In November 2009, Delaware North Australia Parks & Resorts acquired Lizard Island, Heron Island and Wilson Island on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef and Kings Canyon Resort in the Northern Territory. In March 2010, Delaware North Australia Parks & Resorts also took ownership of El Questro Wilderness Park & Homestead in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Following a review of the operations, new product has been introduced, rates changed and resort upgrades revealed.
In early 2012, a soft refurbishment of the Anchor Bay Rooms completed the upgrade of the entire property to reflect the beauty and surroundings of its location. Carried out by interior architects Pike Withers and aimed at significantly improving the guest experience, the refurbishment also sees a fresh look for the public areas including the Lodge Bar and Osprey’s Restaurant. Heron Island Accommodation upgrades have taken place on Heron with the Point Suites , Wistari Suites , Beachside Suites and Reef Rooms now completed.
El Questro Homestead
Three new stylish Cliff Side Retreats opened at this exclusive resort property in the Kimberley region in May 2012 bringing the room total to just nine suites. The Retreats, overlooking the spectacular Chamberlain Gorge will offer uninterrupted views of the rugged scenery courtesy of the floor to ceiling, sliding glass walls. From the shower, guests can access either the free standing bath on the verandah or the garden rain shower surrounded by magnificent stone walls that ensure complete privacy.
Lizard Island – Black Marlin Classic
Fishing enthusiasts are gearing up for another season of heavy tackle fishing as the sparkling waters become home to the largest Black Marlin in the world from September to December each year.
Dubbed the “Formula One of Fishing”, the 26th Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic which takes place from October 20 – 27, 2012 is a favourite event for game fishing enthusiasts each year.
Just nominated as the best resort in Australia by readers of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine, Lizard Island is Australia’s northernmost resort and lies at the top end of the spectacular Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Cairns. As well as being a fishing playground, the Island boasts unrivalled dive and snorkelling sites with a myriad of corals, fish, ancient giant clams, spotted rays and sea turtles on display.
Heron Island Dive Festival 2012
Celebrating its status as one of Australia’s top dive destinations, Heron Island is holding its Dive Festival again in 2012, from July 25 – 29, 2012. The Festival will kick off with a gala BBQ and drinks on the Wistari Terrace, followed by an introduction of the week’s stellar line up of acclaimed speakers and diving industry leaders, including award-winning nature and wildlife photographer Gary Bell, John Lippman - CEO of Divers Alert Network, Asia Pacific and renowned marine scientist and underwater photographer Dave Harasti. Divers will be able to enjoy two dives a day, plus additional night dives every evening, ensuring they really get to know the myriad dive sites, bommies, and extensive marine life on this southern part of the Great Barrier Reef.
Heron Island – Great Barrier Reef Swim
In its second year, the Great Barrier Reef Swim will take place from 18 – 22 October 2012. The event, held in partnership with Oceanswims, involves a competitive swim around the Island for a distance of approximately 3kms and also shorter course options. There is also a swim clinic and a range of social events as well.
Wilson Island, Great Barrier Reef
Just five acres in size, Wilson Island is a tiny coral cay island with a big personality. Wilson Island can
accommodate just 12 adults at any one time (six couples) in castaway themed tented cabins and offers guests sumptuous cuisine, premium beverages and snorkelling over coral gardens.
Wilson Island has proved to be a popular spot for honeymooners and groups looking to hire the tiny 5-acre island exclusively. Wilson Island has also proved to be a popular breeding ground for green and loggerhead turtles, which come ashore from November to April every year to lay their eggs.
El Questro Wilderness Park
El Questro Wilderness Park, one of Australia’s most iconic experiential tourism operations, has re-opened for its 20th season in 2012. Located in the Kimberley region of north Western Australia, 110km from Kununurra, El Questro Wilderness Park is a million acres of one of the world’s last unspoilt regions. To celebrate the 2012 season and the 20th anniversary, El Questro is offering special deals at all the accommodation offerings in the Park including the Station, Emma Gorge and the Homestead.
Kings Canyon Resort – Under A Desert Moon
The popular Under a Desert Moon degustation dinner returns to Kings Canyon Resort in 2012. Guests can enjoy a six course degustation menu accompanied by quality Australian wines. The dinner is held outdoors under the canopy of the southern night sky for no more than eight couples. The dinner has proved popular for guests wanting to enjoy the desert experience at night after they have returned from a day exploring this amazing outback location walking the canyon or taking one of the many scenic helicopter flights.