Australia: The Queensland holiday resorts left in ruins - - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaThe Queensland holiday resorts left in ruins

06:11  05 july  2019
06:11  05 july  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

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The dozens of in-demand resort islands dotted along the Queensland coast were once some of the most lavish and picturesque holiday destinations in the world. Its golf course is now overgrown and damaged accommodation buildings stand in ruins , filled with rotten mattresses and debris.

The Queensland holiday resorts left in ruins© 60 Minutes Tables and chairs destroyed on a South Molle Islan resort. Once upon a time a holiday on the Great Barrier Reef was the dream for Australians.

From honeymoons on Hayman Island to fun family frolics on South Molle, the tropical paradise off the Queensland coast was the hottest commodity for our tourism industry.

But, today, half of the thirty resorts on and off the Queensland coast are closed and in ruins, silent and decaying shells of their former glory.

On Sunday 60 Minutes’ reporter Charles Wooley checks-in to the abandoned resorts and finds a paradise lost.

There are many reasons for the decline in interest for these once-magnificent resorts.

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Budget airlines and cheap holidays in exotic overseas resorts have been blamed for dozens of Australian island tourist hubs which have been left in ruins . South Molle Island and Lindeman Island are among the 15 of 30 Queensland resorts that have remained derelict for years.

In 2011 cyclone Yasi wreaked havoc on the sunshine state, and a few years later cyclone Debbie added to the destruction.

The Queensland holiday resorts left in ruins© 60 Minutes Charles Wooley at the abandoned site of the Lindeman Islands Club.

But low cost airlines and competition from cheap overseas tourist locations have added to the despair of locals operators.

Many islands, especially in the Whitsunday region of Queensland, have been lying dormant now for almost a decade, with little signs of recovery.

The Queensland holiday resorts left in ruins© 60 Minutes An aeriel review of a South Molle Island resort.

Sam and Kerri Anne Charlton, the owners of the spectacular Bedarra Island, find it difficult to believe the downturn.

“The resorts are absolutely stunning. It’s so sad there’s a large volume of them that haven't reopened,” says Sam.

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Abandoned resorts ‘left to rot’ in the Whitsundays Half of the islands on and off Queensland's Whitsunday coast are currently closed, and developers are reluctant to invest in restoring the region.

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“It’s a disgrace,” Kerri Anne adds.

“We want everyone to experience not just the Great Barrier Reef, but what we have to offer. Seeing them not open it's actually really sad.”

The Queensland holiday resorts left in ruins© 60 Minutes The abandoned site of Lindeman Islands Club Med resort

Sam and Kerri Anne say running an island resort in 2019 isn’t an easy feat – with insurance companies, the banks and the government making things difficult.

“Particularly for insurers, I think they base a lot of risk and their models on perception of climate change,” Sam Charlton says.

The Queensland holiday resorts left in ruins© 60 Minutes The swimming pool in ruins on a South Molle Island resort.

Could the Whitsundays again become a premier holiday destination for Aussies and visitors alike? Can the lost resorts be saved?

Read more

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