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History revived in plan for South East tourism

Holographic exhibits in the reopened home of a famous bush poet are at the centre of a new regional accommodation plan including ‘glamping’ tents at Port MacDonnell.

Nov 10, 2022, updated Nov 10, 2022
Each glamping campsite will have a corresponding Adam Lindsay Gordon poem. Picture: Supplied

Each glamping campsite will have a corresponding Adam Lindsay Gordon poem. Picture: Supplied

The redevelopment of Dingley Dell Conservation Park promises a boost for tourism in the region, with the holiday home of poet and horseman Adam Lindsay Gordon reopened for the first time in years.

Steve Moignard operates the popular Coonawarra Bush Holiday Park with his wife Qin, and said the new venture at Dingley Dell will see one of South Australia’s little-known historical treasures revitalised.

Adam Lindsay Gordon’s cottage in 1935. Picture: Supplied

The pair have secured a lease with the state government, which bought the property in 1922 to protect the cultural heritage value of the cottage once owned by poet and horseman Adam Lindsay Gordon.

Gordon lived in the cottage from 1864-66. He died in 1870.

Dingley Dell has been closed since the previous caretaker retired in 2018.

“It hasn’t been open for three years, there’s nothing there, the toilets are locked and everything’s just wearing out, the connection is significant, and it’s fading away,” Moignard said.

“Inside the museum we’re putting in holographic displays and having his poetry being read to music.”

The development slated for completion mid-next year will see 80 beds opened up for tourists in the region with solar-powered glamping tents offering visitors an invigorating night out bush, while still offering modern amenities.

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“Cultural events are going to be held there – we’ll have literary events that celebrate early literature, music events, local produce events, even big festivals and things like that are all on the cards,” Moignard said.

The proposed layout of glamping camp sites in the redeveloped Dingley Conservation Park. Picture: Supplied

As well as the 18 standard glamping tents, Dingley Dell will also feature two premium hexagonal bubbles with windows which span 360 degrees.

Each glamping location will also be matched with an Adam Lindsay Gordon poem.

“With 20 tents you’d expect over the course of a year to bring in around 4000 to 6000 visitors depending on occupancy levels,” he said.

The revamped destination will employ two full-time caretakers and fourteen-part time workers with the total cost of the project expected to total $1.5 million including a $250,000 state government grant.

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