River surfing, testing out the wave prototype. Photo Contributed
River surfing, testing out the wave prototype. Photo Contributed Contributed

Forget the Gold Coast: grab a board and head for Baffle Creek

SURF'S up in Baffle Creek as the regional area prepares to hit the world stage with a world-first in surf wave technology.

Hunter Valley-based River Island Property Development is proposing a $75 million recreational mecca on a 141ha site in the sleepy Discovery Coast area.

Its fit-out will include mountain biking, a chairlift and hill-top café, a large concert arena and the inland surfing facility with waves up to 2m.

"We actually own the land and this is happening. It's not some idea we are trying to sell to the developer, we are the developer," CEO Mark Wilkes said.

The proposal has to go through council first, which Mr Wilkes said would happen in about nine months.

"Onsite, 20-30 small businesses with captive markets will generate up to 300 jobs," he said.

"Based on a population radius to Brisbane, we expect to attract 1000 plus visitors a day."

Mr Wilkes said the development would be a boon for the area, which he described as a tourism hot-spot.

"We're taking the approach where we can run off the back of industry and there's a huge tourism area between Gladstone and 1770, all the way through to Hervey Bay," he said.

"We are discussing collaborations with major industry as social infrastructure is in demand to cater for $80 billion in LNG approvals near Gladstone."

Artist impression of Discovery Coast Lifestyle Park. Photo Contributed
Artist impression of Discovery Coast Lifestyle Park. Photo Contributed Contributed

Baffle Creek resident Tony Bridges said the concept blew him away.

"I'm still not convinced, you're not kidding me," he said.

Despite his early knowledge, he was supportive of the plan.

"We need to hold the population down here," he said.

"From my years of being in business, (I know) if you're not going ahead, you're going backwards.."

Gold Coast and Ipswich were competing for Australia's first surf wave pool, but councillor Matt Burnett said Gladstone is where the action is.

"I say to my good friend in Ipswich, Mayor Paul Pisasale, everything is happening here in the Gladstone region. Here's just another thing and we're happy to have it."

Which feature would you enjoy most at the recreational park?

This poll ended on 28 September 2013.

Current Results



Mountain bike/BMX runs


Motocross park


Wave water park/wakeboarding


Shooting range and paintball


Golf course


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.