Eco res­tau­rant re-opens

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

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.

Pho­tos by ALI­SON GE­ORGE

Huge im­pact: man­ager Mick Bruha next to the snapped tree (inset) the crocodile gets some com­pany

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