Brock opens 'beautiful buildings' at Quorn

CEREMONY: Cabinet Minister Geoff Brock, left, and Great Northern Lodge owners Robert and Wendy Brown took part in the opening ceremony. Photo: Peter Taylor
CEREMONY: Cabinet Minister Geoff Brock, left, and Great Northern Lodge owners Robert and Wendy Brown took part in the opening ceremony. Photo: Peter Taylor

The outback’s newest tourist destination was opened at Quorn on Saturday with a celebration to mark the completion of Great Northern Lodge.

The new 4.5 star motel and function centre was part-funded through a $400,000 state government regional development fund grant.

The site’s upgrade and expansion by outback family business Rowesa has seen the building of 22 self-contained units, 10 motel units, a function centre with conference amenities, a shared outdoor area with a barbecue, pizza oven and fire pit, and a native orchard and kitchen garden.

The venue is in the heart of Quorn, alongside the family’s existing business Emily’s Bistro, and will see the creation of eight jobs.

Regional Development Minister and Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock “turned the sod” for the lodge with Premier Jay Weatherill in February last year and opened what he said were “beautiful new buildings” on Saturday.

“The innovation and industry for which our regions are renowned are on show in this project which will draw a range of visitors from self-drive couples, families and family groups to coach tours,” he said.

“There has been nothing like this in Quorn until now.”

“It will address a gap in the market, particularly for coach tourists.

“The project created much‐needed job opportunities for the community and will continue to do so, boosting economic flow‐on effects into the township and surrounding region.”

The family built and operated the Old Willows Brewery Restaurant for 22 years (awarded the Civic Trust of South Australia Award in 1991), renovated Quorn’s original Great Northern Emporium (1878-2004) to become Emily’s Bistro which opened in 2011, and runs the Old Willows Country Estate accommodation in Quorn, and Willows on the Wharf in Kingscote, Kangaroo Island.

Rowesa co-owner Wendy Brown said that after so many years of planning and hard work, it was exciting to open the venue “much sooner than we ever could have without the support of the grant”.

“The lodge is proud to offer a range of sophisticated, comfortable and contemporary accommodation options for visitors to Quorn, as well as the 50-seat function centre. We look forward to attracting more people to our beautiful town,” she said.