Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the people undertaking the development?
  • The Neville Smith Family, lead by James Neville-Smith, will undertake the development.
  • James Neville- Smith has been an active member of the Mission Beach community since purchasing Castaways Resort (Mission Beach) and surrounding land in 2006.
  • The Neville-Smith Family subsequently undertook a $6m extension and refurbishment of the existing resort in 2010.
  • The Neville Smith family also purchased McKays Hotel in 2015.
  • The Neville Smith Family have continued to operate the Mission Beach business 365 days a year and invest heavily in marketing the destination despite natural and economic headwinds over the past decade.
  • The group has resisted the temptation to break up the site, that for many years has cost a lot of money to hold without generating any revenue. To break up the site would enhance single dwellings and not enhance the tourism opportunity for the region, indeed it would be a catastrophic outcome for decades to come.
  • The group have been patient over the past decade, and now believe it’s time for the Mission Beach and the Cassowary Coast region to further invest in project that support growth. The local tourism businesses and communities will enjoy unprecedented stability and growth as a result of this investment.
How will “The New Castaways” benefit the Mission Beach and Cassowary Coast Region?
  • “The New Castaways” will assist in further enhancing Mission Beach and the Cassowary Coast region by making it a must visit destination for national and international tourists.
  • “The New Castaways” will allow for larger events, conferences, weddings within the region between Cairns and Townsville – There are no suitably scaled facilities in the region at present.
  • “The New Castaways” will specifically cater to the leisure tourism market, this will result in a longer average length of stay, which is what will build the tourism industry for the region.
  • The function facilities can accommodate patron numbers in excess of the capacity of the hotel accommodation, as such for large events other hotels in Mission Beach will benefit from the spill over accommodation.
  • The increase in tourism numbers will provide a springboard for the local tourist based economy and other existing businesses. The increased tourist numbers should also promote new business opportunities in the region.
  • The project will create an additional 390 Jobs during the construction stage and inject $70 million dollars into the economy
  • The New Castaways operations will generate an additional $8.1 million dollars a year directly into wages and salaries which represents an additional 120 jobs.
  • The New Castaways will generate further expenditure outside the resort with “flow-on” effects expected to result in the creation of an additional 200 jobs and an increase in the population of 400 people within the region.
Why does the Resort require expansion?
  • The existing Castaways Resort is 42-years old. It was exquisitely refurbished in 2010, however the cost of repairs and maintenance required to keep the operations at a high level is now economically unfeasible.
  • The current resort has 48 rooms and cannot cater to the general demand during peak season, nor provide the required amenity for larger weddings and tourist groups.
  • We require a resort with additional rooms and a higher level of amenity to ensure the ongoing viability of the business
  • We believe that Mission Beach has a truly unique combination of untouched tropical rainforest, pristine beach and access the reef. Mission beach is a world class destination that we believe would benefit from a world class resort.
  • The proposed resort will ensure Mission Beach is a must visit destination, this will help to support the local trade and regional growth.
When will works Commence?
  • Pending planning approval, we’d like to commence the construction works in early 2019 with works completed and the resort operating by late 2020.
  • The works will be staged to smooth resort operations and to ensure the existing staff can be retained. The Palms stage and the south Beachside stage will commence in early 2019.
  • The north Beachside stage will commence early 2020.
What is the height of the New Castaways and will it impact the streetscape?
  • The building height is generally four storeys with 4 accommodation pods rising to a fifth storey. The fifth storey has a wall height of 16m (above natural ground level).
  • The height of the fourth storey is consistent with the height of the existing hotel roof. The fifth storey is set well back from the street and is approx. 3.5m higher than the fourth storey.
  • From the beachside, the new Castaways will sit lower than the exiting palm tree canopy, this will help to ensure the hotel is screened.
  • All resort hotel rooms are either oriented towards the beach or to internal courtyards/garden areas. i.e. not facing existing houses in Pacific Parade.
  • The building is sited towards the beach boundary allowing for deep landscaped gardens along Pacific Parade.
  • The design incorporates two storey high openings in each courtyard allowing for beach view and breeze corridors between Pacific Parade and the beach.
  • Building height generally steps down to three storeys adjacent Pacific Parade.
  • The northern end of the resort near the beach/road features 2 large pools and multiple dining areas on multi-level recreation decks for use by in-house guests and visitors. This orientation maximises the northern sun path and prevailing breezes.