Council approves multi-million dollar development at Woodwark
APPROVALS have just been granted for a new Whitsunday resort that aims to take guests back in time to the Airlie Beach of old.
Named ‘Freedom Shores’ and located off Pringle Road in the picturesque suburb of Woodwark, the development, aimed at the backpacker market, is the brainchild of local resident Tim Moon and his project manager Ken Meighan.
Together, the pair have come up with the concept of building a “fake marina” using pre-loved timber boats, converted to double cabins with kitchenettes and ensuites.
Renovations are already underway on the property’s existing house, which will be transformed into an additional 10-room dwelling.
Mr Moon has also received approval to build a tavern, conference centre, general store and animal hospital beside the adjoining beach, all of which will be open to the general public.
Mr Moon, who puts the estimated cost of the entire project at somewhere between $5-6million, says the overall aim is for “a relaxed at- mosphere like Airlie Beach used to be”.
“It’ll be budget accommodation but with a difference – a bit of fun,” he said.
“No shirt, no shoes, no worries – we’re trying to bring a bit of the oldschool, good vibes Airlie Beach back, where kids can be kids, mum and dad can relax and backpackers can lie by the pool.” Mr Moon was born in Sydney but now lives in the Whitsundays and previously owned the Jetty Water Sports at the Coral Sea Resort.
The land at Woodwark came to his attention after it was previously ear-marked for a 100-house development.
At the time, Mr Moon and Mr Meighan were talking about the possibility of buying and converting the sunken tall ship Whitsunday Magic into a pub and it was this that led them to the idea of turning boats into cabins.
“I think you have to be novel these days – it’s all been done, so we decided to take boats that were on their last legs and bring them back,” Mr Meighan said.
Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney said when the develop- ment first came before Council she was initially surprised.
“But I think it’s quite quirky and I think it would work,” she said.
“New tourism projects are just the best way to go and as a Council, we wish them the best of success.”
The resort is expected to be able to accommodate up to 70 people. Mr Moon says plans are underway to open the tavern and animal hospital by the end of this year.
Mr Moon and Mr Meighan are still searching for more pre-loved boats and would like to hear from anyone who could contribute to the design and running of the animal hospital.
They can be contacted on 0417 207 621 or 0400 712 288.
QUIRKY: Whitsunday residents Tim Moon and Ken Meighan standing beside the site where a new tavern, general store and animal hospital were approved to be built. Mr Moon is holding the overall site plan for the entire resort, which was approved last week.