“Occy’s Left” is underway in Queensland, Australia.
Posted on November 20, 2017
Original story by Trish Bowman- Pacific Longboarder.
The team over at Surf Lakes Australia is building what will be the first surf park in the world able to produce up to eight individual waves, varying in size and style, at the same time. They’ve been searching up and down from Victoria to northern Queensland for the right location to build their test facility. On Yeppoon Rd. in Livingstone, Central Queensland-they’ve found what Aaron Trevis, CEO of Surf Lakes claims, “ticks all the boxes.”
“We needed a site that was flat and had ample water available so we could get underway quickly,” Mr. Trevis said, adding, “the added benefit of the site we chose was the weather is perfect for an all-year-round community attraction.”
Surf Lakes is moving quickly with their project. When purchasing the land and getting initial permits they said: “we are very grateful that Capricorn Enterprise and Livingstone Shire Council were very easy to deal with.”
(Capricorn Enterprise is one of Queensland’s thirteen membership based Regional Tourism Organisations and is recognized as the economic development organization for the Capricorn region within Central Queensland.)
What they’re creating will not be open to the public, at least for some time. First, they have to build it and confirm for themselves that their design is functional when replicated in full scale.
“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.” Said a Surf Lakes spokesman. “While the site will not be open to the public at this point, we do hope that down the track we will be in the position to operate commercially and fabulous weather all year would provide the perfect conditions. We would need further investment, approvals, and modifications before we can consider any commercial operations.”
The City council is aware of the team’s aspirations to open up to the public and they support it. Especially since one of the backers of the project is a former resident of Livingstone.
Livingstone Shire Mayor, Bill Ludwig, spoke on behalf of the city council expressing their openness to the idea of a surf park and also the local enthusiasm about this potential new facility, “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.” Ludwig continued by saying, “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.”
“The proponents’ concept they have put forward is innovative and a world first, and it is fantastic that they have chosen our location in Central Queensland, in particular, Livingstone, to develop this first prototype.”
Mark Occhilupo was recruited to the team to be the Surf Industry Advisor and give critical input into wave design. Currently, he’s designing his own wave, “Occy’s Peak, a barrelling left-hander that will be 2.4 meters face height (eight feet) and run for about 60 meters.”
Once fully operational and fine-tuned, Surf Lakes Australia will be able to create many different waves simultaneously. Allowing for surfers ranging from beginner to professional to surf at the same time. The location in Central Queensland is ideal for their goals to create a year-round attraction; bringing tourism and revenue to the city. Being that this is set as a test facility, Surf Lakes would like to remind people that this is a private site so please, no trespassing and no photos.
The secrecy of this new technology makes the build-up to its reveal all the more exciting.