One of Australia’s most iconic and luxurious properties, Southern Ocean Lodge, has sustained significant damage by bushfire during the afternoon of Friday January 3, 2020, operator Baillie Lodges has confirmed.
In a statement, Baillie Lodges said that all guests and most lodge staff were evacuated to Kingscote and Adelaide earlier on Friday before the threat intensified. A small team of six senior staff members remained onsite to monitor the situation and activate the lodge’s fire emergency plan.
Whilst the lodge has sustained structural damage, all guests and staff have been safely evacuated and no injuries have been sustained.
Lodge Managers John Hird and Alison Heath and their team were commended by Baillie Lodges for their dedication in this crisis and for successfully managing this very difficult situation.
Southern Ocean Lodge is now closed. It is currently too early to accurately estimate a reopening date. The Southern Ocean Lodge team will embark on contacting guests as well as travel industry partners over the coming days to make alternative arrangements for upcoming reservations.
Baillie Lodges Founders and Co-Creators of Southern Ocean Lodge James and Hayley Baillie said initial plans were already at hand to rebuild the award-winning luxury lodge.
“We are absolutely shocked and saddened by today’s events,” Mr and Mrs Baillie said.
“A bushfire incident such as this is really our worst nightmare come true. In the short to medium term we would like to take the lead in rebuilding the Kangaroo Island tourism industry.
“As much as possible we would like to contribute to the economic and social recovery of the broader Kangaroo Island community, which has really been such a genuine part of the lodge’s resonance for both our Australian and international guests.
“Our immediate priority is to the wellbeing of our guests and staff, an overarching aim which we are relieved to report has been achieved today.”
Southern Ocean Lodge is a member of the Luxury Lodges of Australia portfolio.