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Tourism giant unveils $50m plan for family-friendly resort on golf course site

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A decades-old family-owned golf course at Glenview could be turned into a new holiday park right next door to an upcoming $130 million water-themed attraction.

Australia’s largest park owner-operator, Discovery Parks, has lodged plans for its first caravan and cabin resort on the Sunshine Coast.

It has proposed turning the well-known Glenview Par 3 Golf Course on Steve Irwin Way into a $50 million facility with a mix of 359 powered and unpowered sites and cabins ranging from basic to deluxe.

Activities such as a resort-style pool, mini golf course, jumping pillow, waterplay/splash park and pump track would give families a reason to stay and play in the one location.

The proposed tourist park will include cabins, from standard to deluxe.

The proposal is next door to Sanad Capital’s approved wave park and villas, which are expected to be open by Christmas 2023 or early 2024.

Discovery Parks’ plans, if approved, would be the latest addition to the hinterland tourist strip which includes Australia Zoo, the Big Kart Track, Aussie World, the Glenview wave park and a second wave park on the Bruce Highway at Glass House Mountains.

There has also been a trend towards more accommodation in the area with Australia Zoo approved for a campground with 32 RV sites, 8 cabins and 68 non-powered tent campsites and the Glenview water park next door building 160 cabins.

A development application for the 12-hectare site has been lodged with Sunshine Coast Council more than a year after G’day Group, which incorporates Discovery Parks, bought the land for $3.3m in late 2020.

There are plans for a jumping pillow for the kids. Picture: Discovery Parks website

The Glenview Par 3 Golf Course, which also adjoins Mooloolah River National Park, was a family-run business for more than two decades.

No membership was required to enjoy the flat 9-hole course and it was a popular recreation activity for those less serious about the sport who just wanted a fun day out.

However, the land’s zoning as Sport and Recreation has raised “potential conflicts” with the planning scheme which the council will have to consider.

A report prepared by Project Urban in support of the application said the sports zoning was “largely irrelevant, being a reflection of the longstanding use of the site as a private golf course”.

G’day Group Chief Investment Officer Amanda Baldwin with visitor nights to the Sunshine Coast expected to increase by more than four million over the next decade, there was strong demand for more accommodation near tourist attractions.

“Our proposal is similar other successful holiday park developments that have been completed across Australia, which have been proven to increase tourism and create economic uplift local communities,” she said.

“However, this is only the first stage of the development process, and we are committed to working closely with Council and listening to community feedback to ensure we bring to life an asset that will deliver long term benefits for the region.

“In its current form, our proposal represents an investment of around $50 million and with a development timeline of approximately 18-24 months once necessary approvals have been attained.”

Discovery Parks owns and operates 60 properties nationally in prime tourism destinations.

If approved, the Glenview park would comprise 359 sites:

• 203 powered
• 35 unpowered
• 32 en-suite sites
• 20 superior cabins
• 35 standard cabins
• 10 deluxe cabins
• 24 two-storey cabins

As well as family recreation features, the park would have showers and amenities for guests, a kids’ club, function room/conference room, and laundry facilities.

Another report to council states the tourist park would be providing much-needed caravan and family friendly accommodation options in the hinterland.

Tourism data shows just 9 per cent of visitor nights on the Coast were spent in a commercial camping/caravan park facility in 2019.

The proposed layout of Discovery Parks’ tourist resort at Glenview.

Hinterland accommodation, in particular, lacks recreational facilities targeted at families, the report states.

“The subject site provides an alternative to beachfront accommodation, with onsite amenities which mean that families can remain onsite for the duration of their stay or make day trips to the surrounding attractions,” stated the report.

“Providing a tourist park experience with ample recreational facilities provides families with the option to stay on site for the duration of their stay and the children will remain entertained whilst the parents relax.

“Currently, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland does not offer this kind of tourist experience to visitors.”

The report said building materials used for the buildings/cabins would be chosen to preserve the hinterland character and no part of the development would exceed a height of 8.5m above ground level.

The tourist park would be operated by a manager residing onsite and available 24 hours.

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