Hook Island Eco Resort
Blackash has recently completed specialist advice and a Bushfire Risk Assessment for Hook Island Eco Resort in the Whitsundays Queensland. This unique ecotourism venture on Hook Island was recently approved by the Whitsunday Regional Council after rigorous environmental protection and assessment took place to limit the risk of natural hazards.
Blackash worked with Tract Consulting and the Hook Island Eco Resort to assess the bushfire risk to the proposed new accommodation and resort facilities. Visitors have not set foot on Hook Island since 2013 after it was ravaged by two cyclones. The new resort will combine glamping cabins and lodges, which will shortly be under construction. The Whitsunday Regional Council’s Director of Development, Neil McGaffin, said the plan for Hook Island is;
‘a terrific opportunity for something different in the accommodation arena in the Whitsundays’.The proposal is to basically nestle in amongst those environmental values without putting a massive footprint on the ground’.
A heavily wooded island, Blackash had to consider the isolation of the site, the nature of the occupants, potential bushfire risk and consequence as well as the emergency management and evacuation plans for the resort to determine a balanced assessment. Balancing this with the light footprint needed to meet the ecotourism outcomes for the client were integral components of this working brief.
Fires in the tropics and subtropics will become more frequent as climate patterns change and these areas dry out during prolonged periods of drought. The recent large fire on Fraser Island in Queensland in 2020 was evidence of the increasing need for fire management in once unlikely places.
Bushfire was a key design consideration that was reflected in the Hook Island Resort, bringing best practice fire emergency management to this ecotourism venture.