Granite Island’s former kiosk and restaurant will be restored and reopened to visitors following a joint project to upgrade facilities on the island.
The first phase of the work is planned to enable the kiosk to open for use this summer, for the first time in three years.
The State Government and Oceanic Victor, which operates an in-sea aquarium at Victor Harbor, will deliver the remainder of the restoration by the end of this summer.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the State Government was contributing $700,000 to the project and the new facilities would revitalise the island.
“Oceanic Victor’s aquarium, swim with the tuna, little penguin tours and marine education facility have helped bring new life to Granite Island over the past year,” said Minister Speirs.
“While the company has opened a small kiosk selling hot and cold drinks, ice-creams and light snacks, visitors have been saying they wanted more choice, and the fenced-off kiosk area doesn’t offer the welcome reception for tourists that one of South Australia’s landmark sites should provide.
“The current facilities have been closed for some time due to structural problems. The work we’ll be doing will repurpose the building through appropriate repairs so the area can once again be a drawcard for tourists and locals alike.”
Oceanic Victor has a lease over the northern part of the island. It includes the existing building, which has a large restaurant, kiosk and gift shop, as well as public toilets. The toilet facilities have remained open and will be renovated first.
Oceanic Victor director Mick Dyer said initial work would focus on getting the kiosk open for use this summer, along with a ticket office for the aquarium business.
“People always ask us what is happening with the restaurant, and we plan to start work on that as soon as possible,” said Mr Dyer.
“We are already talking to experienced restaurateurs about our vision for the restaurant and how it will be run.
“The location is hard to beat and we want to make it a destination restaurant with a focus on our seafood heritage. Our restaurant will be a bit harder to get to, but it will be worth it when you get there”
The plan includes a new decking space for outdoor dining.