The Gold Coast development sector has been riding a perfect wave for the past year and now a new $300-million project wants to paddle on to it.
Six months after plans for a wave pool were unveiled for Parkwood—a suburb only a 15-minute drive to the city’s famed surfing beaches—a development application has been lodged with the Gold Coast City Council revealing the finer details of the Palm Springs-inspired integrated surf village.
The centrepiece of the resort-style proposal is a 4ha dual-zone surfing lagoon capable of generating “up to a 26-second end-to-end barrelling six-foot wave ride”.
Earmarked to sit alongside the existing 18-hole golf course of the 56ha The Club at Parkwood Village, the development is banking on a pent-up groundswell of tourism activity hitting the Gold Coast over coming years after borders reopen.
According to submitted documents, the mixed-use project aims to deliver “a landmark destination for surfers, tourists and the local community to play, dine, relax, shop, work and recreate”.
The bold vision requires council approval for an increase in “the scale and intensity” of an existing approval for the Napper Road site—boosting its allowable density from 135 units to 222 apartments across eight new buildings plus 12 four-bedroom surf villas overlooking the wave pool.
A hike in the existing building height limit from five storeys (18.2m) to eight storeys (28.5m) also is being requested to enable the planned development.
The masterplan includes a five-storey “Surf HQ” with wave pool reception, administration, patron induction/orientation space, change rooms, board storage, lockers, food and beverage options as well as co-working areas. It has been designed with a landscaped rooftop and building curves that portray “waves crashing into a headland”.
BDA Architecture’s design concept also flows across the surrounding apartment buildings with “a simple rhythm of moving curves that start as flat, moving into a ripple, then into a wave formation ... increasing in intensity as it gets closer to the headland (Surf HQ)”.
“A simple composition of curved balconies, planters, screens, arches, breezeblocks, white brick facades and a landscaped rooftops defines the Palm Springs inspired buildings,” the DA states.
The integrated surf park resort also features a brewhouse, events centre, retail and commercial tenancies, 120-place childcare centre, a sports, health and medical hub (including the Gold Coast Titans training facilities), redesigned golf course and clubhouse, as well as relocated pro shop and wedding chapel.
Parkwood Village, headed by founder Luke Altschwager, has partnered with Canada-based wave pool manufacturer WhiteWorld to develop the surf, recreation and entertainment precinct.
Its giant wave lagoon will incorporate cutting-edge Endless Wave technology with “infinite programmable variability” to cater for all skill levels, with the capacity to have 75 people surfing per hour on multiple 12-second barrelling waves all happening simultaneously.
The Parkwood proposal is one of a few contenders fighting for the bragging rights to become Queensland’s first surf park, including a World Surf League-backed Surf Ranch at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast proposed by Brisbane developer Consolidated Properties Group.