Anthology’s Wildman Wilderness Lodge has officially opened on the Mary River Wetlands, a two-hour drive from Darwin.
Wildman is the result of years of planning by tourism industry leader, Grant Hunt and Indigenous Business Australia (IBA).
Hunt has long been known for his work in developing iconic tourism experiences in Australia and is currently Chairman of Anthology which owns the award winning Bay of Fires Huts and Cradle Mountain Walks as well as Wilpena Pound Resort in the Flinders Ranges.
His passion for doing the right thing by the communities and environments in which those properties operates will be repeated at Wildman.
Recycling an entire Resort – an Australian first
Probably the greatest example of recycling in Australian tourism, the core buildings for the new resort property were once better known as Wrotham Park Station in Far North Queensland. In early November, 2009, following the sale of the resort by GPT to current owners, Indigenous Business Australia, a team of builders moved onto that site and took 28 days to dismantle the entire resort infrastructure down to all the fixtures and fittings.
The cabin verandahs and awnings were removed and the cabin structures lifted onto the back of semi trailers. The central bar and restaurant facility was dismantled piece by piece – with around 70% of it saved for the move. Two staff accommodation units were also packed up. Power generators, the water treatment system and the sewage treatment system along with key electrical infrastructure were also dismantled and readied for the journey. Water tanks have been sold to local station owners with new tanks being purchased for Wildman.
Eighteen triple road trains transported the entirely dismantled infrastructure 2800km across country to a warehouse in Darwin where it sat under tarpaulins waiting for the last of the wet season to finish, so that construction could commence around 12 months ago.
Something old, Something New
Wildman Wilderness Lodge offers two distinct styles of accommodation.
There are 10 eco-cabins called Habitats. This name was chosen to reflect the importance of the design structure being in harmony with the wilderness environment. These are free standing, fully air conditioned structures with all the amenities expected in a luxury lodge including premium quality furnishings, king size beds and ensuite bathrooms.
Fifteen new spacious luxury safari tents, over 50metres squared in size, have been custom designed for the site to complete the accommodation. Each is fan cooled with a private bathroom and luxurious bedding. Five tents will be configured for families and will sleep up to four people.
Hunt has worked with Justin Long Designs, the original architect behind Wrotham Park, and renowned Australian design firm, Pike Withers, and has taken his inspiration for the Lodge from the time he has spent travelling in Africa. Stylish interiors can be found throughout with natural colours from the region providing a sense of place, in the form of a resort in harmony with its surroundings.