A number of major development projects underway in the Mid West and surrounding areas are set to bolster the local tourism industry as the potential for the region becomes increasingly apparent.
From revamped camping sites and fresh glamping tents set among the bushland, to a two-storey resort overlooking the ocean; Humfrey Land Developments’ has plans to make Leeman, along with the wider Mid West, a holiday destination worth pointing out on the map.
Having grown up in Geraldton, it’s been Barry Humfrey’s vision to build upon the vibrancy and prosperity of the Mid West since establishing Humfrey Land Developments (HLD) in 1988.
HLD began with the 68-block Springdale Park in Geraldton and quickly progressed to larger projects, including: the 800-lot Seacrest Estate, the $46 million Broadwater Mariner Resort, the restoration of the heritage listed Flour Mill Estate, and more.
Currently, HLD’s most significant projects include the development of the Leeman Caravan Park, which is set to undergo a dramatic transformation next year, starting with the development of ocean-view apartments, the development of the Norcape Lodge Resort in Exmouth, and Geraldton’s 1,960-lot Wavecrest Estate.
“We want to create accommodation options worthy of the brilliance of Leeman, Geraldton and Exmouth,” Mr Humfrey said.
Having purchased Leeman’s 3.4-hectare caravan park in 2004, Leeman Investments Pty Ltd recently acquired an additional 1.4 hectares of land adjacent to the original property, which will be reserved for the ocean-view apartments and two-storey resort, featuring a restaurant and bar.
“Leeman is such a wonderful fishing spot and tourist destination, and we need to be offering more accommodation options in the area to meet the growing demand during peak tourism season,” Mr Humfrey said.
“The apartments will be a great addition to the park, with nice long balconies out the front to watch the sun go down over the water at the end of the day.”
Following the development of the park extension, which will increase the park from 140 sites to 219, Mr Humfrey intends to revamp the existing amenities.
Glamping options will also be instated off the back of the site, offering visitors a chance to experience comfort in a natural environment.
“Glampers will be able to look out over the reserve bushland and feel immersed by the nature in an A Class reserve, while only being roughly 60 metres away from the beach,” Mr Humfrey said.
“And we have the full support of the local council who agree the recent boom in intrastate tourism has been great for the coastal towns of Leeman and Green Head.”
According to industry-led Tourism Geraldton’s Tourism Charter Report (2017) tourism within the Mid West’s visitor economy is worth $148 million per annum and contributes to 5.4 per cent of local employment with capacity to grow.
The Mid West Tourism Development Strategy, commissioned by Mid West Development Commission and Regional Development Australia, found the number one opportunity for the Mid West to meet its tourism potential was to increase accommodation capacity from camping through to resorts.
“With coastal towns booming during COVID-19 thanks to intrastate travellers, I think people are just beginning to wake up to the beauty of the area’s north of Perth,” Mr Humfrey said.
According to its Investment Prospectus (2021), the Shire of Exmouth is focused on increasing visitor spend to its region by developing accommodation and tour experiences that cater to higher yielding tourist markets.
Humfrey Land Developments has plans to meet that demand, with the development of its luxury Norcape Lodge Resort.
The resort site is immediately adjacent to the town’s completed canal and marina developments and overlooks Exmouth Gulf.
The site will comprise 212 apartments with onsite amenities that will include a restaurant serving premium locally sourced seafood, a kiosk, retail store, swimming pool, day spa and gym.
With top floor suites overlooking the Gulf, the apartments designs range from 25m2 with a 2.8m2 veranda to 84m2 with an 8m2 balcony.
“We’re really excited to bring this project to life. Exmouth is such a vibrant tourist destination, and this will be the perfect platform for exploring the town,” Mr Humfrey said.
“We’ve already decontaminated the site, completed the project IP, completed the earthworks and now await approvals to commence the build.
“It’s our aim that both the Leeman Caravan Park and the Norcape Lodge Resort will help meet the current demand for more diverse accommodation options in the north west and attract even more visitors to appreciate these impressive regions.
“We’re also looking forward to making headway on with Wavecrest Estate, which has had the structure plan approved to include a caravan park, town centre school, northern recreational area, lots ranging from 420 square metres to one hectare, and resort.”
“I’m excited to progress the plans for the resort, which will sit on a 20-acre block on top of the Moresby Ranges, overlooking the ocean,” Mr Humfrey said.