Surf’s up. In Melbourne

Australian surfers are notoriously laid back. But a new surfing lagoon about to open in Melbourne means they won’t even need to bother going to the beach. The $18.5 million lagoon, the first to open in the southern hemisphere, will be built on a park site near the airport, so convenient for those backpackers arriving in the City who are in desperate need of a surfing fix.

The pool, once completed, will measure 320-metres in length and will produce waves up to 1.9 meters high, so giving surfers rides lasting up to 30 seconds.  Attached to the lagoon will be other facilities offering other leisure activities including a climbing wall, mountain bike track running track and a licensed café.

The pool’s soon-to-be owners, URBNSURF says it will be able to hold about 68 surfers at any one time who’ll each be expected to pay between $20 and $50 for a one-hour pass, depending on whether its peak period or not.

For those who could end up spending most of that hour off the board in the water, rather than on it, the park will include a surf training academy.

The Park’s founder believes it will offer significant advantages over surfing in the sea, notably that the waves will be of a consistent shape, power, speed and size and that it will be open in the evenings so surfers can surf under floodlights.

This being Australia however, we were struck by the clinching argument that he put forward for not surfing in the sea, “there are marine hazards, like sharks, [that] you don’t have to worry about”, he said. So that’s a relief.

Work is set to start later this year and backpackers should think about packing their O’Neill shorts from late 2017 onwards when the Park is set to open. Click here if you want a sneak preview before then


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