New owners for world heritage-listed Australian wonder

Ferry operator SeaLink has taken the helm of two major resorts on Queensland’s world-famous Fraser Island.

The South Australian company has acquired the Kingfisher Bay Resort Group from a Japanese real estate group for $43 million.

World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, which stretches for 123 kilometres, is the planet’s largest sand island and is famous for its resident dingo population.

The new deal nets SeaLink the freehold assets of Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village, Eurong Beach Resort, Fraser Explorer Tours and Fraser Island Ferries.

Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village was established 25 years ago and was put up for sale a year ago with expectations around $50 million. Together with its assets, it turned over $55 million in 2016 and made a net profit of about $7 million.

“Fraser Island is one of the most iconic destinations in Australia and is famous throughout the world for its World Heritage-listed wonders,” said SeaLink managing director, Jeff Ellison.

“Kingfisher Bay Resort Group is by far the major hospitality, touring and transport operation on Fraser Island, and we are delighted to be taking ownership of this leading tourism business to drive future protection, promotion and growth of the Island.”

The Kingfisher Bay Resort Group accounts for 90 per cent of accommodation and the majority of touring experiences on Fraser Island.

SeaLink chair Andrew McEvoy said the acquisition enhanced its position “as a major provider of connections to iconic Australian destinations”.

The company also owns the Vivonne Bay Lodge on Kangaroo Island off the South Australian coast.

“We are excited about working with the fantastic management and operational team at Kingfisher Bay Resort Group to build on their strong and growing position in the Australian tourism market,” he said.

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