Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island’s new visitors’ centre rises from the ashes

Kangaroo Island’s captivating new visitors’ centre is taking shape, with it set to be completed in the coming months.

The new visitors’ centre and gateway to national parks and attractions at the west end of
Kangaroo Island will be completed in the coming months, with the innovative building rising
out of the ground – a testament to the ongoing recovery and reconstruction of the 2019-2020 bushfires that ravaged the landscape.

Former Environment Minister and current Leader of the Opposition, David Speirs, recently embarked on a three-day tour of Kangaroo Island, during which he visited the burgeoning visitors’ centre which was once the Rocky River Visitors’ Centre and Cafe.

Reflecting on the significance of the project, Mr. Speirs emphasised its importance as a beacon of hope amidst the devastation wrought by the bushfires.

“In the days following the fire, I knew we had to build a new visitors’ centre outside the park, providing a welcoming interpretative experience for visitors to Flinders Chase, Kelly Hill Caves, and iconic spots such as Admiral’s Arch and Remarkable Rocks,” Mr. Speirs stated during his visit.

Expressing his satisfaction with the progress made thus far, Mr. Speirs underscored the project’s swift execution and its role in reimagining the island’s infrastructure to mitigate future risks.

“My aim for this project was always that it would be a silver lining from the horror of the bushfire,” he said. “It created a chance to reimagine the way Flinders Chase National Park operates and limit the chance of such destruction in a future fire.”

Designed with sustainability and resilience in mind, the visitors’ centre incorporates state-of-the-art features such as power generation and storage capabilities, advanced stormwater harvesting systems, and extensive buffer zones to safeguard against future bushfires.

Constructed from rammed-earth and sustainable Australian timbers, the building aims to blend harmoniously with its natural surroundings while offering robust protection against potential threats.

The collaboration between government entities, architectural experts, and community stakeholders has been instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.

Mr. Speirs commended the collective effort, stating, “To see the visitors’ centre looking so impressive and near completion is heartening and a testament to what can be done when government listens to the community and those who understand the way that the island works.”

As construction progresses, anticipation mounts for the unveiling of Kangaroo Island’s new visitors’ centre.

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