Intrepid Travel pauses operations at Daintree Ecolodge in wake of Cyclone Jasper
Intrepid Travel, a world leader in responsible travel, has cancelled all stays and paused operations at its Daintree Ecolodge due to severe flooding as a result of Cyclone Jasper. It’s the first time in 60 years the Daintree has had a direct hit from a cyclone, with the area receiving a year’s worth of rain in a matter of days, resulting in the biggest flood in 100 years.
While initial surveys of the property reveal that there is no damage to the structure, flood waters reached the second-level canopy rooms, with the restaurant on the ground floor completely flooded and requiring a full refit of equipment. Three Rainforest Rooms were completely submerged, requiring rewiring and plastering as well as a replacement of furnishings.
All staff were safely evacuated to a hotel in Port Douglas with cyclone-prepared infrastructure, but now landslides along critical roads mean access to the Ecolodge for guests and staff is compromised.
The closure will extend to March 1, 2024, with clean-up efforts currently underway to remove mud and debris. The unaffected rooms will be utilised as accommodation for displaced staff and potentially State Emergency Services workers while the clean-up continues through the December and January period.
Brett Mitchell, Managing Director ANZ at Intrepid Travel says, “Our thoughts are with all individuals and local businesses affected across the Port Douglas, Cairns and Daintree areas and we send our deepest sympathies and unwavering support to all those who have lost their homes or livelihood.”
“Within two months of operating the Daintree Ecolodge, we had already put in place an Emergency Management Plan for cyclones, meaning we were prepared to respond quickly. We are currently developing support plans for locals and staff which will be deployed over the coming days, and are already working with government and industry bodies to enable the Daintree to return as a prime travel destination once recovery is complete.”
Richmond Sear, General Manager at Daintree Ecolodge says, “We are working to reopen the Ecolodge as soon as possible and safe to do so. We apologise to all customers whose bookings were affected and we urge all travellers and community members to watch for local updates from authorities on the ground.”