Rita and Chris Dadson on one of the greens at Reef Palms at Zilzie in 2014. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Rita and Chris Dadson on one of the greens at Reef Palms at Zilzie in 2014. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison ROK300714cgolf3

Chinese investor buys major Capricorn Coast resort

A CHINESE businessman has bought a major Capricorn Coast resort, signalling a new direction for tourism in the region.

Knight Frank Rockhampton Principal Pat O'Driscoll sold the Keppel Cove master planned mixed use tourism and residential development to Ding Zuo Hong from Jiangzu China.

The development was the brainchild of former British earthmover, builder and resort owner Chris Dadson and his wife Rita.

Mr Dadson moved to the Capricorn Coast in 1989 and saw the opportunity to develop a township at Zilzie Bay.

 

Owner Chris Dadson having a laugh with golfing legend Nick O'Hern
Owner Chris Dadson having a laugh with golfing legend Nick O'Hern Facebook

In 2010, Mr Dadson told The Morning Bulletin he saw a "mini city" when he purchased the 406 hectares of beachfront land on Svendsen Road.

The Keppel Cove resort, about 45km from Rockhampton, covered 215 ha with substantial infrastructure.

Mr and Mrs Dadson sold the property, which includes an 18-hole golf course, substantial clubhouse and conference and wedding facility, lakes system and residential allotments, to Ron Bakir.

The facility has been closed since about 2014.

 

Chris Dadson in the clubhouse at Reef Palms Golf Course at Zilzie with the golf course in the background.   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Chris Dadson in the clubhouse at Reef Palms Golf Course at Zilzie with the golf course in the background. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison ROK300714cgolf4

New owner Mr Ding is a respected entrepreneur and businessman in China, starting his career making fine furniture which was the commencement of his growth into various industries including tourism.

"Mr Ding was invited to visit Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast by friends for a holiday and fell in love with our region, our weather, our natural geographical beauty, clean air and water," Mr O'Driscoll said.

"He enjoyed the fishing and boating trips around Great Keppel Island and has returned to the island four times.

"Now four years later after investigating and inspecting all opportunities, his company has now completed the acquisition of Keppel Cove.

"The intention is to upgrade the golf club with hotel component and expand the resort precinct and continue to develop the residential offering over the coming years.

"Mr Ding also commented that the local councils especially Mayors Ludwig and Strelow and the local communities have made him feel most welcome and he is excited about the future in our region."

Livingstone Shire mayor Bill Ludwig said the investment would be a catalyst for revitalising the coast's tourism market.

He praised the Dadsons for their vision and years of commitment.