Wine and Wellness: Eco-Retreat planned for QLD winery

Plans have been filed for an 85-cabin integrated health and wellness eco retreat with a viticultural twist on a sprawling rural property north of Brisbane.

To be set among a series of vineyards, it would include accommodation, a winery, two-level restaurant with cellar door and a day spa-style health and wellness centre.


The proposal lodged with the Moreton Bay Regional Council is earmarked for a 58ha holding at Kurwongbah, 49km north of the Brisbane CBD.

Property records show the cattle-grazing property along Browns Creek Road was acquired by the development’s proponent Laura Heazlewood in 2021 for $4.1 million.

Under the plans, the site would be transformed into an integrated tourist destination centred around 85 eco cabins framed by six vineyards.

A two-storey restaurant incorporating a winery with production and cellar door facilities is proposed for the northern end of the development and would be open to the public.

The eco retreat’s health and wellness component would provide day-spa-style relaxation services for guests including massage, float tanks and a swimming pool.

A check-in pavilion and 173 car parking spaces are also planned.

According to a submitted planning report, the proposed buildings have been designed to step with the natural contours of the land or, in the case of the accommodation cabins, be designed as lightweight structures elevated on stumps “to ensure that no significant land disturbance is required for construction purposes”.

“The overall design intent for the development is to locate new buildings amongst the trees to maximise the visual amenity and outlook for guests, whilst also blending with the scenic amenity of the site and promoting an environmentally sensitive built form,” it said.

“The attraction of tourism uses such as this relies on the integration of native vegetation with the built form, as the construction of buildings within open cleared areas does not provide the level of amenity expected by guests within an eco retreat.”

Extensive habitat replanting and restoration is proposed to complement the development throughout the eastern and north-eastern part of the site.

The north-east corner of the site is within a koala priority area, and part of the land is mapped as containing koala habitat.

“The proposal has therefore been designed to ensure that all proposed works do not interfere with koala habitat,” the development application said.

Larger buildings for ancillary use, such as the check-in pavilion, wellness retreat and restaurant, plus the main car parking area have been designed to be located within existing cleared areas on the site.

The vineyards framing the development would be established on undulating terrain between the eco retreat and the existing residential and agricultural uses.

Also, it is proposed that customer vehicle access and parking will be limited to the area adjoining the check-in pavilion at the front of the site, with guests and visitors transferred to the cabins, winery and restaurant via a shuttle service.

Australia’s post-pandemic tourism recovery has surged off the back of a “revenge travel” boom, rebound in corporate travel and increased numbers of overseas visitors that have lifted occupancy levels and pushed up daily rates for accommodation.

Via The Urban Developer

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