Structural damage has been sustained at Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island due to widespread bushfires on the island, which has been closed for the foreseeable future, a representative from the property has confirmed.
All guests and staff – minus a core emergency team which remained onsite to implement the resort’s emergency fire plan – were evacuated to Kingscote and Adelaide before the fire reached the grounds. Those who remained included Lodge Managers John Hird and Alison Heath. No injuries were sustained during the evacuation.
Guests with reservations at the resort are being contacted, along with travel industry partners, are being contacted to make alternative arrangements.
Baillie Lodges Founders, James and Hayley Baillie, heaped praise on staff and said despite their shock and sadness, plans were already underway to rebuild the damaged parts of the resort.
“A bushfire incident such as this is really our worst nightmare come true. In the short to medium term we would like to take the lead in rebuilding the Kangaroo Island tourism industry.
“Our immediate priority is to the wellbeing of our guests and staff, an overarching aim which we are relieved to report has been achieved today,” the pair said.