History of Northern Queensland Area Holiday Resorts (NQAHR)
T/A Defence Holiday NQ
Planning for the provision of holiday flats in Northern Queensland began in earnest in early 1971. A survey of soldiers and their families serving in North Queensland at that time indicated a strong preference for Cairns as the most favoured area for the establishment of a holiday resort.
Northern Queensland Area Holiday Resorts (NQAHR) was formed and commenced operations in 1972 with holiday flats at both Magnetic Island and at Palm Cove, just north of Cairns.
Mandalay, situated at Palm Cove, North of Cairns, being the first holiday resort, was formally opened on 25 September 1972 by the Minister for the Army at the time, The Honourable R.C. Katter, MP.
Also in 1972 two holiday flats, AMAROO situated on Magnetic Island, was purchased by the Company. Some 2 years later an extra 2 flats were erected. Then in 1988, with Mandalay requiring upgrading, it was decided by the Board of Directors to sell the property in order to allow the purchase of larger and more modern facilities.
After studying a number of possibilities, NQAHR purchased Cocos Holiday Apartments situated at Trinity Beach, just north of Cairns, in late 1989. Once Cocos was purchased, the Company then started seeking out other properties that would meet the needs of all members.
Due to its close proximity to Townsville, Magnetic Island was selected as the most suitable location, as the Amaroo Holiday Flats were proving popular. It was at this time that an older style resort, Alma Den Beach Resort, came on the market and it was decided to purchase this property. The ensuing 12 months saw all of the units completely modernised and the Resort was reopened in December 1990.
With resorts already in place in Cairns and Magnetic Island, a survey was taken from Serving Members and the Whitsundays was chosen as an ideal spot. In August 1991 Shute Harbour Gardens Caravan Park was purchased. The Caravan Park did not prove to be as popular with Serving Members as expected, and the majority of guests using the Park were Ex-Serving Members and civilians. The Board decided to sell the Shute Harbour Gardens Caravan Park, and the sale was concluded in early January 2000.
NQAHR ran three resorts, COCOS, ALMA DEN and AMAROO for the benefit of servicemen of the ADF and their families.
Instead of just 4 units on Magnetic Island and 8 in Cairns, the Company then operated 19 units in Cairns, and a total of 27 on Magnetic Island.
In 2006 the Alma Den Resort, Magnetic Island was sold to a developer due to extensive plumbing repairs required and it was not viable for NQAHR to complete these repairs.
4 units at Amaroo Holiday Flats, Magnetic Island and 17 apartments at Cocos Holiday Apartments remain.