Next stage of $65m attraction set to deliver wave pool
Article written by Scott Sawyer - Sunshine Coast Daily
A region-first water park and wave pool luring up to half a million visitors a year could be open by 2024, as the vision starts to take shape.
Plans have been lodged for the second stage of Sanad Capital's Actventure water park and Invigorate tourism resort, outlining the vision for an Olympic-scale wave pool, tourist attraction and resort facilities.
Sanad Capital chief executive Bradley Sutherland said he aimed to have construction start on the second stage midway through the 14ha stage one build.
Stage one features a $65 million family resort, water park and retail experience including dining and a microbrewery.
The code-assessable 11ha stage two proposal included the eastern carpark, main entrance to the world-class tourist attraction, ticketing booths, administration areas, retail shops, food and drink outlets and more.
The water park layout was set to include water slides, sprinkler playgrounds and pools.
A boardwalk promenade would link the water park section to the rest of the site and attractions.
The centrepiece of the second stage was the Endless Surf wave pool to be delivered by WhiteWater.
The wave pool, proposed to be of the same scale as pools being delivered for the Paris and Tokyo Olympics, would include a swim-up pool bar, spectator/judging stand and other facilities.
A 15m height limit, other than rides, would be maintained throughout stage two.
The tourist attractions on the eastern and western sides of the site were designed to be open to the public, as well as guests of the resorts.
Mr Sutherland said he hoped to have the first stage, 160-villa family resort and water park opened by Christmas, 2023, with discussions now underway with local builders.
He said he wanted to start construction on stage 2 midway through the first stage, and have it opened in early-2024, to create a comprehensive water park experience.
Mr Sutherland said he'd been working on the wave pool component for five years.
He said to-date he had spent about $15 million on the tourist attraction, and turned down several offers to sell, such was his commitment to the project.
"Everyone from a high level knows what we're doing," Mr Sutherland said.
"I'm pretty invested in this project."
He said they were "years ahead" of any other wave pool and water park projects in the area and the pandemic had only strengthened the case for the project, as domestic tourism benefited from international travel restrictions.
Mr Sutherland indicated works could begin on-site soon, saying it was a "watch this space" situation.
He said the water park proposed as part of stage one would be the third-largest in Australia.
The sites marked for the resort in the second stage were likely to feature more "unit-style accommodation" which Mr Sutherland said would cater to adults and adolescents and provide another option to complement the family-oriented accommodation in stage one.
Mr Sutherland said he had a close eye on the southeast Queensland 2032 Olympic bid, with the wave pool proposed in the second stage capable of hosting the surfing event.
Previous financial modelling had forecast the project would create more than 300 construction jobs and more than 200 full-time equivalent roles once operational and updated financial modelling was currently being undertaken.
Mr Sutherland said he wanted to "build something for the Sunshine Coast" and he planned to create a beach around the wave pool, meaning visitors would be able to enjoy a full coastal experience as well as other nearby attractions including Australia Zoo and The Big Kart Track, in what was becoming a significant tourist strip along Steve Irwin Way.