By Staff Writer
Emirates' One&Only Wolgan Valley resort is located around 150km north-west of Sydney
A 1,600 hectare luxury Australian resort owned by Dubai’s Emirates Group has been forced to close its doors to guests as a result of a fire which has ripped through the south-east of the country.
At least 18 people have been killed in one of Australia’s biggest bushfires, with around 17 reportedly still missing. New South Wales (NSW) has issued a seven-day state of emergency, which will begin on Friday, and the AFP newswire reported that the NSW Rural Fire Service has declared a 200 kilometre "tourist leave zone" along the coast.
On its official website, the Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley resort, which is located around 150km north-west of Sydney, said “unfortunately, there continues to be ongoing bush fire activity in near proximity of Wolgan Valley and, whilst there is no immediate threat to the resort, the safety of our guests and colleagues remains our top priority.”
“We continue to work very closely with the NSW Rural Fire Service to keep the resort safe however the surrounding presence of fire activity on the perimeter, intermittent heavy smoke in the valley, and loss of amenity throughout the landscape, will significantly impact guest safety and the resort experience. We must therefore pause all forthcoming arrivals until 6 January 2020, at which time we anticipate the conditions will be suitable for reopening,” the statement added.
The resort was opened on October 2009 and was built with a strong focus on conservation and sustainability, with the buildings taking up just 1 percent of the 1,600-hectare site and innovations such as solar panels and passive ventilation systems.
Emirates Group invested over 125 million Australian dollars ($87.4 million) building the resort. The English naturalist Charles Darwin famously visited the area during his visit to Australia in 1836. The resort has 41 villas, as well as a swimming pool, tennis court, spa, sauna, steam room and gym.