Intrepid Travel branches into lodge accommodation with $5m Daintree Ecolodge acquisition

by Ruth Hogan

Global travel business Intrepid Travel is expanding into the lodge accommodation segment with the purchase of Daintree Ecolodge in Tropical North Queensland from Morris Group for AU$5 million.

The four-star boutique rainforest retreat is set on a six-hectare property and features 15 guest rooms, an on-site restaurant and bar, day spa, natural waterfall and walking track.

“As we continue to diversify our offering, this new acquisition will play a key role in our evolution towards an iconic lifestyle brand,” said Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton.

“A move into the lodge space is a long-held aspiration for Intrepid and will connect our brand to an entirely new audience while seamlessly integrating with our core tour product.”

Last year, Intrepid Travel became a 50% partner in off-grid accommodation company Cabn, which has 27 properties across South Australia, including the new CABN X at Seppeltsfield opening later this month.

“This acquisition marks the next chapter in the Intrepid story, as we expand into the accommodation sector,” Thornton said.

“We are excited to grow this vertical, bringing our 34 years of global experience as a leading travel provider to new customers and sharing our style of responsible travel with more people.”

Built in 1992, Daintree Ecolodge has been part of Morris Group’s portfolio since 2013.

It carries both Eco Certified Advanced Ecotourism Property and Climate Action Business certifications and features solar panels to help power the resort.

“As a global tour operator, we’re well accustomed to operating complex itineraries in some of the most remote regions of the world. Now, Daintree Ecolodge will add to our portfolio, allowing us to contribute in new ways to a local community in our own backyard, while also connecting with a new market of customers and to grow our brand,” Thornton said.

The existing team will remain and will continue to be led by Acting General Manager Jody Westbrook.