Construction on KI’s Southern Ocean Lodge 2.0 to commence next month

Construction will start next month on the rebuild of Kangaroo Island’s luxury Southern Ocean Lodge, following its demise in the 2020 bushfires.

Image credit: Southern Ocean Lodge

Construction on the rebuild of Kangaroo Island’s famous Southern Ocean Lodge following its demise in the 2020 black summer bushfires is set to start in February.

It’s been two years since the devastating bushfires swept through the island, leaving a trail of destruction, including that of the luxury tourist accommodation.

Now, after some delay following council approval in regards to rebuild conditions from the CFS, the go-ahead has been given for construction to start next month.

All being well, the new-look Southern Ocean Lodge, dubbed ‘SOL 2.0’ will open in the first half of 2023, with its original architect, SA’s Max Pritchard, back on board for the build.

Founders James and Hayley Baillie made a commitment to rebuild the famous lodge immediately after it was destroyed by the fires, spending the months following the disaster drafting plans with Max to recreate some of the well-loved design elements of the property.

“We hope SOL 2.0 will be a symbol of resilience and optimism for the future of Australian tourism”, James and Hayley said via Facebook.

Plans for the return of their ‘Great Room’ with its original suspended fireplace and ‘Osprey Pavilion’ have been suggested, as well a tease of some “pleasant surprises”.

Last year, council approval for the rebuild was announced, however, development was stalled, with the CFS imposing 34 conditions due to its location and unfortunate history with Australia’s natural disasters. 

The development’s progress was then subject to negotiations around insurance and future premiums – with confirmation of the build now in place.

James and Hayley have partnered with South Australian filmmakers 57 Films to chart the journey of the new lodge’s creation from the ground up to doors opening, with a view to releasing the documentary along with the re-opening of the lodge.

57 Films Director/Producer Paul Ryan and Director of Photography Isaac Walgos have already travelled to the Southern Ocean Lodge site to interview James and Hayley as they walked through the scorched landscape.

The pair will return frequently to record build developments with the regeneration of the coastal wilderness as backdrop and meet some of the lodge’s essential local partners.

Hayley said planning for Southern Ocean Lodge 2.0 offered a chance to recreate all the essentials that made a stay there so rewarding and memorable, whilst adding some new features that would delight guests and add to their experience of the incredible Kangaroo Island wilderness.  

“When we opened Southern Ocean Lodge in 2008, it was the result of a marathon five years in planning and hard work. And I said to James, if only we’d thought to take video footage of this incredible journey from the ground up,” Mrs Baillie said.

“Now, for better or worse, we’re fortunate to have our chance again,” she said.

For more info on the Southern Ocean Lodge, visit the Baillie Lodges website.

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