Business With Purpose
Hospitality And Care For A Sustainable Future
Spicers Peak Lodge sits at the heart of a 2000-hectare private nature reserve – one of the largest in Queensland - enveloped by the World Heritage-listed Main Range National Park and the Great Dividing Range, within an arc of spectacular mountains on the Scenic Rim of Queensland’s high country.
Ecologically, the Spicers Peak Nature Reserve is strategically important as it forms a key link in a bio-regional corridor between National Parks known as the Green Shield. It provides a refuge for many of Australia’s vulnerable, endangered and rare species and features ten unique ecosystems, including rainforest, open eucalypt forest and rocky ridges. These habitats are home to species such as the rarely-seen Albert’s lyrebird; Brush-tailed Rock wallabies; Glossy Black Red-Crested cockatoos, the Eastern bristlebird and koalas.
The reserve was established in 2006 by Spicers’ Founder and ardent conservationist, Jude Turner, with the aim of sharing and protecting the spectacular landscape of the Scenic Rim.
“Protecting our ecosystem now will ensure future generations are able to learn, explore and enjoy our great land as we do today.” – Jude Turner, Founder of Spicers.
It shares a seven-kilometre boundary with the Main Range National Park and is protected in perpetuity through a Conservation Agreement between the Turner family and the Queensland Government. It binds all future owners to conserve the significant natural and cultural resources of the property, and to provide for controlled use of the land for livestock production and eco-tourism.
“It has been my vision to share this landscape with the world, to connect people with nature and deliver a unique sense of ‘relaxed luxury’ alongside – and in harmony with – nature and the particular local surroundings,” explains Jude.
“We believe that experiencing the natural environment restores the human spirit and our long-lost connection with the land. We hope that our guests develop a deeper affinity with the natural environment – and an appreciation of our need to protect it.”
Encounter Rare and Endangered Wildlife
Guests at Spicers Peak Lodge can undertake guided day hikes, mountain bike adventures and walks to learn about the local flora and fauna, indigenous culture, geological history and the seasonal changes to the landscape.
During these guided adventures, they have the chance to see platypus, two species of kangaroo and three species of wallaby (including the endangered Brush-tailed Rock wallaby); three types of possum; dingoes, bandicoots; potoroos and bats. The property is also renowned for its bird-watching opportunities with regular sightings of rare and threatened birds.
There’s also the Scenic Rim Trail by Spicers – Queensland’s only Great Walk of Australia – offering two, five and seven-day extended guided treks that traverse the property and the National Park, using other purpose-built, low-impact accommodation facilities built by Spicers.
Sustainability Goals as Part of the Guest Experience
A sustainability ethos permeates all operations at the Peak itself. The menu highlights the best Australian produce, sourced as locally as possible, combined with the lodge’s own freshly-grown produce. There is a concerted focus on respect for the produce, producer and the environment.
Behind the scenes, Spicers has aligned its operational goals with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The company as a whole has committed to achieving zero net emissions and zero waste by 2030, and aims to be plastic-free from 2025, while working on significant reductions, year on year.
“Achieving these goals is a way to show how sustainability can permeate every aspect of our operations. It’s not always easy to implement these changes in the luxury tourism sector we work in, but our sustainability initiatives have become part of the guest experience without being obtrusive, and overcoming the challenges has proven hugely rewarding for our team,” says Jude.
“Greater environmental awareness has opened up new possibilities for us and has brought clarity to our purpose: our original idea of ‘getting more people out and into the bush’ feels even more relevant. We hope to inspire our staff, guests and the wider tourism industry to become stronger advocates for a more sustainable, circular economy. Our gold is green.”
Protecting the Ecosystem for Future Generations
Taking their conservation commitment to another level, the Turner Family Foundation recently contributed over $18.5 million – the largest family contribution to conservation in Queensland history – to establishing the Hidden Vale UQ Wildlife Facility, a cooperative venture with the University of Queensland which will include a captive wildlife breeding centre and permanent release facility for some of Australia’s rarest and most threatened species.
One of these species is the endangered Eastern bristlebird, which is being bred at the facility, and which will be released on the Spicers Peak Lodge and the Peak Lodge Station properties.
“Protecting our ecosystem now will ensure future generations are able to learn, explore and enjoy our great land as we do today,” says Jude.
“Connecting people back to nature and the restorative and educational benefits of that has always been our goal. We’re inspired by our mission to create opportunities for such important connections to take place. This is not only something we know we do well: it is our way of giving back.”
Other Sustainability Initiatives (our Mandatories)
- In 2017 Spicers joined the EarthCheck Evaluate Plus program and, as a member, is taking active steps to reduce its impact on the environment by benchmarking waste, water and electricity usage and levels across the group.
- As part of its zero-waste goal, Spicers Peak Lodge’s restaurant, The Peak, has replaced the plastic prep containers in the restaurant kitchen with stainless steel. It uses a specialist recycler for thousands of latex chef’s gloves and works only with suppliers who agree to eliminate styrofoam boxes and plastic bags from their deliveries, reducing the amount of waste that enters the premises in the first place. A compost machine dehydrates food waste and anything left over goes on the kitchen garden.
- In The Peak’s kitchen, preparation leftovers go to the local farmer's pigs to help close the loop of organic waste. The lodge welcomed new piglets to the property in June 2018 to create a circular flow of organic waste.
- Instead of plastic water bottles for guests, Spicers provides beautiful glassware and Acquachiara glass bottles. Refillable with either sparkling or still, these bottles are found in both guest rooms and the restaurant.
- Spicers partners with SoapAid, a not-for-profit organisation committed to saving children’s lives through improved hygiene while positively impacting the environment. Leftover soaps are re-processed into fresh bars and delivered to disadvantaged communities in Australia and overseas.
- Spicers own coffee brand, “Glossy Black Coffee” was developed to raise funds and awareness and to protect the habitat and breeding grounds of the rare Glossy Black Cockatoo. The cockatoo’s habitat is found throughout South East Queensland, including Spicers’ nature refuges.
- Joining The Last Straw campaign, Spicers, across the group, stopped 40,000 straws from entering landfill in just one year.
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