Ann Augusteyn, owner of the Capricorn Caves, died suddenly while on holiday.
Ann Augusteyn, owner of the Capricorn Caves, died suddenly while on holiday. Contributed

Leading CQ tourism operator dies suddenly on family holiday

CAPRICORN Caves owner Ann Augusteyn has died while holidaying in Africa.

Ann family and the Capricorn Caves this afternoon issued a statement about her sudden death on October 12.

While unexpected, Ann's death was peaceful as she passed away in her sleep.

Ann, who purchased the Capricorn Caves with her husband Ken in 1988, was travelling with her son Robert.

READ: 'Passionate' tourism operator leaves her mark on community

"Ann's three children John, Helen and Robert and her five grandchildren and extended family are deeply shocked and saddened by the news and all staff of Capricorn Caves were notified in person at 4pm today," the statement read.

Ann and Robert were in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, to enjoy a safari tour en-route to the International SKAL Conference to be held from October 17 to 21 in Mombasa, about 500km away.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of Ken's death and would have been the couple's 30th anniversary of owning the Caves.

After buying the Capricorn Caves, the couple made it into a multi-award winning destination at a state and national level.

"Ann was passionate about the environment, education, travel and has left her mark on many people far and wide," the statement said.

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said the news had shocked the local tourism industry.

"Our tourism industry is in absolute shock and Ann was highly respected as an industry leader."

"Our hearts go out to Ann's beautiful family, her staff and her colleagues" she said.

"Capricorn Caves General Manager Amanda Hinton is very capably running the business and her colleagues have rallied around her to assist however possible."