By Gavin Gibbon
Emirates' One&Only Wolgan Valley resort is located around 150km north-west of Sydney
Emirates’ One&Only Wolgan Valley resort in Australia, which was temporarily closed during the country’s devastating bushfires, has reopened.
As well as visitors from across the world, guests being welcomed back to the 7,000-acre reserve include kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, reptiles and birdlife.
According to WWF-Australia an estimated 1.25 billion native animals have perished in the Australian bushfires.
Tim Stanhope, general manager, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, said: “We are delighted to be back in the valley. We are keen to share with our guests this unique opportunity to witness and be part of the regeneration of the landscape and the abundant wildlife still here on the reserve.”
The bushfires torched a reported 27 million acres – an area greater in size than the European country Portugal - and killed more than 30 people.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, which is owned by Dubai’s Emirates Group, was closed in February but, thanks to the efforts of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, the resort was spared.
Habitat restoration work has been stepped up to support the regeneration of the surrounding landscape, and guests are invited to participate in the restoration of affected bushland and waterways.
“This is a rare opportunity to observe firsthand the resilience and extraordinary transformation of nature and to contribute to our conservation efforts,” said Simone Brooks, activities and conservation manager.
“We are deeply appreciative of the contributions of our guests; with their help, we have built a seedbank of over one million seeds representing 25 local native species that is now playing a vital role in repopulating areas of damage.”
The resort was opened on October 2009 and was built with a strong focus on conservation and sustainability, with the buildings taking up just one percent of the site and innovations such as solar panels and passive ventilation systems employed.
Emirates Group invested over 125 million Australian dollars ($87.4m) 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.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.