SHG Secure Tangalooma Island Resort Extension Approval

Saunders Havill Group are proud to announce the successful development approval for an extension of Tangalooma Island Resort’s facility on Moreton Island. The approved development will provide a new and varied accommodation experience for visitors, with luxury accommodation just metres away from the beach.  The extension includes an additional 77 luxury hotel suites across four buildings, a function centre and ticketing kiosk.

SHG have been partnering with Tangalooma Island Resort since the 1980’s, providing Town Planning, Surveying, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Management services.  Regional Manager, Nick Christofis, secured the necessary planning approval for the resort extension from Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government.

Tangalooma Island Resort

Tangalooma Resort

Background & History

Moorgumpin meaning ‘place of sandhills’ is the Aboriginal name for Moreton Island. Moorgumpin is within the area referred to as Quandamooka (Moreton Bay region) and was historically inhabited by the Ngugi people. There are many places of cultural significance to the Ngugi people on Moreton Island and recently, Tangalooma Island Resort has signed an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan with the Quandamooka people

From the early stages of World War II, defence batteries were set up on Moreton Island and a naval base and jetty were built at Tanglaooma. Following the war, commercial operations in sand mining and whaling continued until 1962, when local entrepreneurs purchased the Tangalooma site via perpetual lease from the Queensland Government. In 1980, the resort was sold to the Osborne family who still currently own and operate the resort, which has today developed into an established and recognised attraction of Queensland’s tourism industry.

Tangalooma Island Resort has a perpetual lease from the Queensland Government for tourism purposes over several parcels of land, and over the years has conducted significant works in extracting the military and whaling refuse and remnants from the area.

Tangalooma now offers a range of accommodation including modern style units, 2 storey family villas, hotel rooms and luxury beachfront apartments, in addition to a full range of resort facilities designed to meet the demands of both Australian and international travellers. With over 500,000 visitors to Tangalooma each year and the recent inclusion as a regular destination for P&O Cruises and Seabourn Cruises, visitor numbers have significantly increased and boosted the local economy.

Tangalooma Island Resort's Deep Blue apartments

Environmental & Social Contributions

Tangalooma has established the Tangalooma Marine Education and Conservation Centre; which employs a team of qualified marine biologists to lead the resort’s marine programmes. The team provides education programmes to schools and visitors to the island, and on-call rescue services for injured or sick animals on the island and throughout Moreton Bay. Additionally, Tangalooma Island Resort is the only facility in Moreton Bay with a marine aquarium large enough to temporarily house large marine animals, whilst rescue and evacuation details are organised.

Over the years, Tangalooma has provided financial and/or in-kind assistance to a range of organisations including the spectrum of Queensland Emergency Services, the Department of Environment and Science, the Australian Army, Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, Queensland Conservation Council, Queensland Wildlife Preservation Society, Sea Grass Watch and Australian Marine Conservation Society.  Most recently, Tangalooma was used as a base for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and provided food and accommodation to stranded Moreton Island visitors during the 2019 bushfires.

Enhancing the Resort – Most Recent Extension Approval

The extension approval provides the opportunity for Tangalooma Island Resort to facilitate the orderly and appropriate expansion of the resort into an area of Tangalooma colloquially known as the South Lease. It provides an opportunity for the resort to meet the needs of tourist and staff including the provision of a wider variety of accommodation types, and the improvement of services and facilities. It is important for any development in Tangalooma to maintain the visual amenity of the attractive Moreton Bay setting and Moreton Island National Park backdrop.

The approval for this extension includes:

  • 77 hotel suites (4.5 star) in four buildings up to 5 storeys;
  • A temporary marquee for functions, such as day centre activities for cruise ships, conferences and weddings;
  • A new kiosk & ticketing building that will replace the existing ticketing hut and be within short walking distance of the main jetty, providing an important port of call for visitors to and from the island; and
  • New parking, public footpaths, foreshore rehabilitation and boardwalks along the foreshore.

The application process was extremely complex with a range of matters of State and local environmental significance that required thoughtful and innovative design responses.  Saunders Havill Group’s surveyors did a significant amount of work establishing Highest Astronomical Tide (related back to Australian Height Datum) and building setback was determined by a detailed Coastal Hazard Assessment prepared by MWA Environmental.  Other key issues requiring resolution as part of the application included tree retention, rehabilitation/stabilisation works, bushfire management, servicing and stormwater management.

SHG congratulates Tangalooma Island Resort on the successful outcome of their extension project and will continue to assist on the delivery through to completion of the development. We also look forward to continuing our long standing and successful association with Tangalooma Island Resort into the future.