THE transformation of a once derelict building into a nine-bedroom wilderness lodge has presented all manner of challenges for motorsport icon Marcos Ambrose.

Next Saturday will signal week 15 of construction on what was this weekend officially named Thousand Lakes Lodge.
Formerly Bernacchi Lodge, an Antarctic training base, it is expected the renovated and reinvigorated attraction will open in October.

"We've scruffed it by the neck and turned what was a derelict building into a modern, contemporary destination for Tasmanians and visitors to Tasmania to enjoy," Mr Ambrose told a crowd of politicians, investors, family and friends on Saturday.

"Weather's been an issue for sure and building it within budget.

“We were very focused too on making sure that we didn’t go outside the building structure itself, so our plan was to actually revegetate and reclaim the area.

“It looked pretty nasty before we moved in, there was just a lot of gravel around and it was a bit of an eyesore.”

The $1.3 million lodge will be just one thing to admire at Lake Augusta, with guests able to take their pick from nearby natural attractions.

The rugged area is a walker’s dream, just kilometres from the Walls of Jerusalem, and anglers have no shortage of outlets for their passion.

The clear World Heritage Area air is sure to appeal to international, interstate and local visitors who want to clear their minds.

Mr Ambrose envisages a mix of guests at Thousand Lakes, which will eventually employ 13 people.

"We hope to raise awareness of the area, the beauty that's within this part of the World Heritage Area," Mr Ambrose said.

The project has benefited from a $340,000 grant from the state and federal governments - a share in the pool of the now infamous "Cadbury money", rebranded the Tasmanian Jobs and Investment Fund.

The grant will go towards interpretation work inside the building, reclamation and revegetation, a premium-quality RV park and upgrading the building fit-out.

Lyons Liberal MHR Eric Hutchinson said Thousand Lakes Lodge was a vote of confidence in the state.

“If we’re going to live up to the expectation that I think increasingly the world has for the tourism offering in Tasmania, we’re going to need to keep adding product to the tourism offering in Tasmania,” he said.

Click here to view the story in full.