Plans to construct the largest surf park in the southern hemisphere are moving ahead with special state government assistance in order to guide it through the regulatory process.
The development, planned for a 5.7ha site at Jandakot in Perth’s southern suburbs, will be the city’s first surf park.
The project is being spearheaded by former UrbnSurf co-founder Andrew Ross on behalf of US wave park developers Aventuur.
The $100-million surfing lagoon development will feature accommodation, health and wellness centre, co-working offices, a beach club and restaurants.
The Western Australia government has now reached an agreement with Aventuur to lease a parcel of land on a 21-year agreement with the option to extend it for another 20 years.
The state government said Aventuur, announced as the preferred proponent late last year, would now progress to the next stage of plans to deliver the surf park development.
Western Australia planning minister Rita Saffioti said the project had taken a significant step forward with the lease agreement now confirmed.
She said the park would showcase Western Australia's vibrant surfing culture.
“The proposal will also unlock local jobs and economic opportunities, creating up to an estimated 260 jobs during planning and construction, and around 65 full-time equivalent positions once operational,” Saffioti said.
“The project site will be well serviced by our road and rail upgrades in the area, including the Kwinana Freeway widening, the Thornlie-Cockburn Link and the North Lake Road and Armadale Road Bridge.”
Aventuur is a US-based adventure and leisure industry developer—Ross joined as a partner in 2020 to lead the Perth bid in direct competition with UrbnSurf.
The developer plans to use Wavegarden Cove technology to provide more than 25 different waves, with knee-high whitewater for children and beginners through to barrels and “steep pointbreak-style waves” for more experienced riders.
The waves will be created by 56 pistons which push out water into either side of a pier in a fan shape for rides up to 150 metres and 18 seconds long.
MJA Architects has been enlisted for the design process to create “a stay and play destination” across a site that would benefit from public transport and road connections—adjacent to Cockburn Central train station and the Kwinana Freeway.
Aventuur had originally priced the project at about $80 million but said costs could hit $100 million, to be funded by private equity, due to rising construction costs.
The developer had also originally earmarked a completion date of 2024, but had now pushed back its timeline by six months to early 2025—subject to local planning and environmental approvals.
The wave park is expected to attract upwards of 300,000 visitors annually and contribute $250 million to the state economy over the life of the project.
Increased domestic travel in recent years has propelled prospective surf park developments across the country with the prospect of perfect waves, albeit simulated, proving a major draw card for interstate tourism.
There are currently about 2.5 million surfers in Australia, most of whom tend to choose their local break on any given weekend.
Last year, rival developer Urbnsurf lodged long-awaited plans for its second wave pool and surf park just north of Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush following on from the success of its first park which opened in Melbourne in early-2020, near the city’s airport in Tullamarine.
Its Sydney project, which qualifies as a State Significant Development, will cost between $40 million and $60 million, and will be built atop a 37,000sq m car park.
The Olympic Park project follows a recent approval for a $75-million wave pool and resort at Wiseman Ferry on the Hawkesbury River, 75km north-west Sydney.
The Wisemans Surf Lodge, set to be developed on an 18ha site, will include a state-of-the-art wave pool and a 54-room hotel—set to be readapted from a former hotel built in the early 90s.
The development is backed by Australian world champion surfers Joel Parkinson and Stephanie Gilmore along with fellow professionals Jack Freestone, Alana Blanchard, Bede Durbidge and Josh Kerr.
Kelly Slater has also announced his intention to build a $1.1-billion surf resort in Coolum, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, his first such facility outside the US.
The project, which is currently in public consultation, includes restaurants, bars, a six-star hotel, an environmental education centre, a residential component and a huge, open-air entertainment precinct.
Meanwhile, Broadbeach-based company Surf Lakes, headed up by Aaron Trevis, last month lodged a development proposal for a $200-million development to be built around its prototype wave pool in Queensland.
Also on the Gold Coast, Parkwood Village has plans, alongside Canada-based waterpark manufacturer WhiteWater, to build a $35-million surf pool about 10km from Surfers Paradise.