resort’s heritage-listed lodge burned to the ground during the Sarabah bushfire in September last year.
A number of the resort’s buildings remain intact- including its Teahouse, and newer accommodation lodges- but the only road leading into the resort remains closed.
Chairman Steve Noakes said he had been hopeful to reopen by Easter, but repairs to the steep and windy road had been substantially delayed.
“Yes it’s been delayed big time, sadly,” Mr Noakes said.
“The road repairs were on track quite well in January but Easter is now a very ambitious target, given the heavy rain and the extra work that’s required to secure the cliff faces above and below the single access road in and out of Binna Burra.
The Binna Burra lodge, before and after being destroyed by fire.
(Supplied: Binna Burra Lodge)
“We are now looking at reopening in the second half of the year.”
The resort had been the Scenic Rim’s largest employer, with 67 jobs at the iconic tourist attraction.
All but eight of those positions have been made redundant since the fire.
Lodge to receive $50,000 funding boost
Mr Noakes said there was some good news for the embattled lodge, with the State Government announcing a $50,000 grant for a festival to celebrate the resort’s partial reopening later this year.
Mr Noakes said the celebration would honour Australia’s unique rainforest ecosystem.
“When we have the opportunity to reopen Binna Burra we wanted to start with a festival,” he said.
“We’re going to call it the Gondwana festival — which celebrates the Gondwana rainforests of Australia but it also involved the [local] Beechmont community,” he said.
State Development Minister Cameron Dick said Binna Burra lodge was an integral part of the region’s tourism market.
“While the complex road repairs and recent rain make it hard to pinpoint a specific date when the site can be partially reopened, this announcement reinforces to Binna Burra management and the community our continuing support,” he said.
“The funds will support planning and staging for an event to celebrate the road to recovery, and we look forward to locals and visitors again returning to Binna Burra and the wider Scenic Rim area.”
Darren Jack, who owns the Tall Trees Motel in Tamborine Mountain said the past six months — with the combined effects of the bushfires, drought, Coronavirus and now flooding — had been devastating for business.
“We’re open for business, but tonight we have one booking in the motel, which is very hard on us,” he said.
“It is really beautiful up here. With the rain it’s really green, waterfalls are flowing and are at their most spectacular. Please come up here,” he said.