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Ashes to rebirth: Tourist attraction’s incredible milestone

by Staff

Nearly five years after being consumed by fire, the famous Binna Burra Lodge is set to be dramatically redeveloped. SEE THE VIDEO

A gem of Queensland tourism will rise from the ashes with construction on the new iconic Binna Burra Lodge to start within the next two months.

In 2019 an inferno tore through the area.

The 100-year-old bell – emblematic of survival – was pulled from the ashes of the historic accommodation site making it one of the only surviving items spanning the venue’s 90-year history.

Steve Noakes and Barry Davies from the Lamington Natural History Association and the recovered bell from the fire. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Wednesday saw the next stage of recovery for Binna Burra as the first sod was turned by deputy premier Cameron Dick and Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensenon to signify construction on the new lodge and the bell was returned to its original site.

Binna Burra Lodge chairman Steve Noakes said Wednesday marked a significant turning point for the region.

“The fire came up here like a tsunami and wiped out the lodge,” he said.

“The bell was a centrepiece of the old lodge – we’ve relocated it on a log here now and that’s where it will go as a key feature of the new lodge.”

Binna Burra where a fire has gutted the cafe and gift shop at the entrance to the park, this picture was taken by one of the campers Ariel Vonohlen, 22, from Minnesota.

Mr Noakes said the 2019 fires were the start of a dark period for Australia.

“It was the beginning of six months of the black summer fires where 33 people lost their lives across Australia and billions of wildlife was lost,” he said.

“In our little patch here we’ve been able to witness how the landscape regenerates after such a horrific event.”

The World Heritage location was inaccessible for six months after the devastation. It reopened to the public almost a year after it was destroyed.

Accommodation at the popular location has been reopened in stages with 18 Sky Lodges with captivating views across the Coomera and Numinbah valleys and the Groom’s Cottage the first to open.

That was followed by The Binna Burra Tea House and other accommodation options including six new Tiny Wild Houses opened in April 2023.

Binna Burra Lodge received $18 million from the state government to support the reconstruction of the lodge and 36 cabins lost.

Deputy premier Cameron Dick said the story of Binna Burra was a story of strength and resilience.

Members of the Queensland Fire Brigade put out spot fires at Binna Burra Road. Thursday, September 12, 2019. Picture: Glenn Hunt

“Binna Burra stands as a beacon to the Gold Coast and the Scenic Rim,” he said.

“Out of the ashes of a terrible fire will come a new tourism gem for the Gold Coast.

“We know that recovery is possible.”

Mr Dick said he recalled all too well the day when he and the Mayor carried the Binna Burra bell from the ashes.

“It was a very emotional thing,” he said.

“It was heartbreaking for the Binna Burra family to see this place burnt to the ground. The bell will have pride of place in the new lodge.”

The deputy premier said the rebuild of the lodge provided the opportunity for people from around the world to experience the unique landscapes of the region and created a stronger local economy.

Construction will create 88 full-time jobs and upon completion the lodge will employ 70 people full-time.

Deputy premier Cameron Dick, Steve Noakes and Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen turning the sod nearly five years after it was devastated by fire. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Mayor Christensenon said the rebuild was testament to the power and spirit of people.

“I am so proud to be standing here – we never gave up,” he said.

“The spiritual power that comes from being here, recognising the awesomeness of nature as this place just shows us how resilient it is, teaches us the lesson as human beings the better we understand and work with nature the better we connect with places like this the stronger we will be in our character the stronger we will be as a nation.”

The rebuild is expected to boost tourism with 25,000 overnight visitors and 25,000 daytrip visitors per year. The lodge will fully reopen in the second half of next year.

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