Images: Artist impressions.
Victor Harbor will soon be home to South Australia’s first Florida-style family golf resort as part of a major upgrade to McCracken Country Club.
The G’day Group, purchased the property just before Christmas, and will invest around $40 million developing a range of family-friendly experiences to boost tourism in the region.
The just-released masterplan for the property includes a splash park, flying fox, playground, jumping pillow, minigolf, more than 60 revamped 2-bedroom units and over 100 powered caravan sites, as well as new amenities and camp kitchen. It includes a vision to have one of the best restaurants in the region, with a large alfresco bar.
An additional splash park, outdoor resort pool, indoor pool, nature play and modern accommodation will open at Discovery Parks, Goolwa, which was also purchased by the company prior to Christmas. Guests staying at the McCracken and Goolwa properties will be able to use facilities at both properties free of charge.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said the development would reinvigorate regional dispersal and create more than $12 million in economic benefit to the region in the first year and 118 jobs during construction and $17 million per year additional economic benefit and nearly 130 jobs ongoing.
“Many South Aussies have fond memories of Greenhills Adventure Park. For decades Greenhills was an iconic family attraction, and since its closure the region missed out on the day-trippers, longer stay tourists and boost to the local economy that a park of this nature brings,” says Marshall.
“Golf-tourism is a big opportunity. Across the world we are seeing appeal grow for family-friendly golf resorts rather than traditional golf clubs. SA will soon be home to one of Australia’s only – and best – golf resorts.”
McCracken Country Club, with its panoramic valley views by the seaside, is already a popular conference and wedding venue offering 65 rooms, two restaurants, and international championship standard 18-hole course and a bottle shop.
G’day Group CEO Grant Wilckens said the proposed development would enable the McCracken Convention Centre to accommodate bigger and better events.
“Golf tourism is huge in the United States and we’ve taken inspiration from properties in Florida to develop our masterplan for McCracken,” says Grant.
“This development will provide the fun families have been craving with an adventure park complete with mini golf, splash park and flying fox that will get kids rushing outside in the morning.
“There’ll also be some innovative nature play so kids can just enjoy the freedom of being kids, getting dirty and letting their imaginations run wild – as well as great accommodation for all budgets – it’s what we are all about.
“Importantly, the increase in accommodation quality and capacity means the region can host bigger events. McCracken’s current accommodation allocation is quite small, restricting the Convention Centre from securing decent events.”
The McCracken masterplan is part of the G’DAY Group’s vision to diversify into golf courses, events and conferences, building on its high-end offerings such as glamping and restaurants in some of Australia’s most spectacular locations.
The Group, with assets of $1 billion, is Australia’s largest regional accommodation network with nearly 300 properties in its Discovery and G’day Parks portfolio. It is famous for reimagining the camping experience.
The Group has rebounded strongly from the challenges of 2020-21, announcing more than $100 million in acquisitions this financial year, including the iconic El Questro, (WA) and Kings Canyon (NT) resorts, and in South Australia, the Hahndorf Tourist Resort, Adelaide Hills Convention Centre, and Goolwa Caravan Park.
The group and its 95 per cent shareholder, Sunsuper, have a string of development and hospitality projects in the pipeline, building on the success of the Discovery – Rottnest Island resort and restaurant which opened to international acclaim and a WA Tourism Award in 2019.