Business With Purpose
Achieving a Better and More Sustainable Future for All.
Basking in the shadow of Mount Mulligan – a site of indigenous significance extending back some 37,000 years – and surrounded by a 28,000 hectare working cattle station, the ethos at Mt Mulligan Lodge is to tread lightly on the landscape and let nature and history reveal themselves.
“Life in the outback teaches us that resources are precious. We learn to value and preserve what we have: land, water, food, people, culture and history,” says Hayley Morris, Executive Director of the Northern Escape Collection, to which Mt Mulligan Lodge belongs.
“We are focused on reducing our impact on the environment and making a positive impact on our community.
““Life in the outback teaches us that resources are precious. We learn to value and preserve what we have: land, water, food, people, culture and history. We are focused on reducing our impact on the environment and making a positive impact on our community. Commercial viability goes hand in hand with both.” Hayley Morris, Executive Director of Mt Mulligan Lodge.
Community… local local local
“We work with local suppliers for everything from food and beverage to art and the activities offered to our guests,” says Hayley Morris.
Guests learn about the region’s rich and tragic gold and coal rush history on excursions to the abandoned township of Mount Mulligan and nearby historic goldmine, as well as gain a first-hand experience of life on an outback pastoral property.
By sharing their connection and respect for their environment and cultural heritage, Mt Mulligan Lodge’s hosts aim to inspire their guests with an enthusiasm for conservation.
Through a combination of guided nature walks, 4WD safaris and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) adventures, the lodge’s passionate and knowledgeable hosts interpret one of Australia’s most spectacular - but relatively undiscovered – landscapes, including endemic plants (one of which is found exclusively on the property) and native fauna such as Agile wallabies.
From a culinary perspective, the lodge is a strong proponent of sustainable agriculture and works with local suppliers in the Far North Queensland region to source organic, free range, fair trade, biodynamic and sustainably-farmed products.
Guests enjoy locally-sourced, caught and foraged produce, incorporating native and bush foods and the exceptional produce of the verdant Atherton Tablelands and the pristine waters of the Coral Sea.
The kitchen adopts a nose-to-tail philosophy, involving buying whole beasts, butchering in-house and using all off-cuts to minimise food waste. The menu puts a twist on ‘outback’ living, featuring ingredients such as Bushy Creek Beef and kangaroo tataki. The chef’s ‘from scratch’ ethos is evident in homemade pickles, jams, chutneys and krauts.
Inspired by UN Sustainable Development Goals
Across all its properties, Northern Escape Collection uses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as the framework for developing operational practices that achieve a better and more sustainable future. The 17 Sustainability Goals address health, education, inequality, economic growth and climate change, while working to preserve the natural environment.
“At Mt Mulligan Lodge we are continuously expanding our efforts to tackle these issues by focusing on the goals where we think we can have the most impact. We recognise that we need a multifaceted approach to address issues around climate change, land management, water safety and cultural heritage,” explains Hayley Morris.
While it may initially seem harsh, the outback environment is fragile and complex, and Mt Mulligan Lodge ensures that its operational impact on the surrounding landscape is minimal. Waste management in such a remote location is challenging. The lodge has invested in extensive composting, glass crushing and recycling facilities to manage and treat all waste on site.
All organic waste from the kitchen is composted or fed to the property’s livestock; single-use plastics and packaging are being phased out; guest slippers are washable and 100 per cent recyclable, and guest amenities in bathrooms are housed in recyclable, refillable containers. Substantial water tanks collect rainwater, which is used for irrigation and watering.
The lodge buildings were designed to minimise energy use, water consumption and environmental impact. Architecturally, they echo the practical, historical pastoral structures of outback Australia, and extensively utilise re-purposed timbers and local stone.
“In addition to our operational policies at our properties, through our Foundation we support diverse projects from advocacy to research and direct conservation that we believe can achieve a sustainable impact,” says Hayley Morris.
“We believe that Mother Nature should be given the opportunity to provide the earth and all its inhabitants with a stable climate, clean water, healthy soils and fresh air.”
Other Sustainability Initiatives (our ‘Mandatories’)
- Solar energy and batteries primarily power the lodge, and the Northern Escape Collection has partnered with Greenfleet offset the carbon emissions of guests’ helicopter flights to the lodge.
- Mt Mulligan Lodge supports the anti-straw movement to help clean up our oceans. Paper straws are available upon request. The lodge provides stainless steel water bottles as an environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic water bottles.
The Morris Group is Mt Mulligan Lodge’s parent company and, through its philanthropic foundation, the Morris Family Foundation, it supports projects and organisations with meaningful social, economic and environmental impact both at home in Australia, and internationally.
- Recognising that Queensland is the home to one of the world’s greatest natural treasures, Mt Mulligan Lodge donates $50 per guest stay to the Morris Family Foundation Reef Keepers Fund, which supports projects that protect and preserve the Great Barrier Reef.
- The Foundation supports innovative organisations building strong foundations for education and empowerment, especially in the local community. A partnership with Ganbina, Australia’s most successful indigenous school-to-work transition program, allows indigenous high school students to finish school, undertake further study, or train and secure meaningful employment. The model is now being applied at Ignatius Park College in Townsville with the support of the Morris Family Foundation.
- The Foundation’s support of Farmers For Climate Action reduces communication barriers between farmers, political parties and the media and assists farmers in voicing their climate change concerns.
- Later in 2020, Mt Mulligan Lodge will add two luxury outback tents to the accommodation offering. The safari-style tents were designed by EcoStructures Australia to have minimal impact on the land: they sit on raised timber platforms and rely on solar power and re-cycled water.
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