Assistant Lodge Manager Yen’s School of Success


Posted on 12th September 2014 by southernoceanlodge in Uncategorized

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From Student to Assistant Lodge Manager, Southern Ocean Lodge

Working as Assistant Manager of Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island and spending free time camping and fishing sounds like a dream for former Adelaide student Yen aun Leow.

It’s been a meteoric rise up the career ladder for Yen, who graduated from the International College of Hotel Management in Adelaide, South Australia a little over 2 ½ years ago. In that short time he has worked his way up from room attendant to the lodge’s Assistant Manager, via all departments of the luxury lodge.

His stunning island home is a complete departure from the crowds and traffic jams of Kuala Lumpur where Yen spent 19 years before coming to Adelaide in 2009.

Yen says he always wanted to study hospitality and with ICHM he had the opportunity to study a diploma in Hotel Management at a Malaysian school before moving to Adelaide for the degree program.

Founded in 1882, the Swiss Hotel Association is the world’s oldest and most respected industry body.

Yen was keen to experience this European heritage in hospitality and says ICHM gave him the chance to do so closer to home. On completion of his course, Yen was seeking work opportunities in remote South Australia as a way to stay on and continue with the lifestyle he’d grown to love.

He was about to sign a contract for another role when a friend told him about Southern Ocean Lodge and his destiny was sealed.

‘Just days before I signed the contract with them, a close friend of mine told me there was a super luxury lodge in Kangaroo Island. I had a look at their website, totally impressed, and just sent in my resume for any position available. I started off at Southern Ocean Lodge as a room attendant.’

Before long Yen was a lodge supervisor, working closely with reception and the restaurant and, most recently he moved into his current role of Assistant Manager. On his days off he gets to enjoy all that this South Australian tourism destination has to offer.

‘Kangaroo Island is amazing! This is a little gem of South Australia. I am a very outgoing person, and I love outdoor activities,’ he says.

‘During my days off, I will always find time to head out for camping, fishing or just go to some beaches and chill out.

‘I’ve been living on the island for the last 2 ½ years now, everything here has been wonderful for me and I am still loving it.’

He speaks equally highly of Adelaide as a study destination.

‘I am so proud to tell everyone how much I love Adelaide,’ he says.

‘The city is very well organised, clean and the people are unbelievable! Wifi service is available almost throughout the entire city, which gives students a free access to Internet.

‘Lastly, it is a fact that the cost of living in Adelaide is the lowest among other big cities, everything is more affordable, lessening the burden of students’.

For more information on studying in Adelaide go to and to find out more about studying at the International College of Hotel Management go to

Southern Ocean Lodge Ranks World’s Fourth Best in Travel + Leisure Awards 2014


Posted on 4th July 2014 by southernoceanlodge in awards


It’s an annual event, anticipated by readers of high-end wanderlust magazine Travel + Leisure and hoteliers around the world alike: the reader survey that determines the world’s very best operators and outstanding travel experiences.

The 19th poll has just returned the winners of 2014’s World’s Best Hotel Awards with – drumroll – Southern Ocean Lodge coming in at a sharp 4th place in the world, and in first place for best resort in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Moreover, Southern Ocean Lodge was the ONLY Australian property named in the top 100 hotels! Phew!

It’s a terrific nod to the team behind Southern Ocean Lodge, which delivers an extraordinary guest experience  on a daily basis.

Baillie Lodges Managing Director James Baillie said the Travel + Leisure ranking was one of the most prestigious awards the lodge had received.

“Southern Ocean Lodge has received dozens of accolades since its opening in 2008 and we’re delighted it continues to draw attention from around the world,” Mr Baillie said.
“Travel + Leisure is one of the world’s most respected travel magazines, so we’re very proud it has chosen one of our lodges for this title.”
Scoring an impressive 96.27 out of a possible 100, Southern Ocean Lodge kept close company with the world’s winning property, Triple Creek Ranch, Darby Massachusetts, followed by Nayara Springs, Costa Rica and Four Seasons Hotel, Budapest.

For more, visit

KI Food Safari Host Mark Best Makes his Mark on the Elite Traveler Top 100 List


Posted on 11th April 2014 by southernoceanlodge in Activities on Kangaroo Island | Eat & drink | KI Food Safari | awards

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As the countdown continues for the fourth KI Food Safari at Southern Ocean Lodge this August, esteemed Sydney restaurateur Mark Best who is this year’s joint-host with foodie favourite Maggie Beer has been named amongst the Top 100 in the Elite Traveler Top 100 List, released earlier this month.

The list of the world’s best restaurants, hotly anticipated by industry and diners alike, this year included five Australian restaurants, with Mark’s own restaurant Marque coming in at #35.

We’re looking forward to seeing more of Mark’s cuisine when he visits Southern Ocean Lodge for the KI Food Safari and a group of happy guests on August 2.

Here’s an excerpt from the story that appeared on on April 4:

WE ALWAYS knew we were a deft hand in the kitchen.

Elite Traveler magazine has released its annual list of the top 100 restaurants in the world and five Aussie establishments have made the cut.

Three Sydney and two Melbourne restaurants were named in the hotly contested list, a credit to our burgeoning food scene.

The top spot went to Alinea in Chicago for the third year in a row.

Mark Best at his restaurant Marque in Surry Hills.

Mark Best at his restaurant Marque in Surry Hills. Source: News Limited

Sydney restaurant Marque in Surry Hills, run by Mark Best, took out top Aussie spot coming in at 35, followed by Melbourne chef Ben Shewry at Attica who debuted on the list for the first time at number 56. Shannon Bennett’s Vue de Monde was a close 58.

To read the story, please click here. To find our more about the KI Food Safari, please click here

KI Food Safari 2011

KI’s Islander Estate Makes its Mark on The Australian


Posted on 21st March 2014 by southernoceanlodge in Eat & drink | Uncategorized

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Frenchman and celebrated winemaker Jacques Lurton first travelled to Kangaroo Island on his honeymoon in 1997 – he fell in love with the island (as well as his new bride!) and considered it an ideal place to to establish a vineyard.

It was an unlikely match, but he vowed to return, and three years later, he did.

A 300-hectare property located near Parndana in Kangaroo Island’s heartland came up for sale and ticked all Jacques’ prerequisites for the natural surrounds; north facing slopes, access to water, heritage vegetation.

In 2000, Jacques planted an 11-hectare vineyard with the varieties Jacques had enjoyed working with around the world – cabernet franc, malbec, sangiovese, shiraz, grenache, viognier and semillon.

Today, The Islander Estate proudly produces a range of premium wines – including blends and varietals – reflect the earthy qualities of the European grape varieties as well as the cool breeze that brings the rains from the Southern Ocean.

A Frenchman producing European-style wine on Australia’s third largest island is an intriguing story, and this unique blend features in The Australian’s WISH magazine – here’s an excerpt:

IT is difficult to find two more dissimilar places than the rural landscape of Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia and Bordeaux, France’s historic epicentre of fine wine.

One is a small, wealthy city, with picturesque buildings and esplanades, many created thanks to the humble grapevine. The other is an idyllic agricultural oasis where animals graze with million-dollar views overlooking the Southern Ocean. Yet the two are linked by the regular presence of Jacques Lurton.

The Lurton name is wine royalty in Bordeaux. The family roots stretch back more than 300 years with various well-regarded chateaus having passed through their hands. Growing up in the Lurton family gives an aspiring winemaker connections that money can’t buy and a ticket to work in every wine region around the world…

You can read the rest of the story here, and find out more about the Islander Estate straight from the source at


The Smith Hotel Awards | Your Chance to Vote


Posted on 20th September 2013 by southernoceanlodge in Competitions | awards

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Mr & Mrs Smith has opened votes for its #smithawards for 2013, designed to recognise and  reward the world’s very best boutique hotel experiences.

Twelve categories are open for votes, including ‘Above and Beyond’, ‘Greatest Outdoors’ and ‘Best Spa Hotel’.

We think Southern Ocean Lodge fits many of these, so please do feel free to hop in and  nominate us for as many as you like!

Most of all, we’d like to give the big one a shot – the award for Mr & Mrs Smith Best Hotel 2013.

We’d love your help, of course. And when you click through to vote, you’ll see they’ve given you a little visual hint…!

Thank you! The team at Southern Ocean Lodge.

Wandermelon wanders to… Southern Ocean Lodge


Posted on 29th July 2013 by southernoceanlodge in Baillie Lodges Blogs | Luxury Lodges of Australia | media

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If you’ve not yet heard of Wandermelon, it’s considered a go-to for travellers to discover inspiring video, photography, news and travel writing from a group of lucky, (hardworking!) travellers turned professional.

Kate Ayrton travelled to Kangaroo Island, to stay at Southern Ocean Lodge and find out more about the island’s history, its natural heritage, and the diverse list of things to do – from roaming the Remarkable Rocks to meeting marron at the island’s aqua-farm, before savouring Chef Tim Bourke’s signature dish back at the Lodge – an unforgettable journey in itself!

Here’s an excerpt from the post, with a link to read the whole story:

KANGAROO ISLAND: South Australia’s National Treasure

July 25, 2013 by  · Leave a Comment

Kate Ayrton discovers the culinary delights, pioneering spirit and natural wonders of KI.

Southern Ocean Lodge, KI The Southern Ocean Lodge at West End of KI

Spanning 4,400 square kilometers, Kangaroo Island (known as KI by the locals) is roughly the same size as Bali, minus all the people and traffic, and the third largest island off Australia. With a ratio of approximately 1 square kilometer per person, there is plenty of space for all walks of life. Half of the island is native bush, 33% is national park and there are over 20 vineyards, as well as an abundance of quintessentially Australian wildlife such as the brushtail possum, echidnas, goannas and of course, kangaroos! Coming in to land after a 30-minute flight from Adelaide, the island looks arid and dry with pockets of agricultural farmland and expansive bushland rimmed with rocky, coastal outcrops and rolling seas. Whirly winds or “willy willy’s,” named by the Aborigines, can be seen dancing across the land once known as ‘Karta’, meaning ‘Land of the Dead’. Quite the opposite, KI is brimming with life and fertile soil making it a bountiful destination for gourmands and nature-lovers alike.

For more, see:

Latest Luxe | News from Baillie Lodges


Posted on 30th June 2013 by southernoceanlodge in News

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Welcome to the June edition of Baillie Lodges’ luxessentials* – read all the latest news from Capella and Southern Ocean Lodge, as well as updates for the hottest property coming to town, Baillies Sydney…

To read luxessentials* in full, click on the image, or right here . Enjoy!

Blogger Vanessa Jackman Falls for Southern Ocean Lodge


Posted on 11th June 2013 by southernoceanlodge in Kangaroo Island images | media

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Earlier in the year we welcomed Vanessa Jackman, an Australian lawyer turned freelance photographer, based in the UK to discover Kangaroo Island and Southern Ocean Lodge.  It’s been a happy transition, and to date, her photographs have appeared in British/American/Australian Vogue, Harpers Bazaar US, Marie Claire Australia to name a few…

She also writes an incredibly successful blog called Vanessa Hunter, with the tag ‘A blog about a girl, her Nikon and a great big love affair’.

Was it love at first sight? We think so. Below is an excerpt from her post, and just a tempter of the terrific photos she took during her stay.
Dive in and explore more at

“There is perhaps no more effective cure for jetlag (nor a more fitting welcome home to Australia!) than a family of five large kangaroos bounding across the road in front of our 4WD.
With horror filled thoughts of bounding Skippy turning into squished Skippy and vague recollections of signing a rental car animal damage waiver at the airport, we white-knuckled to a stop and watched as the kangaroos hopped casually off into the bush.
Heart racing, the inner tour guide in me laughingly announced “Welcome to Kangaroo Island!”.
Situated 15km off the coast of South Australia, Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third largest island (after Tasmania and Melville Island*), and the location of our destination: the spectacular Southern Ocean Lodge.
Our 90 minute drive from the ferry which connects the mainland to Kangaroo Island (flights also operate from Adelaide), was otherwise uneventful with no further roo encounters save for a few wallabies grazing by the side of the road.
Feeling rather pleased with ourselves – no damage to car, person or wildlife, tick! – we arrived at Southern Ocean Lodge and began four days of utter bliss.
Located on the remote south west coast of Kangaroo Island at Hanson’s Bay, the lodge is perched on limestone cliffs high above the pounding seas of the Southern Ocean surrounded by dense vegetation and native bush.
Impossible to see from the private entry road, it wasn’t until we stepped inside the dramatic rusted steel doors of the lodge that the full impact of the brilliant design, and the incredible beauty of the surroundings, becomes apparent…’

Southern Ocean Lodge Awarded Best Lodge by Gourmet Travellers


Posted on 11th June 2013 by southernoceanlodge in awards

The annual Australian Gourmet Traveller Awards are amongst the world’s most prestigious accolades for Australian travel and tourism products. The 2013 Awards were announced in a gala presentation at one of Melbourne’s most exciting restaurants, Conservatory.

And, without further a-do, we are thrilled to announce the winner of the Best Lodge 2013 is, drumroll, Southern Ocean Lodge!

James and Hayley were present to accept the award – here it is below, along with a snapshot of the night’s event.

This year’s Best Lodge award was in recognition of  exceptional service, and couldn’t be more well deserved, we think!
Congratulations to the outstanding team at Southern Ocean Lodge, to all our generous industry supporters and  to our loyal guests, past and future!

To read more and discover the other esteemed category winners, visit’-choice/best-resort-or-lodge/

Shadows of the Chef | New KI Food Blog


Posted on 29th May 2013 by southernoceanlodge in Eat & drink | media

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There’s a terrific new entrant in the blogosphere, and we’re excited to report it’s all about the lives and loves of the growing number of artisan food producers on Kangaroo Island.

It’s the island’s the fine food producers on that sets it firmly on the must-visit destinations for keen foodie travellers.

Called ‘Shadows of the Chef’ , the first post profiles David and Lorraine Huxtable, who grow a range of fine, fresh lettuces on their farm under the fitting name, KI Fresh.

Guests at Southern Ocean Lodge are amongst the lucky to taste KI Fresh salads, as it’s a daily inclusion on Tim Bourke’s Lodge menus.

Speaking of Tim Bourke, the author of this cool blog is our own Sarah Feehan, who fronts up the Front Desk at the Lodge, and is partner to Tim.

Tim and his team make a point of getting to know the KI prodcuers personally, and visit the farms around the island often, to find out what’s new, what’s in season and on offer.

Sarah’s next major post will be about Dan Pattingale, who produces Kangaroo Island Olive Oil & Sticky Figs on a beautiful property in the island’s north.

Sarah and Tim  took a trip out to his property near Stokes Bay and returned loaded with wild olive oil, fresh & sticky figs, pumpkins and a couple of his smoked snook.

Look out for more, and subscribe to keep up with the latest foodie adventures on Kangaroo Island!