Mining magnate’s plans to open luxury eco-tourism resort at Ningaloo Reef

A caravan park at Ningaloo Reef is set to be turned into a luxury resort under new plans by mining magnate Andrew Forrest.

Forrest’s Minderoo Group has released its plans to invest more than $100 million in tourism and marine research at the Ningaloo World Heritage area.

The luxury ecotourism resort would be promoted to Asian tourists along with an outback experience at Forrest’s family property, Minderoo Station.

“The proposed investment by Mr Forrest will be transformational to Exmouth and this region,” Shire of Exmouth chief executive Cameron Woods said.

“The resort will meet accommodation gaps in the market whilst offering something for everyone with world class eco-resort facilities unique to the natural landscape.”

Forrest’s philanthropic company, Minderoo Foundation has been given a 39-year lease by the council for its marine research headquarters at the Ningaloo Centre, in exchange for the peppercorn rental of $1 a year.

The centre could also host international conferences and researchers, attracted to the internationally renowned ecosystems around the Ningaloo Reef.

Shire president Matthew Niikkula told a council meeting earlier this year that the development was a “once-in-a-generation opportunity for Exmouth”.