Urbnsurf Lodges Plans for Sydney Surf Park


Urbnsurf has lodged long-awaited plans for a second wave pool and surf park, this time in Sydney.

The project, which qualifies as a State Significant Development (SSD), will cost between $40 million and $60 million and will be built atop a 37,000sq m car park just north of Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush.

The park, designed by Clarke Hopkins Clarke, will include alfresco dining decks, cafes that can trade internally and externally to people using Sydney Olympic Park, and a retail shop.

Urbnsurf, led by new chief executive Damon Tudor, will power the park’s pool with technology provided by Spanish wave park tech company Wavegarden.

Urbnsurf's first park opened in Melbourne in early-2020, near the city’s airport in Tullamarine.

The wave pool, on a 5.4ha site, was the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and cost around $40 million to build.

The pool is divided into four sections, catering for beginners to elite surfers, and it will have a maximum capacity of 84 surfers per hour.

The park is powered by renewable energy sources and is currently the largest recycled concrete structure in the country, made up of concrete from demolished airport runways.

▲ Artists impression of the proposed wave pool in Homebush. Image: Clarke Hopkins Clarke

Since that project’s completion, Urbnsurf has been working on the next iteration of its surf park, a more ‘suburban’ model incorporating visitor accommodation, as well as commercial and well-being offerings, and even residential lots.

“The design and use of the facility has evolved since the initial development application,” a Clarke Hopkins Clarke spokesperson said.

“We have looked to incorporate some additional elements with the aim of further enhancing the activation of the precinct and celebrating surf culture.

“These include elements such as a fitness retreat, multi-purpose space for small events and small co-working spaces, each of these catering to users who will use the park and then stay and further activate the precinct.”

Urbnsurf’s third iteration, a destination-style offering, is currently being pursued at a number of locations around the world.

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.

▲ Urbnsurf's existing wave park in Melbourne takes up 5.4ha owned by Melbourne Airport.

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.

Surf Lakes built a facility in 2018 near the town of Yeppoon on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast.

The pool uses ‘five wave’ technology to produce five different levels of waves around the lake, using a giant plunger driven by compressed air at the centre.

The project’s first stage would involve the construction of a skate park, scuba hole, playground, solar farm and camping facilities as well as pop-up food and beverage sites.

The second stage would deliver 100 short-term accommodation beds, a 75-bed boutique hotel, an inflatable aqua-park and a cafe and restaurant.

Also on the Gold Coast, Parkwood Village has announced plans, alongside Canada-based waterpark manufacturer WhiteWater, to build a $35-million surf pool about 10km from Surfers Paradise.


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