In positive news for one of the worst-affected areas after the devastating 2020 bushfires, a $10 million rebuild has been announced to renovate the former Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat, transforming the site into the Flinders Chase National Park Visitor Centre.
With the previous visitor centre having been destroyed during the bushfires, the rebuild will establish a world-class, easily-accessible centre, set to provide a welcome boost for tourism on Kangaroo Island’s western end.
The rebuild, due to begin from the end of 2021, has been announced as part of the Reimagine KI community engagement process, where local residents consult at length with government stakeholders to generate opportunities and recommendations for the future of the parks.
Kangaroo Island forms an integral part of SA’s regional tourism, contributing an estimated $140 million to the South Australian economy each year. Construction of the rebuild, poised to breathe new life into KI’s visitor economy, will create more than 350 jobs in the region and comes as part of the government’s $52 million investment into rebuilding essential parks infrastructure.
The Minister for Environment and Water, David Spears, believes the interactive and immersive visitor centre will help to rebuild the losses suffered by Kangaroo Island and its tourism industry following the fires.
“The location of the hub supports a conservation-first approach to visitor experiences, providing information about the island’s landscape and history, as well as education on conservation.”
For updates on the Flinders Chase rebuild, find out more here.