Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Historic upgrade

Moira accommodation project to fill a tourism gap.

CASS SAVELLIS August 12, 2014 3:30am

Four self-contained villas are being built on Moira Station as part of its new Starry Night Luxury Accommodation Quarters project.

Moira Station owners, Deniliquin couple Rex Watson and Kate Pitt, who purchased the property in January 2000, said the new development would be unique to the district.

Overlooking bushland and built on the Cadell Fault line, the accommodation will cater for both national and international tourists to the region.

The development of high-quality, unique accommodation was identified by the Murray Regional Tourism Board destination management plan and gap analysis, which was completed about 18 months ago, as a need in the region.

‘‘This was a significant product vacancy that is needed to generate additional visitation to the region,’’ said Ms Pitt, who is also general manager of the annual Deniliquin Ute Muster.

‘‘The aim is for this development to fully restore one of the district’s best-known historical homesteads into an accommodation icon.

‘‘It will depict the Murray region’s past, capture history and tell stories and showcase our rich pastoral and indigenous heritage.’’

Ms Pitt said construction began earlier this year and is expected to be completed before the new year.

‘‘We’ve been able to utilise the amazing local tradesmen – Mark Wilson, Ross Haines, Buzzy Hall and Mick Grimison. Their craftsmanship is of such a high standard,’’ she said.

A highlight of the Starry Night villas, which will accommodate up to eight guests each, will be retractable ceiling skylights, showcasing the starry Southern Cross view.

A five year plan to turn Moira Station into a tourist hot-spot begins with the luxury apartments and also includes a tavern and market gardens, cooking school, thermal spas and geothermal pool, launch of history and nature tours and an event centre.

Murray Regional Tourism Board CEO Mark Francis said developments at Moira Station were a key project for the board.

‘‘The destination management plan and gap analysis was a full review into the Murray region, looking at future developments, gaps in the market place and how to meet these needs,’’ he said.

‘‘We identified 120 projects in a variety of areas including accommodation, attractions, industry development and training.

‘‘The board worked with Moira Station looking at funding for the project, for which they were successful.

‘‘The accommodation and all of the different project segments have a nature of being very high quality and links back to the historical area of Moira Station.

‘‘There are lots of elements that will bring tourists to the area.’’

Moira Station is located on the Cobb Hwy between Moama and Mathoura.

~ Cass Savellis

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