Community & Business

15 June, 2024

Major expansion on the cards for crater retreat

A MAJOR expansion is on the cards for the award-winning Mt Quincan Crater Retreat which has lodged an application with Tablelands Regional Council to boost its stock of luxury accommodation and establish a microbrewery on the property.

An artist’s impression of what the new proposed villas at Mt Quincan Crater Retreat would look like.
An artist’s impression of what the new proposed villas at Mt Quincan Crater Retreat would look like.

The site currently features six secluded treehouses, complete with spas, fireplaces and full kitchens, with views of the Tablelands or the Mt Quincan crater, as well as a tea house which occasionally hosting wedding functions.

Owners, Kavorka Pty Ltd, now want to expand the retreat’s accommodation capacity, applying to establish 13 more cabins as well as a new café, to replace the tea house, and a microbrewery.

According to the development application, 12 studio-style villas that include a kitchen, living area, bathroom, a veranda and suit two people, will be constructed, while a special  “honeymoon suite” villa will be built that will feature a spa and plunge pool.

The new villas will accommodate an increase of 26 guests which will trigger the need for an additional two part-time staff members.

“With the exception of the proposed microbrewery, the proposed development does not involve any new uses or activities on the site, only an expansion in the scale and intensity of existing, lawful uses,” the application states.

“The proposed café is intended to replace the existing, lawful ‘tea house’ use on the site so the reception area (where the tea house is restricted to) can be more suitably utilised for weddings and by guests staying at the retreat.”

The document states that the microbrewery and café were expected to have a capacity of around 50 people a day and would require three staff, with opening hours likely to be around 11am-7pm, although opening hours could vary from time to time for events.

The owners believe the expansion of the crater retreat will deliver broad benefits to the region.

“The proposed development will create additional tourism opportunities for the region – that is, nature-based accommodation options, food tourism, cottage industry etc – and, in doing so, increase the number of people visiting the site and the region as a whole,” the application states.

“This will add to the tourism ‘appeal’ and offerings in the Tablelands region, of which will have flow-on benefits for the entire region. 

“The potential benefits that the proposed development can bring to the region should, therefore, be an essential consideration in council’s decision-making process.”

According to the application, the proposed development will not have any adverse visual impacts on the surrounding area, nor have any impacts in terms of noise, traffic, dust and odour.

The report also highlights that the retreat is “suitably located in the rural zone, namely due to it being an extension to existing, lawful land uses, but also due to it being functionally reliant on the scenic values, the rural backdrop and the key environmental features present on the site”. 

“The proposed development will also include a cottage industry (microbrewery) which, when suitably scaled, is supported in the rural zone, and a café which will focus on utilising local produce from surrounding farms wherever possible,” it states.

“In relation to agricultural land, the report has demonstrated that the eastern most, flatter portion of the site will continue to be used for rural activities and that the proposed development will only be located on the parts of the site which are unsuitable for typical rural activities.”

The application has been lodged with council for assessment and will be impact assessable which means locals will have an opportunity to lodge submissions for or against the development once the community consultation phase commences.


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