Adelaide project receives city approval, officially launches

A local council in Adelaide, South Australia has green-lighted The Break Surf & Stay, a wave pool project that will feature Endless Surf technology and several amenities. The development will include a surf park, accommodation, hospitality, recreation, and wellness offerings and be the first of its kind on the South Australian coast.

Plans for ‘The Break Surf & Stay’ were unveiled after the project secured planning consent from the City of Onkaparinga Council Assessment Panel. The $100 million precinct will be located on 7.1ha set back from the coast on vacant land zoned for tourism development, just 40 minutes from Adelaide.

According to developers, the wave pool project vision is that of “an authentic ‘barefoot luxury’ experience.” It is being designed by award-winning local architects Studio Gram and will incorporate native vegetation. Renders show solar-panelled buildings with drought-resistant landscaping.

The heart of the development will be an 11,700 sqm surf lagoon by Endless Surf surrounded by beachside amenities. Endless surf is a pneumatic system that can generate up to 2.1m high waves in several configurations. Ride time is up to 18 seconds on the single peak setting with rides of 9 seconds possible on the split peak setting. The Break says it “intends to be the first in the Southern Hemisphere to employ this next-gen technology.”

Architects are designing The Break to have extensive native landscaping with 300 new trees planted and existing vegetation maintained.

Project founding partners Ben McCarthy, Richard Sheppard, Leigh Gapp, and Dwight Stuchbery are surfing enthusiasts with expertise across property finance and development, engineering, sustainability and surf park technology. Ben’s work as the founding Group Development Manager of URBNSURF has informed the team’s approach to surf park delivery and operation. Advisory firm FinCap is also on board to drive further investment in the privately funded project.

“We’re bringing Endless Surf to South Australia because it quite simply represents the best and most flexible in surf park technology,” said The Break founding partner Ben McCarthy. “The customizable nature of pneumatic waves means we will be able to cater to everyone, from kids learning to surf through to professionals competing at an international level – often at the same time. Our vision is to see The Break become a destination for families and surf lovers from around the country and the world, while also using the facilities to teach every South Australian kid to surf in safe, inclusive, controlled conditions.”

The new development will also feature a state-of-the-art water treatment plant with water sourced from managed aquifer recharge, a surf academy offering tailored surf-fit programs, and 35 short-stay villas. Additionally, the development will include publicly accessible beachside amenities such as a craft brewhouse, licensed restaurant, nature play, and skating areas. Other features include a wellness studio, event space, retail and rental store for boards and wetsuits, lifeguard and first aid facilities, all-abilities changerooms, extensive parking facilities, and extensive native landscaping with 300 new trees planted and existing vegetation maintained.

The development will use an Endless Surf wave pool design similar to the one in Munich, Germany.

The Break said they will also serve as a venue for a wide range of local, state, national, and international surfing competitions and events while providing South Australians with consistent access to waves, wellness, and resort facilities at their doorstep.

It is anticipated that the project will support 300 jobs through construction, with 60 FTE opportunities on completion. An estimated 320,000 visitors will be attracted to The Break annually, enhancing the region’s already thriving tourism economy.

“Projects like this that embrace a different type of tourism are critical for South Australia and help drive additional visitation to our beautiful regions,” said Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison MP. “There’s no doubt that the Fleurieu and McLaren Vale are already world-renowned destinations, and The Break will add another layer of wellness and surf-inspired tourism for the region while also driving economic and social outcomes for the local community.”

Construction is set to commence in early 2025 with first waves pencilled in for mid-2026.