The South Australian Government has granted development authorisation for a new seaside course to be built on Kangaroo Island.
Known as The Cliffs Kangaroo Island, the 18-hole layout will be constructed on a premium 600-acre parcel of ocean front land at Pelican Lagoon, taking full advantage of rolling sand dunes and sweeping coastal views. Much of the course is set atop 25-metre high cliffs overlooking the Southern Ocean.
Beyond golf, the project includes a luxury clubhouse/lodge and 180-bed hotel as well as scope for restaurants, conference facilities, and a luxury day spa and health club. There is also provision for a residential component with a select number of private dwellings. Each home site enjoys glorious elevated views across the golf course and along the island’s dramatic coastline.
The authorisation to develop has been granted to Kangaroo Island Links Pty Ltd after a revision to a previously approved golf development.
The senior team responsible for delivering the project were both involved in the design and construction of Cape Wickham Links, on Tasmania’s King Island, which was ranked the No.1 Public Access Course in the nation by Golf Australia earlier this year.
Darius Oliver, publisher of Planet Golf and co-designer of Cape Wickham, is responsible for the design of The Cliffs, while Andrew Purchase is again in charge of the golf course construction. Like Cape Wickham, it was Purchase who first found this golf land, and Oliver who worked with the State Government on approval for the revised golf course routing.
Committed to delivering the golf course component at The Cliffs, Kangaroo Island Links will be exploring joint venture opportunities with interested parties for both the resort and residential elements of the development.
Designated by the South Australian Government as a Major Project, The Cliffs, Kangaroo Island was initially planned by the Programmed Turnpoint Group in association with a celebrity golf design company, and approved in February 2016.
It was purchased by Kangaroo Island Links last July, and audited by Darius Oliver soon after. Oliver’s task was to determine whether the site had world-class golfing potential to match its breathtaking, natural setting. By pushing the golf holes closer to the cliffs and moving the clubhouse onto the coastal crown reserve, the project team believes they now have the potential to build for South Australia, and Kangaroo Island, one of the world’s most spectacular destination golf courses.
Beyond a more logical, walkable routing and what are undeniably more exciting golf holes, the moving of the clubhouse to a central location also enabled the residential allotments to be relocated out of a 40Ha section of mallee woodland and onto cleared grasslands.
"Golfers from all corners of the globe are going to fall in love with this place. There isn’t anything like Kangaroo Island anywhere in the world." - The Cliffs Kangaroo Island course designer, Darius Oliver.
Protecting an intact woodland, the move also provides enhanced vistas from the residential zone. Additional conservation benefits are achieved through the restoration of important native vegetation and the clearing of noxious weeds along the clifftops.
Whilst considering the various resort amendments sought by Kangaroo Island Links, the golfing and environmental upsides were deemed considerable by the South Australian Government and approval granted on the basis that a world-class golf experience on Kangaroo Island was critical to the sustainability of the development.
In approving the design variation Deputy Premier John Rau commented that: “This development will create an international tourist destination that brings visitors to Kangaroo Island to play golf on one of the world’s most spectacular courses and also experience the pristine natural environment. The golf resort will build the attractiveness of the island as a holiday destination and complement existing drawcards, such as the Southern Ocean Lodge Resort and the new Wilderness Trail.”
As with other projects on Kangaroo Island, the golf course will benefit from an $18 million upgrade to the island airport, and recently announced direct Qantas flights from Melbourne and Adelaide starting in the summer.
“Like on King Island, the golf site at Pelican Lagoon has tremendous natural potential and is ready made for great golf,” Oliver said. “The vast majority of holes are just sitting there on the ground, and will require little more than clearing, grassing and some light shaping.
“While the golf along the cliffs is stunning, I believe the inland holes to be at least as good, and arguably the most interesting on the course.
“Being able to create such a fun layout on Kangaroo Island and along such a beautiful stretch of coastline is a real thrill. Golfers from all corners of the globe are going to fall in love with this place. There isn’t anything like Kangaroo Island anywhere in the world.”
Kangaroo Island Links is currently working with the South Australian Government to satisfy conditions on the Development Authorisation. The team hopes to confirm a construction schedule, and make further golf course design announcements, in the near future.