A Brief History
From beginning to being, Kingfisher Bay Resort has challenged the 'norms' of what a Queensland island resort should be. Conceived at a time when ecotourism wasn't even a word, the resort was designed by Queensland architects, constructed from local materials and built by local builders and artisans.
Construction of the resort jetty started in January 1989, where building materials were barged to the beach; the road system was sealed in 1991 and, at the peak of construction, there were over 600 workers on site. Later that year two tropical cyclones caused thousands of dollars' worth of water damage, but the team rallied and construction was completed on time. The resort opened its doors to guests on 16 July 1992, with our official opening on August 16.
There's been a lot of changes over the past twenty-one years - we've built additional villas and some beautiful Kingfisher Houses are now in our letting pool. We've also recently upgraded our conferencing facilities; rejuvenated our Lake McKenzie-inspired main pool; opened Peter Meyer's Living Gallery to showcase his stunning Fraser Island photographs; revamped our Kingfisher Natural Therapy salon and introduced a trendy new spa menu; are recreating stunning new menus with our Exec Chef and his talented kitchen team; are revamping the Maheno Restaurant and are at 'prototype' stage for a hotel rooms refurbishment program.
Resort Environmental History
It is estimated some 57 person years of research, including environmental impact assessment, landscape and architectural planning, energy and waste minimisation techniques, went into the project to ensure that Kingfisher Bay Resort was at the cutting edge of environmental management and design when it opened in 1992.
Prior to development, comprehensive surveys were undertaken, including a detailed site survey dealing with topography and vegetation (including major trees); an archaeological survey indicating previous Aboriginal use and habitation and European use of the site; a comprehensive inventory of all flora and fauna; and a hydrological survey.
The resort was designed by Queensland architects, constructed from local materials and built by local builders and artisans. The timber is Australian and most of it comes from the local timber species. Buildings are below the tree line and are limited to two levels, and where possible, designed around major trees. The resort blends with its natural bush surrounds and the Queensland-style wooden buildings with open verandas have curving tin roofs reflecting the rolling sand dunes. The colours, greens, burgundy and golden browns, are those of the surrounding vegetation.
Construction of the resort jetty started in January 1989. Building materials were barged to the beach. The jetty was built from mixed eucalypt piles, mainly spotted gum, with satinay planks and beams. Its 250-metre length takes it out to the nearest navigable channel. The jetty is built over sand flats with the barge ramp set in the sea where it does not obstruct the natural movement of sand and tide. Rock for the barge ramp was brought by barge from a mainland quarry.
Early in 1991, prior to resort construction, the road system was completed and sealed to stop the erosion of the sand and provide access for construction. The main resort buildings float on 1600 piles sunk to a depth of 16 metres. The piles are hardwood with treated pine at ground level for termite protection. During the construction of the resort, around 150 workers lived on site, but the majority commuted. Each morning at sunrise a flotilla of boats left Hervey Bay carrying anything from 160 to 480 workmen.
At the peak of construction there were over 600 workers on site. All materials were barged from River Heads, on the Fraser Coast, and the barge worked day and night. Two cyclones in 1991 did thousands of dollars' worth of water damage, but construction was completed on time and on budget and the resort opened its doors to guests on 16 July 1992 (soft opening) with our official opening one month later.