Team-building could take on a decidedly different look in the next two years with the development of a surf lodge with a corporate meeting and event space one hour (75 km) north of the city at Wiseman’s Ferry.
Following planning approval by the Hills Shire, the 18-hectare Wisemans Surf Lodge, a $875 million resort development beside the Hawkesbury River is expected to commence building in Q3 2021 and open in 2022.
Ultimately it will comprise a wave pool providing a range of up to two-and-a-half-metre high consistent waves that surfers say are almost impossible to find along Sydney’s beaches. But the resort will equally cater for non-surfers with more than 50 accommodation rooms and conferencing space for up to 100.
The artificial surf pool will be the size of four football fields and provide a 10-12 second ride. The developers said the resort would use the latest wave-forming technology and would be powered by green energy. It would also source food supplies from the local region. It is expected to provide employment opportunities for the local community.
micenet spoke to former business events staff from the existing four-star Wiseman’s Ferry Retreat hotel. They said updating the 30 year-old property would prove popular, particularly for the corporate meetings market that often booked the retreat for business planning and team building events for up to 100. While it was a well-known corporate destination, it did need a refresh to accommodation and facilities to compete with newer properties and attract meetings events away from the CBD and North Sydney corporate hubs.
Adding to the appeal of the resort is a “surf vibe” design for the accommodation as proposed by Akin Atelier’s Kelvin Ho, which is sure to help attract a younger demographic and provide a boost to the local economy.
The self-contained surf resort will also provide a nine-hole golf course, restaurant, bar, extensive pool deck and riverfront access. The surfing facilities will be available to resident guests, but surf pool memberships would also be offered for sale.
The first surf wave pool in Australia, URBNSURF opened near Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport and another at Sydney Olympic Park is coming in 2022. Surfing champion Kelly Slater is behind a billion-dollar artificial surf resort development at Coolum on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
Wiseman’s Surf Lodge co-founder John Du Vernet issued a statement saying the wave forming technology would cater for surfers of all abilities, but keen surfers would enjoy the promise of consistent conditions all year round.
As an added benefit of the destination, it can also be reached in under an hour by boat from Palm Beach.