Eco restaurant re-opens
THE Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa has reopened after a huge tree fell and crushed a large section of the Julaymba Restaurant and Aboriginal Art Gallery last month.
Owners Terry and Kathy Maloney were forced to close the awardwinning lodge in early February after a freak storm resulted in the large tree crashing down on the lounge area of the restaurant.
“It’s the worst storm I had ever seen in the 18 years that I have lived here,” Mrs Maloney said.
“The sky was a dark green-blue colour and the wind just tore down the valley and normally the wind does not do that.
“For several days after, I couldn’t think about what had happened because it was so scary but just 30 seconds before the tree hit, the people that were in the restaurant had finished their meals got up and left.
“Naturally, we are so grateful that none of guests or staff were hurt, but it was very scary.
“Even though the storm only lasted about eight to 10 minutes, it really was ferocious and there was absolutely no indication or any sound at all as the tree fell from the hill-side.”
To remove the tree from the restaurant, the Maloneys had to get a 100tonne crane from Cairns to lift it off the building.
“To remove the tree from the restaurant we had to get a 100-tonne crane from Cairns to come and lift the tree off the building,” Mrs Maloney said.
“The section of the tree that hit the building and was cut away weighed 15 tonnes.
“But the good news is that we have now re- opened and we would like to let everyone know we have re-opened and look forward to seeing all of our friends as well as any new ones who have not visited us before to come and experience this wonderful environment.”
Lodge manager Mick Bruha said after the tree came down a local Kuku Yalanji woman told him they were having bad luck because the crocodile on the wall of the restaurant had no one to talk to.
She has since painted in the rainbow serpent, so now the croc has company and the bad luck will stop.
Huge impact: manager Mick Bruha next to the snapped tree (inset) the crocodile gets some company