Wisemans Ferry Surf Lodge Scrapped

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Dispatch

A country club-style wavepool planned for Sydney's northern reaches has quietly been scuppered just months out from the planned opening.

To be set among 18.2ha of bushland an hour from North Sydney, the developers of Wisemans Surf Lodge proposed a "12,600sqm ocean-like, wave-generating pool, a chic hotel, restaurant and six-hole golf course." Unlike public wavepools, the project was to be funded by private investment and remain exclsuive to club members. The minimum investment was $30,000 which allowed four nights per year in the accompanying hotel, with platinum membership being $150,000 (plus $15,000 annual fee) which provided for 22 nights.

Professional surfers, Stephanie Gilmore, Josh Kerr, Joel Parkinson, Jack Freestone, Alana Blanchard, and Bede Durbidge had all been drawn in as financial partners in the project.

In both March and September 2022, following periods of heavy rain, Wisemans Ferry flooded with the level of the Hawkesbury River reaching the proposed level of the wavepool. However, a press release obtained by radio station Coast FM states the developers are handing back investors' money claiming economic conditions as the main hindrance.

"The recent news regarding the completion of our civil tender and the challenges we have faced in securing a viable price during a hyper-escalated market may have left questions (to be answered)," said a spokesperson in the statement, which was also posted on various Wisemans Ferry businesses through the week.

A page from the Public Disclosure Statement for Wisemans Surf Lodge

"Unfortunately, since the completion of our civil tender, we have been unable to secure a construction price that maintains an adequate contingency for the fund due to hyper-escalation.

"While we’ve completed several rounds of preliminary project pricing throughout this journey, to maintain an accurate and viable fund build-up, the development costs have changed so dramatically that simply adding more debt or equity to compensate does not preserve a viable financial model that the investment is based upon."

"No unitholders' funds will be lost, all investments will be refunded in full. Unitholder funds have never been used for any purposes and have been held in the Custodian's trust account as outlined in the PDS."


stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Sunday, 30 Jul 2023 at 9:17am

The project had its doubters from the get go, the dissenting voices getting louder after the PDS.


indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Sunday, 30 Jul 2023 at 6:06pm

Watched the video pretty crap deal, high risk, low reward and to make it worse you still pay for waves.

hackonayak's picture
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hackonayak Wednesday, 2 Aug 2023 at 1:48pm

$7500.00 a night in the hotel....I hope that included a "reach around" from the hired help.....

t-diddy's picture
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t-diddy Thursday, 3 Aug 2023 at 12:06am

hahaha what a dude that accountant is

Shaggydagz's picture
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Shaggydagz Sunday, 30 Jul 2023 at 10:54am

The emoji with dollar signs in its eyes projectile vomiting springs to mind....
Frowning of course...

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean Sunday, 30 Jul 2023 at 11:10am

Bottom feeders beach grot,
Just scabbed your story....

Troff sniffers

philosurphizingkerching's picture
philosurphizingkerching's picture
philosurphizing... Sunday, 30 Jul 2023 at 12:10pm

Beach arse phlegm.

nicko74's picture
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nicko74 Sunday, 30 Jul 2023 at 12:07pm

I understand that Perth is a viable investment for a wave park/pool given its immediate coastline from Lancelin to Mandurah has almost zero to FA bathymetry suitable for any decent level of wave aggregation let alone its lack of swell to start with.

NSW however is a surf rich coastline with set ups everywhere, open to so many different swell directions. Even if hyper-escalation wasn’t a contributing factor and the project was rubber stamped who in their right mind would drive out that far to surf mediocre chlorine waves?

Cities such as Perth, Darwin and possibly Adelaide would be smarter investment , surely?

bbbird's picture
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bbbird Sunday, 30 Jul 2023 at 1:23pm

Appreciate the insight into the investor bankroll business model. If land prices were not so inflated, a better location could be viable for the affluent.

We really need Public Disclose Statements for all the suspect underworld & overseas investments pumping the Oz housing market up & out of range of the workers.

A big issue for development on low lying land on the Hawkesbury River is Acid sulfate soils.
You'd have to build above the new maximum flood level & avoid exposing the acid soil layer below.

"Acid sulfate soils are natural sediments that contain iron sulfides. They are common along the NSW coast. When disturbed or exposed to air these soils can release acid, damaging built structures and harming or killing animals and plants."
Reference https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/land-and-soil/soil-degradation...
Left undisturbed, acid sulfate soils do not present any risk. But when they are exposed to air, the iron sulfides they contain react with oxygen to create sulfuric acid.

The acid makes metals in the soil, such as iron and aluminium, more soluble. These metals can be released in toxic amounts.

The acid and released metals can have many damaging effects:

Damaging waterways and killing aquatic life – Rainfall can wash acid and toxic metals into waterways, killing organisms that are immobile (such as oysters) or that live in sediment. It can also reduce survival and growth rates of plants and animals, and promote outbreaks of disease (especially red-spot disease in fish).
Killing plants – Very acidic soil can kill all plants growing in it.
Corrosion – Sulfuric acid can corrode concrete, iron, steel and some aluminium alloys.
Toxic water and dust – Acid sulfate soil and water can irritate your skin and eyes. Drinking acidic water may make animals ill.

Dan87's picture
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Dan87 Monday, 7 Aug 2023 at 1:20pm

It's an issue but not one you can't mitigate and work around environmentally. There are safe methods to remove Acid Sulphate soils. These add cost but not prohibitive costs.
The issue with the flood levels would have more to do with the ensuring your infrastructure can be built above a certain flood occurrence level. This equates to more earthworks or higher structures. Add to this the high commodity pricing and material shortages plus risk money that builders have to add now to cover themselves. There is also a resourcing issue that is driving up labour and white collar costs.

Westofthelake's picture
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Westofthelake Sunday, 30 Jul 2023 at 7:23pm

Just not the right thing, in the right location, for the right price. Not even close. Looked pretty on paper though.

mr mick's picture
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mr mick Sunday, 30 Jul 2023 at 9:00pm

Tell him he’s dreamin. Blind Freddy can see it’s shit, unless you have a lazy 30-50k ++. 11.8% straight to directors from other people’s money raised, not money invested & profit made from that investment. Balnce director John Du Vernet says in The Financial Review “ Covid has had a positive effect on the sport, the oceans have never been busier “. Positive ?? You’re kidding!! Only from a money making position.

dandandan's picture
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dandandan Monday, 31 Jul 2023 at 12:20pm

Agreed Mick.

Growth is not just good under capitalism, but there is an imperative to chase after it regardless of any social and environmental costs. All the big surf companies I can think of are now driven by the exact same principles as everyone else, no different to Myer or Target or H&M.

groovie's picture
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groovie Monday, 31 Jul 2023 at 2:08am

The ocean is where surfing began & still exists to this day! Wave pools have their place ie where there is no ocean or the ocean produces no viable surf. Look @ Yeppoon & the amount of investment put in so far with how many $$$ in return??? This project seemed a pipedream from its beginnings.

rooftop's picture
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rooftop Monday, 31 Jul 2023 at 9:49am

At least everyone gets their money back, unlike many failed construction projects right now.

mr mick's picture
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mr mick Monday, 31 Jul 2023 at 5:03pm

Maybe, hopefully yes for those invested, but history shows that’s not always the case, many of theses types of “investment “ deals gone wrong.

This reminds me of the timeshare “investments” during 60’s, 70’s, 80’s.

donweather's picture
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donweather Monday, 31 Jul 2023 at 11:34am

I'm wondering if the project developers/owners of the land have re-evaluated it and decided they can make a much better short term killing ($$) with just selling the land now.

Bustard's picture
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Bustard Monday, 31 Jul 2023 at 1:48pm

Read elsewhere that 4 pines and balter founders were part of the bank roll for it

Hence I assume the tie up with Bede and etc

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Monday, 31 Jul 2023 at 11:57pm

Surf Journo peers Salute #1 Surf Journo Stu for winning The Gold Roary.

Wave Pool Mag : "All platform posts stem from Swellnet...here's our Gusto link to #1 Stu!"

Beach Grit : "As per usual > Reported by SwellNet with a Capital S & N...gonna Link ya all to Stu!"

Jan Brady : "swellnet swellnet swellnet...tired of being in swellnet's shadow all the time!"
Stu : "I just won another #1 Surf Journo Award!"

Either Stu just won some industry Award or swellnet is now the Galaxy's #1 Surf Brand Empire.
All hail Stu!
tbb does enough wave pool titles to pay respect & give credit to #1 Surf Journo Stu...
Ain't no one ever been this dedicated to Coast FM Morse Code for a Pro Wave Pool Crisis Scoop!

All these Media Moguls still can't buy into it & reckon it's gonna rise from the drain hole!

Credit where it's due...well done swellnet Team on leadin' from the front!

Ben might lend some thought to a spin off Doomed Oz Wave Pool Media Empire.
Tune into FM Shock Jocks for daily Mystery Sound of Sea Change Nest Eggs cracking open!
Oh shit...that's my 250th Wave Pool Wipe Out this Quarter...Money for Jam!

Crew are hangin' out for The Gold Roary winner's follow Up...
See : { Revenge of The Wiseman (vs) Creatures of Leisure Lagoon Mach 5 }

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Tuesday, 1 Aug 2023 at 9:34am

Breaking down language barriers
Adequate Contingency (Translation) Floody Idiots
Hyper Escalation (Translation) AUKUS

Adequate Contingency costs = 5-10% > Flooded Site = 20% > Oz #1 Flood Site (Here) = 50%
Record Floods > Record Bankruptcy > Record Flood Plain Builders Go Broke = Record Contingency
No contractor / Supplier / Tradie will travel to remote #1 flood zone without min 50% extra built in.

Hyper Escalation is when yer PM mentions 'War on China' > adds an extra 70% onto yer build.
Steely eyed tradies are eyeing off $Trillion Oz Govt War Contracts > Mining > ADF Toy Warehouses
Impossibly Hot Items to Build a War Machine or Wave Machine are made of the same Right Stuff!
Skyrocketing Shopper Docket for wading into yer Wartime Wave Pool
1.Reo (Scorching Hot) 2.Formwork 3.Steel Panels 4.Cable 5.Piping 6.Haulage 7.Concrete
Simply add min 70% year to fill yer War Mongers Shop Cart...
tbb : "Recently contacted Local Steel Mob about littering our town with Reo Tags!" (100's of them!)

Record Oz Wiseman's Flood Site needs Special Ops battalion & munitions.
These are current base figures & costs for a remote Flooded War Time Wave Pool site...
You can lock in an extra 120% Industry standard base starting price for Wiseman's Spot X.
Not saying that's what it is...just that Whiteshoes would queue if ya could get a better deal.

One shouldn't be surprised with price blowouts given recent & current rad Oz / World events...
Simply ask Dan about how ya got here & for yer next trick...how to avoid the Abyss!
tbb is reminding this very scenario is quite real & brings on the end game...Suicide!
25% of suicides result from these brutal building industry bankruptcies... Good health to all!

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf Tuesday, 1 Aug 2023 at 3:37pm

I hate the Tulla tub we do not need another one.

mpeachy's picture
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mpeachy Tuesday, 1 Aug 2023 at 5:17pm

Anyone know if the money actually got returned?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Wednesday, 2 Aug 2023 at 8:05pm

Yep, the money got returned, to retail investors at least.

A message from an involved party:

"I can confirm that all investors in the retail plan have already received their full refunds on 1 Aug as promised. Wisemans have stuck to their PDS and delivered to retail investors. The founding investors don't get any of those guarantees and will probably see losses. The project could still happen with a different investment model so what happens from here remains to be seen."

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Wednesday, 2 Aug 2023 at 10:02pm

Further onto Stu's investigation...
Wisemans Surf Lodge FAQ's : Unitholder Redemption
swellnet Wisemans Surf Lodge site has been revised to meet end date.
Includes companion link to here...tbb & crew thank Chook / udo / Stu!
Reckon we got a good take on it...crew also wish for all concerned all get their money back.

PS : Wotz a Wave Pool War without local Bowls Club runnin' da boyz outta town...shades of Melville!
Bowlers (vs) Wave Pool Boys {Warning...gets a bit heated when these mortal enemies lock horns!}
Bowler 1 : "Did ya read it! It's not Happening!
Bowler 2 : No Surprise there!
Bowler 3 : No Surprise at All!
Bowler 4 : Good LOL.

Go back to yer Ocean you deadshit Blowins.
Surfers are advised not to go barefoot bowling on the Local's Turf!

Wisemans' Pilot saves the Day by Ferrying Homeless Wave Pool God Roary back out to Sea

walter-r-white's picture
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walter-r-white Thursday, 3 Aug 2023 at 1:43pm

Yep it is a bit harder now to start a lemon of a business when real interest rates are now actually bordering on entering positive territory...

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Sunday, 6 Aug 2023 at 10:07am

Writing was apparently on that dilapidated Boa Vista Wall Panelling somewhere on the pool floor.

#1 Women's Wave Pool Anchor Steph was like forever strictly a Ranch hand.
Never would Steph dare be caught wading in commoner's muck Wave Pools.

Then came the Wave Pool Party to end all Wave Pool Parties.
All the number ones & number twos were filling up the Pool.

Now! tbb thought he eyeballed The Queen at Boa Vista Village...
Surely not...wrote it off as a pretty good younger surf chick lookalike...
tbb seriously convinced himself it was one of them common surf princess types.

Here's another Edit of the Opening Vid with The Showboat Queen [ Name 8x in Lights ]
Looks like she don't wanna be there...did Steph sell out to join fellow WSL pros...see also RC.

Next Up xxx world champ Next Up xxx world champ stick around...we got more world champs...
Next Up xxx world champ....so on & so on...

Hyper Ventilation : AWM Perfect Swell nets the Holy Grail.

Steph takes a Spa Bath & some wiseman pulled the plug on the Caddy Shack Hot Tub Time Machine.

Meaning : Steph won't be promoting any Endless Surf Projects for X amount of time in the next Elon.


truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Sunday, 6 Aug 2023 at 11:40am

Stab Mag reported on WSL Boa Vista Lear Jet

End of June WSL Saquarema Pro "Lay Days"
Boa Vista jet out WSL VIPs with Queen Steph in the Pilot seat

Crew all know that WSL #1 Brazzos have locked in deals with Boa Vista.

tbb went lookin' & could find no WSL / Surf Brand Flags on Boa Vista open day.
So we can guess woteva went down were purely Wave Pool Deals
Above Vid...
[3:30] Steph milks a Prime Advert...(Huge Bucks)
Note: This being the one & only obvious AD in whole shoot!
No doubt Steph was advertising Boa Vista Village Surf Club
No way would Endless Surf ~ wear that caper...this is off the charts boycott.
One would have to assume Steph & Endless Surf parted before or on this end of June Date!

Explains why the July Unitholder Redemption Forms were locked in for July.

Cam guy tried to get some other angles
See RC (Cam pans from Pool Logo > RC Board /Wettie Logo) RC : 'Feels like the Future!' (Ka-ching!)
Gotta reckon this was also an Ad.
Boa's Pool Boys were given instructions to tag Oz WSL Pros.

Gotta say the Brazzos wanted some Royal Aussie Blood for their Pool...very tidy job!
They got wot they were after!

Hot Tub Rendezvous :
End of June ~ Steph's latin affair with Perfect Swell.
End of Financial Year...
Early July ~ Steph's messy divorce with Endless Surf.

Komodo's picture
Komodo's picture
Komodo Monday, 7 Aug 2023 at 10:01am

It’s the Future.
When it’s your wave it’s your wave!