by Mandy Clarke
03rd May, 2018
North Queensland’s best kept secret…
A very enthusiastic Judith Norris, the new resort manager of Argosy on the Beach, informed Resort News: “I found my paradise!”
Less than 12 months ago, she discovered it in the middle of Arlington Esplanade at Clifton Beach, North Queensland: “Perhaps I am a little biased, but I love my new life here.” And, it is no wonder she is so happy because Clifton Beach is indeed a hidden, peaceful, paradise.
A perfect place to relax and enjoy a heavenly location within walking distance to Palm Cove, where guests can find a little more hustle and bustle.
Argosy on the Beach resort offers fully furnished, well equipped two bedroom and two-bathroom stylish apartments, all blessed with incredible ocean and rainforest views. Judith said: “Most days, kangaroos and wallabies hang out on our beautiful lawn area just 75 steps away from the beach. The pristine tropical garden and the swimming pool and spa offer a choice of perfect spaces to relax, and a BBQ is also nearby.
“All of the apartments are spacious, special and unique; most have been tastefully renovated and the owners have done a great job of making them modern, clean, crisp and comfortable. I love them all, and I especially enjoy seeing the excitement on guest’s faces when they enter the apartment because they are so wonderful and welcoming.”
Previously retired, Judith had been travelling for nine years - the perfect life! “Everyone wanted my life,” she explained. “I was travelling from place to place and my idea was to live in Mexico and run a little hospitality business, actually I knew nothing about running a hospitality business, but I had a strong desire to go ahead and learn.
“In 2016 I travelled to Port Douglas to visit a friend and learnt about management rights, everything about it appealed to me. I decided to take one last trip before my travel days were over and before I sought a home and a challenge. For nine months I went to America, Mexico, and South America but all I thought about was returning to Northern Queensland to buy managing rights.”
In May 2017 Judith headed back to Cairns. “Geoff my sales agent was great, and he knew what I wanted and as soon as I visited Argosy on the Beach I knew it had to be mine. I was so excited to find my paradise.
“The next three months were hard work and I wondered how I was going to get over all the hurdles. I had to get through so many hoops, it was a testing time but before long I was on my way, in a business I knew nothing about.”
The last owners had been the resort managers for 13 years and the changeover went fairly smoothly but Judith admitted: “My poor head almost exploded in the first two weeks, with so much to learn. I did have my doubts if I was up to the job of managing such a big complex with so much to look after and keep beautiful. In September and October, the apartments were full, and it was full steam ahead, I had no time to doubt myself.”
Fast forward to the present day and Judith continues to surprise herself. “This place is a 10-hour day gym and I love how fit and healthy I now am… I’m lucky to have so much energy and I thrive on achieving and succeeding at the new challenges that are thrown at me every day. I do joke among my friends though that I need a husband! There is a lot of work, for one person but I get help when I need it - tradespeople are my best friends and I have a wonderful cleaner.”
Argosy on the Beach was well-built 33 years ago, and has been fastidiously maintained by the previous owners, however a building of 33 years does have some problems. Judith describes herself as a ‘firefighter’ because she spends so much time fixing day-to-day issues.
“It’s all part of the fun,” she joked. “But, seriously, my patience has been tested and my spirit strengthened. I feel I have experienced and survived most things that could go wrong in the last six months - even a big cyclone! The tide came right up to the back step, which was scary as I’d never experienced a flood before. It was quite the time, luckily the two nice men in unit seven came to the rescue and my sister arrived to help clean it up - within five hours we have done it.
“On a positive note, everything is now extra clean, even the storage sheds that I had been meaning to spring clean – are now done.”
Being a new manager Judith is very motivated to achieve perfection for her guests. She strives to have the resort extra clean and has made some fresh changes to ensure the property is just how she likes it.
Judith’s positive attitude and sense of humour comes across, as does her love of people. “Meeting characters from all over the world makes my days so special, my guests are all so nice I get emotional when they leave. I have met with most of the owners now and I feel that we are building a good relationship and the new body corporate managers are great - we are all like one big happy family. It’s a big task to fill the last manager’s shoes, but I also think fresh blood is a good thing and I hope that I can satisfy expectations.”
Guests certainly agree that Judith meets their host expectations, she has been receiving rave reviews online for her helpful, welcoming attitude and her attention to detail.
Judith concluded: “Some people are dreamers all their lives, my dream was one day, to own a business in tourism and I have made it a reality.
“I actually enjoy all the challenges, then after a busy day I go to the lush tropical garden to relax, or I walk the 75 steps to the beach, wine in hand and listen to the waves. Nothing is going to stop me enjoying this paradise, I love my life here.”