FROM the humble beginnings of six caravan
parks 15 years ago, Australia's largest owner
and operator of caravan and tourist park accommodation
is leaping into
the glitzy world of luxury
Discovery Parks has entered a $20 million joint venture deal with former
ferry owners Baileys Group to build an environmentally sensitive luxury
eco village on Rottnest Island just off Perth.
Discovery has 30-plus parks offering cabins and more than 2500 caravan and
camping sites nationwide.
But its latest project will see 83 eco tents with ensuite pods connected
via elevated walkways through the dunes to the Pinky’s Beach Club complex
with swimming pool, alfresco bar and licensed dining areas
... and not a caravan in sight.
"The venture could not come at a more exciting time because, both in
Australia and internationally, tourists are wanting to experience nature
in a deeper and more connected way," Discovery Parks
chief executive Grant Wilckens said.
"It taps into a clear need for new accommodation on the island as there's
been nothing developed for over 30 years, and certainly nothing of this
demand for high-end glamping accommodation
"We see the project as having significant appeal for those who want to
connect with Rottnest Island's pristine environment but do so in safety
Mr Wilckens said research had suggested strong demand for high-end glamping accommodation on the island and bookings were expected to be
"strong" by the scheduled opening later this year.
Baileys Group director Guy Bailey said his company was "excited" to be
partnering Discovery Parks to help realise the vision for Pinky Beach.
"They are operators of quality camping and holiday parks throughout
Australia, many in unique locations such as Byron Bay, Cradle Mountain and
the Barossa Valley and are as passionate as we are about sharing
Australian experiences with their guests.
"They will help us make the concept of a glamping retreat for Rottnest
Island a reality," Mr Bailey said.
The eco village will be located 650 metres from the main settlement and
jetty at Thomson Bay, and will offer tourists the opportunity to sleep
(almost) under the stars.
Mr Bailey said that while day visitor numbers were increasing,
overnighting had been stagnant and not keeping up with population growth
over the past 15 years.
This meant significant potential to grow the numbers of overnight visitors
– especially with the recent introduction of an additional ferry service.
"Rottnest Island, with its unspoilt environment, beautiful beaches and
bays, quokkas and seals and water sports, offers exactly the type of
experience many travellers are seeking," Mr Bailey said.
"We expect the glamping accommodation at the Discovery Eco Village
Rottnest Island will appeal to both international and domestic travellers."
It has been developed with the local Rottnest holidaymaker very much in
mind, but will also cater for visitors to Western Australia who seek out
an exceptional natural experience.
Accordingly, accommodation options range from affordable family tents
through to a true five-star glamping experience.
The project has the full support of the Rottnest Island Authority Board
and the Western Australian government.
The Baileys Group has extensive experience of the island’s tourism
profile, once owning the Rottnest Express ferry service and now operators
of the Thomsons Restaurant.