NHILL'S Little Desert Nature Lodge will reopen on July 1 under new management.
The site has been closed since October after Conservation Volunteers Australia ceased its operations at the lodge. The group had run the lodge since 2011.
Located on 117 acres of bushland, the lodge went up for sale in July 2018.
Nhill's the Farinha family has now taken over ownership and operations, with plans to maintain the iconic conservation site's legacy in the Wimmera community.
Christa Farinha said her family immigrated from South Africa in 2000 and currently own Farinha Motors in Nhill.
"How this new venture came about was that I was looking for property to start a wellness retreat in Halls Gap, and that fell through," Mrs Farinha said.
"I then looked elsewhere at a property on the Murray River, which was very barren. At the same time the lodge went up for sale."
Mrs Farinha will run the lodge with the help of daughters Michelle and Danielle. Her husband Daniel is a mechanic and has run Farinha Motors for 12 years.
"It's going to be a family business," she said.
She said the family had big plans for the lodge's future.
"We already have many plans for it and really want to bring it back to what it started off as. That is, using it for camps and four-wheel-driving tours, and also bringing in some wellness features," she said.
"None of the rooms have TVs and the wi-fi is very minimal, so you really are getting back to nature.
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"It has been closed since October and everything was turned off, so it's now a process of getting everything back up-and-running again.
"We're very excited about this whole thing and the support from the community has been phenomenal. We've also started looking at our wellness retreat which will be in September. There's already a wait-list for people who are interested."
She said the lodge would continue to welcome day visitors and would maintain its status as a conservation site.
"We have bettongs that we feed on a daily basis, kangaroos that just roam around and of course George the emu who is very friendly," she said.
"We're not going to change anything to the conservation side of the property, if anything changes it will be in the business itself."
Online bookings will resume towards the end of June. The lodge will re-open its gates to the public on July 1.
An open day will be held on July 20 where community members can tour the site. The open day will be held between 1.30pm and 4.30pm.
About the Little Desert Nature Lodge
THE Reichelt Family operated the lodge for many years and later handed their legacy down to the Little Desert Flora & Fauna Foundation Inc.
In late 2011, management of the lodge was handed to Conservation Volunteers Australia to advance the care and protection of the flora and fauna of the Little Desert.
In early 2016, Conservation Volunteers Australia entered the rewilding arena with the Rewilding the Desert program, together with the FAUNA Research Alliance.
Little Desert Nature Lodge currently features 24 ensuite rooms, 16 dormrooms, and a number of powered and non-powered campsites. It also has a restaurant and bar, which open regularly once again.
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