Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

September 17th 2007
A walk through Blue on Blue

The saltwater pool at Blue on Blue Over recent weeks Peppers Blue on Blue Resort at Nelly has had staged opening events culminating in a big bash last Saturday night. The day before Magnetic Times and a posse of other journalists were taken on a tour of this $300M new development which, along with No 1 Bright Point, forms the first major architectural impression visitors receive of Magnetic Island.

The apartments which range in price from $395,000 for a one-bedder through to $1.25M for the luxury, marina-facing, 3-bedders with plunge pools, certainly exude luxury. The interior fittings, where stainless steel may have become the new beige, are about what one might expect for the uberboomers who might afford them. And it seems the ever closer liaison between bedrooms and bathrooms which brought us the en suite of McMansion ubiquity has now been consummated at Blue on Blue with a sexier, walless version as its architectural lovechild.

Is stainless steel the new beige?

Bye bye en suite

It is generally expected that many of these units wont actually be lived in much by their owners who will visit them for their own holidays but, with many balconies ideal as party platforms, they will then be available for holiday letting for the rest of the year.

The exteriors, especially as seen from other parts of the Harbour, seem to suggest an architectural style somewhere between rendered slab modernism and the stark white of a Mediterranean village.

View from across the marina.

Locals, who fought each other for a decade over what would be done on Harbour sites like this, will, no doubt, find the architectural merits of Blue on Blue a rich subject for discussion and we invite readers to comment below.

Blue on Blue from ferry access street.

Although there are cooling, atrium-like, spaces between the entry buildings, outside shade still seems to be at a premium once the visitor heads towards the farther reaches near Sooning Street.

The huge saltwater pool, which I'd thought was, at one stage, promised to be open to the public (it's not), certainly catches the eye in that very intense Mediterranean way. But I hope many more trees will be planted and survive in what must be a rather salty (reclaimed harbour dredgings) subsoil. While the Mediterranean look is fine for winter on Magnetic the intense heat and humidity of summer screams for shade.

Atrium shade

Magnetic's biggest swimming pool

Another pool.

Although now officially open, the five star, Peppers' Blue on Blue, has been quite a long time coming. There was to be an opening a year ago then another in March this year. And while it is claimed that 41 of the 58 units in Stage 1 and 15 of Stage 2 have sold, they have been heavily marketed since they went on sale off the plan in October 2004. This might explain why the concrete platforms for buildings 5, 6 and 7, presently boarded behind a blue on blue wall, stand replete with a plantation of steel reinforcing rods and have been stalled from further construction.

Building 5 so far.

For a writer not naturally enamoured of resort-style developments, I should nonetheless imagine that Peppers will attract its niche client

A walk through Blue on Blue
Pamela Chambers
September 17th 2007
Hello George,
The photos are super! And as a local, I admit I did enjoy the lunch at the restaurant lately. Although when sitting down, one can barely see the absolute sea views, but the yachts and marina are impressive.

Another concern, maybe is that I was told by a local that very soon, the garbage trucks will soon be lining up (smelly???) to board the barge to take waste off Magnetic Island.

Another distraction or is it under control? Are you able to check further?

Thank you and I do look forward to your on line news.

Kind Regards
John McGrath
September 17th 2007
George, I normally enjoy your writing, but this was a particularly cumbersome piece. A bit like Blue on Blue, very 1970s.
September 18th 2007
Fortunately, a garbage truck pulls up outside every restaurant on Magnetic Island every morning. Regardless of the view, the price or the cut of the maitre d's jib, the menu is always the same....early birds catch the worm.
wendy tubman
September 18th 2007
A nice warm bath - just what you need to increase the humidity in the bedroom and play havoc with the energy-guzzling air con. And please reassure me that a loo is not 'squatting' coyly behind the half-wall in the oh-so-cheap open-plan bedroom. If there is, the smell of the garbos truck and deisel fumes from outside, might be the least of an occupants worries! A case of 'enjoy the peeeeeuw'?
v jeffery
September 18th 2007
Thanks George, for letting us view all those tiny weeny indoor spaces that we wouldn't ordinarilyy get the chance to see; i particularly loved the big white toilet in the bedroom. Swimming pools? who cares about the evaporation: shade? well, those visionless developers will be long gone when the buyers realise that the setting sun, searing onto their cute little balconies and into their warm plunge pools realise that they've been sold a furphy. Remember to pack the blinds.
September 19th 2007
There are several things I am unhappy about at Blue on Blue. The main one is that it is so horribly like every other big seafront development...Little boxes stacked one on top of the other. Delighful views of the carpark and ferry queues from two of the blocks. No respite from the tropical sun. Yes, for a not-so-moderate fee you can buy a mooring at the marina - otherwise, what's to let you know when you wake up to the sound of a flushing loo in the bedroom, that you are on this unique and lovely island?

And that huge underground car-park! What will our roads be like if that many extra cars are let loose on them?

Arriving at the harbour now, we have first the grey prison-block architecture of 1 Bright Point (only four metres from the sea - straight down! and with a "beach room" in each unit - but no beach anywhere near!)
- and then the stack of shoeboxes which is Blue on Blue.
Sorry - but if this is the best that developers can do when they are given such an opportunity, Heaven help Radical Bay and all the other places where development is supposed to be "improving" the island.
And how long before bored holidaymakers demand more mainland facilities? A casino? Speedboat trips round the Island? A massive shopping mall?
The wonderful - and virtually unique- charms of this island: peace and quiet, abundant wildlife, long empty beaches, magnificent scenery: we may well lose them all if this is an indication of what is to come.
No, I am not anti-development. It probably is inevitable, and in that it provides employment, though mainly in the lowly-paid service industries, for our young people, it's a good thing. But please, could it be just a little - no, a whole lot - more sensitive to the character of our island - which is, after all, what attracts people to us. Let's not kill the goose which could lay golden eggs for us all.
September 19th 2007
I think it is great that the island can finally offer this type of accomodation and a restaurant/ bar that is arguably the best in Townsville for Townsvillians, other visitors to the island and for locals who want to use it. The nego's who don't like it because of it's design, position or whatever else will hopefully stay away from it whilst the rest of us can enjoy the island even more at this wonderful establishment!
September 19th 2007
This place should really be named "Blues on Blue" because that's the feeling it gives me. Why do people come to Maggie island? To stay in cheaply designed rooms and sit around a pool that appears so bright that your corneas will burn out in 5 minutes? No.
People come to the island to spend time on a beautiful, peaceful, natural part of Australia. They want to enjoy the layed back lifestyle where you enjoy a meal in a casual bar or cafe while curlews peck around your feet. They come here to ride around the island on open air buses that have thier own names! They come here to see wildlife close up like frogs and geccos in the lounge room.
People don't come to the island to sit in La de da restaurants while watching their yachts bobbing around. The Queensland coast has plenty of those types of places already.
I doubt you'll find a gecco or frog in any of the "Blues on Blue" rooms, and God help any curlews that come near the restaurant tables. Heaven forbid a bit of bird poo on their bright shiney concrete!
George Hirst
September 20th 2007
To clarify on the comment by Wendy: "please reassure me that a loo is not 'squatting' coyly behind the half-wall in the oh-so-cheap open-plan bedroom", the loo is, as can be seen on close inspection of the the photo titled "Bye bye en-suite", located behind a frosted glass floor to ceiling screen with a, nearly, floor to ceiling door accessing it at the back of the room beside the shower area.
George Hirst
September 21st 2007
Couldn't help but notice the oscillations of the price tag for Blue on Blue. A few years ago (before construction started) the resort proposal was said to be a $60M development - not to be confused with the (real, actual) price of the total earthworks for the Bright Point quarry, breakwater and harbour. A couple of days ago the story price was $300M and today (Friday 21/9) your correction provided by the company spokesman takes it down to $100M spent so far (101/158 finished + inground works for the rest) and a hoped-for final of $140M. This suggests an average first-up price of just under $900,000 for each unit in Blue on Blue (knowing that some have pontoons and there is a restaurant as well) - a situation which makes the current perilousness of high-risk waterfront real estate development so easy to understand: it's only possible if the government wastes a whole stack of taxpayers money setting it up.
Our gorgeous new Premier of Queensland is ready to trump the efforts of her predecessors by promoting (if not actually building) a larger, more exposed canal/marina in the 'duck pond' outside the Jupiters Townsville Casino. It's only possible because, like Nelly Bay harbour, the Queensland Government will underwrite the earthworks, deny the climate change negatives, wallow in self-serving waffle about infrastructure needs and hide the whole thing behind some misguided and disingenous "safe harbour" or "affordable housing rhetoric" - in this case a moronic cruise ship terminal reminiscent of the 20th century cargo cult mentality.
Please bring on the revolution. Anything but more of the same.
September 24th 2007
This remindes me of a place in spain that is now a getto.
Bill Kos
September 24th 2007
I am from the other side of the globe and I want to tell you one thing: this WAS the most beatiful island in the whole world...
October 1st 2007
looks nice brand new...i wonder in 10 years...oh well...whats next?...a casino?
Ms N
October 1st 2007
Ghetto indeed Blue on Blue, a taint on the naturalist nature within us all.
'Spew on Spew' is what a dear friend refers that mass of old design as.
Be gone in mind it surely has, Blue ?
October 4th 2007
see how it weathers, not my cup of tea I'm so glad i brought a house in nelly before the developers moved in. No water views but the same walking distance to swimming beach and plenty of yard to enjoy the wildlife not a cement hot yard. We will see how high occupancy is in January-February..
Another View
October 10th 2007
More development on Magnetic Island will improve the property values etc of the people who live and own property there now. Surely this is good for them and it cannot impact on the WHOLE Island environment and beaches.
May 29th 2008
Sorry Another View but more development on Magnetic Island will, by definition, impact on the WHOLE Island environment and beaches. After all, more development means more people, cars, tar and cement, shopping, garbage, landfill, carbon dioxide - you name it. This might well be "good for them", as you write, but inevitably it affects to whole island.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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