Kangaroo Island

New Flinders Chase visitor centre unveiled

See the first images of the new $14.6 million Flinders Chase National Park visitor centre on Kangaroo Island, due for competition in April 2023.

Concept images for the new $14.6 million Flinders Chase National Park visitor centre on Kangaroo Island have been revealed for the first time, with construction expected to start soon.

Now located at the entrance to the world-renowned Flinders Chase National Park and the Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area, KI’s bush fire recovery has taken another step forwards with the images showing what the new rebuild will look like.

With works expected to start early in the New Year, the visitor centre is primed to be an accessible and environmentally connecting example of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD), making good use of despoiled areas of the former KI Wilderness Retreat site.

Solar panel covered walkways and shelters will support the centre’s rainwater collection capability, which will also be supported by wetland filtered waste and storm water.

It’ll generate and store its own power, including providing stations for electric vehicle charging. It solar passive design will enhance the centre’s climatic response through the changing seasons, with only low energy heating and cooling systems.

Mainly concrete-free, the centre will be primarily framed from sustainably sourced bushfire-resistant Australian timbers.

Rammed earth walls will be built from material on and adjacent to the site, and, alongside laterite gravels from existing nearby pits, with limestone and charred eucalypt from bushfire clearance along park fire tracks adding to the locality of the structure.

The work of local trades, artisans and artists will also be woven into the architectural fabric and interpretive design detail.

Internationally recognised architects Troppo have designed the new precinct to be a world-class, easily accessible facility that enhances the visitor experience on Kangaroo Island’s western end.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the rebuild is part of the State Government’s $52 million investment in rebuilding essential parks infrastructure to support and rejuvenate Kangaroo Island’s visitor economy.

“The Kangaroo Island tourism industry contributes around $140 million annually to the regional economy, and the rejuvenation of the tourism industry and rebuilding of key visitor infrastructure is essential for the economic, social, and environmental recovery of the island and its community”, Minister Speirs said.

“The new centre will allow us to create a world-class visitor experience for these western Kangaroo Island parks, which includes eight parks such as Flinders Chase National Park, Kelly Hill Conservation Park, the Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area and Cape Bouguer Wilderness Protection Area”.

“It will provide visitor orientation and information about the island’s landscape and history and education on conservation, offering an authentic, interactive and immersive experience for visitors:.

“The centre will also provide the opportunity for co-location with University of Adelaide Flinders Baudin Research Centre and potentially other conservation, research partners and commercial tour operators as well as providing a multifunctional event space and a focus on locally made produce for sale.

Construction of the $14.6million visitor centre is expected to be complete by April 2023.

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