Surf Lakes to open Australia's first wave pool near Rockhampton

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Dispatch

With construction advancing smoothly, Surf Lakes today announced the location of its first wave pool. The pool, which will be Australia's first, is being built between Yeppoon and Rockhampton on Queensland's central coast.

Yeppoon is inside the Great Barrier Reef so has few surfable waves, yet despite the lack of local surfers Surf Lakes CEO Aaron Trevis told Rockhampton's Morning Bulletin that the site was ideal for their needs.

"We needed a site that was flat and had ample water available so we could get under way quickly," Mr Trevis said. "The added benefit of the site we chose was the weather is perfect for an all-year round community attraction."

Six hours north of Noosa and ten minutes from Rockhampton is the site of Surf Lakes, Australia's first wave pool.

In contrast to Kelly Slater Wave Company's Surf Ranch, which produces a solitary, flawless wave, the Surf Lakes design creates multiple waves of varying quality.

"By using concentric waves and multiple breaks, Surf Lakes is capable of producing more waves per hour, while also offering a variety of waves from hollow barrels, to gentle beginner waves," said Mr Trevis.

The Surf Lakes concept uses a central plunger to create waves that propagate toward the edges of the pool.

Occy and Barton Lynch have been recruited as ambassadors for Surf Lakes, with Occy even having a section of the park named after him.

Livingstone Shire Mayor Bill Ludwig said Council has been aware of the project for some time. "We have been briefed by the proponents who at the time wished it to remain commercial in confidence," he said.

"In the current format as a test site only, it hasn't required formal council approval however, Council would be delighted to receive a future application should the proponents wish to transition to a fully operational commercial facility open to the public and tourists.

"While this would trigger and require a range of town planning considerations and public notifications, I am confident it would enjoy a broad community support."



cswells's picture
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cswells Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 at 2:21pm

Not instilled with confidence in the quality, the only prototypes they seem to have are scaled-down pool concepts.

fitzroy-21's picture
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fitzroy-21 Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 at 3:06pm

I will assume it will suit the type of waves they are use to up there.......somewhat lacking in any power..........

maxe's picture
maxe's picture
maxe Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 at 3:57pm

The good old "commercial in confidence", councils love this dodgy deal making behind the scenes, doesn't inspire any confidence whatsoever with me when I hear those three words.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 at 3:58pm

Hey mate...easy up I spent a year in Rocky surfing Farnborough and Emu gets better than you think

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 at 9:04pm

How good do those pointbreak setups between Emu Park and Yepoon look on the map?!
If only we could say the same of Karratha...

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Thursday, 16 Nov 2017 at 8:09am

Karratha Yes

Rockhampton No

pigdog's picture
pigdog's picture
pigdog Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 at 5:44pm

i thought melbourne were getting the first wave pool..."wavegarden"...??? near tullamarine...under construction already...????

hoody's picture
hoody's picture
hoody Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 at 6:30pm

Where's Webber in the mix?

Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
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Halfscousehalfc... Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 at 8:49pm

Croc country?? I still prefer the ocean for waves personally.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 16 Nov 2017 at 6:31am

It is croc country.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 16 Nov 2017 at 8:27am

And also insane Barra fishing and threadfin salmon in the Fitzroy now that they fucked the netters off.

I'm warming to this idea.

Cheaper real estate up there too.

Bungan33's picture
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Bungan33 Thursday, 16 Nov 2017 at 9:59am

To give them credit they are being pretty bloody clear about still being in the pre-commercial operation phase:
"We still have to prove the waves at full scale with further tuning and commissioning. It is all research at the moment so we cannot guarantee anything yet."
I wouldn't be buying into any off the plan "Wave pool condos" just yet....

Tarzan71's picture
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Tarzan71 Thursday, 16 Nov 2017 at 11:30am

How insane is this, Slater wave pools and Webber have awesome credibility with proven R and D, The Rockhampton model has even admitted that their concept lacks proper quality testing if they cannot guarantee anything yet.....
Id keep my money in a pyramid scam at the moment.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming Thursday, 16 Nov 2017 at 3:42pm

So this is just a test site, kind of like Kellys, just to build and see if it works?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 16 Nov 2017 at 3:46pm

At the moment, but it may well turn into a commerical operation, and going on the language the council is eager to green light it.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 16 Nov 2017 at 5:09pm

I tell you what, those Yepoon locals are pretty hard core, don't be expecting to fly in, fly out and get first dibs on that pool.

oiley's picture
oiley's picture
oiley Saturday, 18 Nov 2017 at 3:06pm

if the hueys sponsored it, that thing in the middle could be a paddle-up bar with 'the captain' on tap.. could also put some fish in there

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope Saturday, 18 Nov 2017 at 4:45pm

I surfed the wave pool in Thailand. Didn't have my board with me so hired a softboard. Was a gutless wave and a shit board but I actually had some fun. Couldn't take it seriously and out of 12 guys, only me and a frenchman could surf. Got heaps of waves in the hour. It was a proper workout paddling back out and catch another straight away. Felt surfed out by the end. Still, I wouldn't be back in a hurry. I hope this wave is better, longer, more power or it will be a try it once experience and no hurry to do the long drive to return. The non surfers will probably get more use from it, swimming around in the shorey. I hope it is a success. The location doesn't hit a target clientele though.

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook Saturday, 18 Nov 2017 at 6:02pm

ah, so maybe it's more a water park with surfboards, rather than a real wavepool. not really made for regular surfers, but fun for those that ride a disney-themed bodyboard (with no swim fins) in the shorey between the flags on a saturday afternoon.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 25 Jan 2018 at 4:46pm

Not quite an Occ-Cast, but Occ in a hard hat visiting the Surf Lakes construction site:

Nicolaas's picture
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Nicolaas Wednesday, 31 Jan 2018 at 7:23pm

I'm hoping that SPITS will create some serious interest

in the Snowy Mountains.




Nicolaas's picture
Nicolaas's picture
Nicolaas Wednesday, 31 Jan 2018 at 7:11pm

I'm hoping that SPITS will create some serious interest in the Snowy Mountains.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Sunday, 1 Jul 2018 at 8:34pm

Happy July... As every Queenslander knows kickstarts Surf Lakes wave tasting festival.
Is our Swellnet Barrel Girl ready for deep undercover ops behind the Banana Curtain ?

I'm guessin' 4th of July Big Bang or 14th of July Bastille Day Razzamatazz Ooh La La!
This Queenslander never saw the incoming fizzer. So just stay calm ! It won't go off will it?

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost Sunday, 1 Jul 2018 at 8:56pm

Anyone got a update ? Whats happening ? Occ was that just a cash for comments gig or are you actually involved ?

stunet's picture
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stunet Monday, 2 Jul 2018 at 8:38am

From Axstra Capital newsletter, May 17th:

Axstra client Surf Lakes is building Australia’s first ever surf park near Yeppoon in Central QLD. Below is an update on how the construction is progressing.

If you are interested in becoming a shareholder, please contact [email protected] - minimum investment is $98k and is available to wholesale or sophisticated investors only.

(Above). The liner of the entire lagoon is close to completion and the deep channels are being prepared for concreting. Recent rain and the cyclone last month have caused delays however its now the dry season in central QLD and all on-site work is progressing rapidly. Below shows a pontoon pump that was purchased which can extract unwanted rainwater automatically as fast as it enters the lake.

Behind the pump is the foundation which has been fully completed and the base of the tower will be poured in the next few weeks. The steel tower structure has been completed and will be moved to site next week. The main tower is expected to be up by the end of this month.

Air tanks and large pipes drive the wave machine, most of which have been delivered to the site. One of the main connecting pipes is pictured below.

All receiver ranks are on site, ready to be moved into final position on Friday.

The water connection for filling the lake is being supplied by the local council and is expected to be installed by the end of May as well. Below is another large component that is used in the generation of waves. This was manufactured in Victoria and will be trucked to QLD next week for delivery on site.

The goal for Surf Lakes team is by the end of May to complete the liner and channels, as well as the installation of some of the components such as the tower. In June the activity on site will step up another level as they begin to install the large steel components including the wave machine and associated valves and drive gear.
The main goal is to be able to commission the demo site by mid-July. However, there are some things that are out of their control such as the weather.

Surf Lakes has now received over 90 inbound licensing enquiries. They expect to sign the first licensee, which will either be from Australia or the USA, in the coming weeks. This represents first revenue for Surf Lakes.

From Axstra Capital newsletter, May 30th:


Axstra client Surf Lakes, who are building Australia’s first ever surf park in Central QLD, have reached an important milestone by becoming revenue positive this week. Details as to the type of revenue received remain confidential until their next shareholder meeting. 

Above shows some of the air tanks being arranged next to the lake ready to be connected to the wave generator. Components continue to arrive on site ready for the installation phase in June.

Exciting times are just around the corner as Surf Lakes gets closer to completing the first ever surf park in Australia! 

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Monday, 2 Jul 2018 at 8:42am

"Surf Lakes... have reached an important milestone by becoming revenue positive this week".

Interesting turn phrase when their doors haven't yet opened for business to the general public. 

Tarzan71's picture
Tarzan71's picture
Tarzan71 Monday, 2 Jul 2018 at 10:07am

Does shareholder investment revenue become revenue positive if it outweighs outgoing cashflow and development costs?

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost Monday, 2 Jul 2018 at 11:42am

Thanks, It is now July and they have missed a lot of deadlines.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Monday, 2 Jul 2018 at 5:57pm

Good undercover work Stu!

Devil & the deep blue wavy train.
I do believe these guys have more wave than they can handle...How's that a problem?

1) Original WavePark was more X shape with A frame points off each end.
2) This design (Shown here) is the fudged watery Knucklebone shape...

Any surfer would spot the difference.

1) X shape lends more steeper free face speed for expert surfers but less slops for [L].
X also best separates dangerous clashing of fibreglass boards. Surf the wave how you like!

2)Knucklebone eliminates point breaks,spreads sheets of learners across whole park.

Knucklebone design sees L> [smash]< R @ 30km'hr on same 2m curved blind wave face.

Upside being Surfboard riders failing collision convert flowboarder switch aerials.
See Knucklebone photo: It lends to Goof > Switch< Natural "Double flow barrel".
Signature double flow barrel move works best with foam or skim +( Fin/rope free naturally).

WSL Pro's could easily double hitch a Fibreglass switch but which unravels which?
"Qld Water Park Insurance"is in no mood to scoop up Double Barrel Mango madness.

Reminder! "Fibreglass boards" have long been banned in Qld Park pools.
Only ever "Foamboards"are surfed in Qld Wave Pools. re: ( Wet'n'Wild & Dreamworld)

W.A."Aloha Surfhouse" may be the only OZ state to allow fibreglass boards in a wavepool.
Not one year on! BYO fibreglass boards are looking sluggish.
Also the MF soft minis can't shrink quick enough! Flowboards becoming default trick board

Want to water down Qld Wavepark safety guidelines?..Go before the River Rapids Judge!
Reintroducing not 1 or 2 but 240 Fibreglass boards into the same pool with massive waves.

In present climate! Many of investors would insist on this being a nice safe foamie park.
Only then you can tinker with wave design to address the elephant in the room.
So before you go pouring any concrete...What?

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 12:01am

Surf Lakes (This update is July 6)
Media correspondent Wayne Dart interview with"Stab".
Surf Lakes Opening...
August (late) Waves start breaking for Team rider vidz
2nd media launch for 'generals & majors' as in Kelly's Heroes.
September (After launch)Surf Lakes Media... "So, We'll invite everyone up to surf it!"
That's what the man said!...You're all invited!

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Thursday, 27 Sep 2018 at 6:41pm

Update (September) videos available on Surf-lakes Website.

From Plunger wall looking out over a flank of the reef bathymetry is explained.
This is a rare peak a boo as pool will soon be filled & plunger access will be limited.

The pool is to be filled with 80 megalitres over 5-8 days mid next month (October)...
That's around 20 Olympic Swimming pools.

Swellnetonians acknowledge Central Qld farmers already in a record breaking Drought.
Long Range is for hottest Summer ever. A living hell for all near this locale.
Rocky Water restrictions would first un-tap this mega-pool then sports & gardens.

Consider farmers when filling this resort dam for outta town elite Penthouse Surfers.
This could be Surfer's day of reckoning. (Greenies/Farmers have right to protest this greed!)
Anyhow! (Cockies get to dunk cows in fancy Surfdam at end of Oct!) Cowcockiebunga!

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Thursday, 25 Oct 2018 at 8:10pm

10/0ct 2018 Local Paper... The Morning Bulletin
Surf Lakes CEO & Mayor turn on the 2 Taps then christen the pool.
Pool will take over a week to fill...
Since then the pool has had a good dose of rain or two...

(Swellnet Exclusive)
Countdown going to plan I'm calling that Surf Lakes is Full & therefore in test mode. Shh!

As I type Stu & Ben are packing Sunscreen/Mankinis/ kickboards/floaties + anti viral tabs.
Back of their invites say they can sneak in a who's fighting for final spot? Ha Ha! Scale Occy's Peak then roll out the tunnel..Fish out the flash $10 boardies + a new chord Ma!

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean Friday, 26 Oct 2018 at 12:08am

Never turn your back on the ocean !