FIRST LOOK: KI’s crown jewel Southern Ocean Lodge reopens after $55 million revamp

Kangaroo island’s Southern Ocean Lodge has reopened following a $55 million rebuild due to devastating fires.

Images: George Apostolidi

Kangaroo Island’s breathtaking coastline welcomes back the Southern Ocean Lodge which has reopened its doors after an extensive $55 million rebuild following the devastating bushfires that swept through the island four years ago.

Nestled along the wild and beautiful south coast of South Australia, this iconic property is poised to redefine luxury and sustainability in the tourism industry.

“We feel very fortunate to be able to present the new-look Southern Ocean Lodge to the world. [Co-founder] Hayley and I had lived and breathed the original lodge from the concept and planning stages to its award-winning reality, celebrated for its timeless design,” co-founder James Baillie said.

“With the benefit of hindsight and learning, we saw the chance to rebuild Southern Ocean Lodge as a special chance to return the property that seemed to touch so many guests over the years and with some considered additions to take her to a next generation traveler and a sustainable future,” he said.

“It’s a ‘full-circle moment’ for us and one that brings some closure to the past, as well as an optimistic look towards the future and an even more sustainable, leading experiential tourism offering for South Australia.”

The reopening of Southern Ocean Lodge was celebrated with the presence of South Australia’s Minister for Tourism and Multicultural Affairs, the Honorable Zoe Bettison MP, who was warmly welcomed to the new lodge by Baillie Lodges founders, James and Hayley Baillie, along with the extended team.

The project to recreate this globally acclaimed lodge spanned nearly four years, encompassing meticulous planning, innovative design, and expert construction. The result is a new era of travel on Kangaroo Island, offering guests an unparalleled experience of natural beauty and luxury.

Southern Ocean Lodge maintains its original footprint, with the Great Room commanding centre stage on the island’s limestone cliffs. The lodge boasts twenty-three luxurious suites, each thoughtfully reoriented to open toward the southeast, providing breathtaking views of the Southern Ocean and the rugged coastal wilderness. These suites feature private decks, EcoSmart fireplaces, and inviting soak-in bathtubs.

A notable addition to the property is the ultra-premium Ocean Pavilion, designed to serve as a four-bedroom owner’s residence or two separate two-bedroom suites, ideal for families and friends traveling together. The Great Room terrace now features a stunning wet-edge pool. The Southern Spa has expanded to offer three treatment rooms, a gymnasium, sauna, and hot and cold plunge pools.

Southern Ocean Lodge sets new benchmarks for environmental sustainability in the tourism industry, exemplifying how innovation and technology can create a greener future.

The lodge employs cutting-edge technologies, including rainwater capture, solar power generation, and remote-controlled sprinkler systems. The surrounding natural environment has also been rejuvenated, with the planting of 45,000 biodiverse native plants to create a natural buffer from the wilderness.

Guests arriving at Southern Ocean Lodge can tune in to a virtually guided welcome via Baillie Lodges Luxury Redefined podcast which features interviews with those closest to the lodge’s recreation, including Baillie Lodges founders James and Hayley, Southern Ocean Lodge General Managers Alison Heath & John Hird, architect Max Pritchard as well as local artists, winemakers and food producers. The podcast is ideal listening for guests as they commence their journey to the lodge.

Baillie Lodges founder James Baillie said the occasion to open the recreated Southern Ocean Lodge on December 6, 2024 was both a real privilege and an emotional day for the whole team.

Baillie Lodges founder Hayley Baillie said it had been wonderful to work with the original lodge’s local suppliers as well as discovering new entrants to the region, including food and beverage producers, artists and designers.

“We have a chance now to show the world the incredible depth and diversity of the regional Southern Australia and Kangaroo Island offering as its stands today and into the future, and we’re looking forward to working in rewarding partnerships with local communities once again,” Mrs Baillie said.

“We’ve been buoyed by the unwavering support of so many of our guests and the broader tourism industry for which we’re very grateful, and we’re thrilled to be bringing Southern Ocean Lodge back today,” she said.

With the same generous inclusions as the original – all dining, the renowned open bar, five signature Kangaroo Island experiences and airport transfers – rates at Southern Ocean Lodge start at AU$3,400 per couple per night.

Southern Ocean Lodge
Where: Hanson Bay Rd, Kingscote SA 5223
More info: Click here

More News

To Top