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Tropical North Queensland Properties To Undergo Billion Dollar Rebuilds

November 19, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Tropical North Queensland around the Mission Beach area is on a mission to boost visitation and development plans are underway to completely rebuild some of the existing properties in a bid to increase room numbers and boost visitation to the region.

The program will include Dunk Islands, Castaways Resort & Spa and Elandra at Mission Beach.

The timing is expected to be in the vicinity of two years and the spend into the billions.

*Development is expected to start within the year, with the project term for Dunk Island a 10-15 year plan. (The new owners of Dunk Island, Mayfair101, have spent $32M on Dunk Island Resort and an additional $150M on mainland properties, including the iconic Elandra Resort)

A visit to Tropical North Queensland TNQ (Previous title, Far North Queensland gives the wrong vibe) was to attend the Australian Society of Travel Writers Annual General Meeting hosted by Tourism Tropical North Queensland.  www.tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au.

The very luxurious Riley and Crystalbrook collection resort @rileycrystalbrookresort was the bolthole for our Writers Conference and AGM.

Delegates were hosted to a selection of exciting short pre or post conference familiarisation (famil) tours of the area.

Rileys resort

Along with five others, I opted for the famil titled ‘Get Dunk’d’ (a very clever name because it included a trip to Dunk Island.) It was all about swimming in some of the spectacular rock pools sprinkled around Cairns and environs and taking in the breathtaking vistas from rainforests, beaches, boating journeys, national parks and road-testing some of the delightful restaurants and cafés in the area. Get Dunk’d was a very time saving way of checking out some of the highlights of the area.

A visit to the island gives a sense of a tropical paradise. It is a careful mixture of tourism, relaxation and parkland.

This well designed itinerary is an ideal way to take in the highlights of the Mission Beach area:-

Babinda boulders

Swim and lunch at Babinda Boulders, a popular swimming hole and tourist attraction south of Cairns. With fast flowing tropical creeks, the cool water has one feeling fresh in no time.

The creek is lined with huge boulders and clear water weaves between them to create large swimming areas.

Take a walk through the clouds at Mamu Tropical Skywalk. The elevated platform is 15m above the ground and 350m in length and takes you through the Wooroonooran National Park. Explore the canopy of the tropical rainforest and take in the panoramic views of the area.

Check out the 10m long cantilever and 37m high observation tower and learn about the history and heritage of Mamu rainforest.

Paronella Park

A 30 minute drive then to Paronella Park, for a tour of the five hectare property.

Discuss the history of Jose Paronella’s dream to build a castle in this part of the country and the stories behind this heritage-listed properly.

Paronella Park is the site of Queensland’s first privately owned eco accredited hydro-electric plant.

Castaways Resort & Spa is beachfront accommodation at Mission Beach.

Surrounded by both the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest, Castaways, is the prime location to relax and rejuvenate. The property will undergo a $70 million rebuild, due to start in 2020. The redevelopment will see the 47 room 4-star resort increase to 226 rooms with 5 pools, multiple dining facilities and state-of-the-art conference facilities. Owned by Melbourne-based Neville-Smith family since 2006; Castaways Resort & Spa has played a pivotal role in the Mission Beach and broader Cassowary Coast region, maintaining an strong commitment to the local community, supporting the economy and providing stable, long term employment.  www.castaways.com.au / (http://www.thenewcastaways.com.au)

Next day an early call at Charley’s Chocolate Factory where you can live your childhood dreams by taking a tour of the Mission Beach based factory.

Jasmin Porteous GM Castaways Resort

Experience the whole journey of chocolate from “Cocoa Tree to Chocolate Bar”. With the enthusiastic and informative husband and wife team Chris and Lynn Jahnke

Some of the highlights of the tour include a look at the fascinating 3800 year history of cocoa. A visit to the tree nursery and a mature cocoa tree plantation and don’t forget the chocolate tasting which highlights a dozen different styles and flavours. Charleys has won many international accolades for their products. charleys.com.au

Lunch at Bingil Bay Café; a rustic family run café with a distinctive ambience featuring an interesting clientele of locals and tourists. Serving delicious home cooked delights the café is nestled in the tropical rainforest of Bingil Bay only minutes away from unspoiled beaches, campgrounds and National Park walking tracks.

All aboard the Island Spirit for a three and a half hour Fozzy’s three island tour with owner operator Nancy Lowe a very well respected local tourism leader looking forward to the soon to be opened new Marina which will ensure safe embarking in all types of weather. The tour is an ideal way to visit the beautiful islands in the comfort of the fully enclosed custom made Water Taxi. Departing from Wongaling Beach, Island Spirit heads towards Kumboola, an uninhabited island to the south of Dunk Island, then on to Timana and then privately-owned Bedarra Island. During the cruise you will be treated to a lively on board commentary with a mixture of interesting facts and local history.  To finish the journey spend an hour or so on a secret beach swimming and perhaps a cocktail. www.missionbeachwatertaxi.com

Dinner time it’s a visit to Peppervine Restaurant a two minute walk from Castaways at Mission Beach, serving modern Australian cuisine sourcing local  produce and seafood to create wood fired pizza, fresh pasta, and a selection of Euro-Asian fusion dishes. The seafood laksa was like no other, full of seafood and flavour, enough for three it was a struggle to finish because of the enormity but when you are hosted so brilliantly you have to do what you have to do.There was nothing left.

Written by John Savage

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