$250m Vision Revealed for Darwin Waterfront
A bold new blueprint for Darwin’s waterfront has been unveiled with plans for Australia’s first saltwater surf park but minus the “salties”—crocodiles, that is—as its centrepiece.
The $250-million masterplan—about half of which is shovel-ready pending funding—is touted as the potential catalyst for a new era of tourism, development and population growth in the Northern Territory’s capital city.
Public and private investment nudging $50 billion is already driving infrastructure projects and urban development that has put the nation’s northernmost CBD on the cusp of a city-shaping transformation.
The state-owned Darwin Waterfront Corporation recently has taken the wraps off its own game-changing vision but to become a reality it will need a further $200 million in federal government funding.
It is seeking the backing through an extension of the Darwin City Deal, an historic agreement between three levels of government to revitalise the CBD with a new Charles Darwin University city campus as well as the redevelopment and “greening” of State Square to cater for outdoor events and festivals.
The Darwin waterfront vision is a major expansion and re-imagining of the existing precinct that currently includes a convention centre, aquatic and sporting facilities.
It involves the creation of a large and lushly landscaped central cove built around a new sustainably designed surf park—with talk of it being Australia’s first man-made break using saltwater—as well as a snorkelling and diving lagoon teeming with tropical fish and coral.
The masterplan also features 4000sq m of new swimming pools, 2.8ha of public parklands, adventure playgrounds, multipurpose spaces, hospitality facilities and the potential for an integrated resort-hotel.
“Large transformative concepts like this have the potential to literally change the face of our city, and change how both residents and tourists interact in the precinct and the city as a whole,” Urban Development Institute of Australia NT chief executive Catriona Tatam said.
“The economic flow-on effects of such a development would allow the NT to reap benefits for years to come.
“If the federal and territory governments are willing to financially back this project, it could be a game-changer for the vibrancy of Darwin.”
The design concept for the second stage of the Darwin waterfront precinct’s expansion has been two years in the making and started as a review of its existing aquatic facilities by Queensland-based Place Design Group and Liquid Blu.