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Ravenswood on course for strong finish

Development of the Ravenswood Sanctuary estate, located sixteen kilometres east of Mandurah near Pinjarra, is on track with a new $10 million 24 hole golf course currently under construction.

The first 18 hole stage of the course, designed by champion Australian golfer Graham Marsh, will provide a wonderful mix of holes and water hazards, giving players interesting and challenging golf.

The design includes an ‘Arizona wasteland’ concept where the outer edge of the course is laid with pebbles to add an extra challenge for players.

Situated in the tranquil Shire of Murray, Ravenswood Sanctuary offers a multitude of attractions, besides the growing housing estate, catering for the needs of families and professionals.

The meandering Murray River creates a tranquil country atmosphere augmented by the Redcliffe Barn restaurant and Cooper’s Cottage – the restored second family homestead of the pioneer Cooper family built in 1922. The resort also offers horse riding, poetry reading and model boat racing activities on the lake at Sanctuary Park.

An annual schedule of events takes place within the 25 hectares of bush, paddock, gardens and historic buildings which form the park bordering the Murray River. On weekends and holidays the park comes alive with food, horses, crafts, and entertainment.

The natural beauty and historic legacy also attract large numbers of day-trippers at weekends.

Of the 110 lots available in Stage One of the estate, 69 have been sold to date, with many homes already completed and householders in residence. It is anticipated that the estate will ultimately comprise about 2,000 blocks over 500 hectares.

Ravenswood estate manager Adrian Fawcett, responsible for the day-to-day running of the resort, said the property is developing very well.

“The good news is that nine new houses are due to start construction within the next six weeks,” he said.

”It’s getting to the stage where it’s big enough to start snowballing.”

The residential development is complemented by a newly constructed colonial-style country club of which residents are automatically members.

The estate developers have focused the whole concept of the resort on tourism, and believe that in the next five or ten years tourism is going to be ‘very big’ in Western Australia.

Their vision for the future is to cater for this influx. About two years ago they were seeing the type of tourists that would make it viable, but this has tailed off since the Asian economic crisis.

“Our definition of a resort is that the whole family should be able to occupy themselves for a few days, on site,” said the developer. “We want to be the premier resort destination in WA. Our trump card is that we offer a lifestyle that we think is truly unique.”

The next step will therefore be construction of a new hotel and full beauty and cosmetic spa designed to indulge women. To this effect, an agreement has been signed with an Italian operator who is helping in the design and construction of the facility.

Development of the resort is being very carefully planned by the creators so that they do not over capitalise too quickly. However, the project is on target for a $159 million final development.

Ravenswood Sanctuary land sales manager Lindsay Severn said they are looking to set a reasonable standard and have done that with the pricing structure of the land, covenants, size of blocks and the concept of buying into a lifestyle.

This includes the Green Grove sector where the emphasis is on quality. The resort will pre-release twenty-three of these prime 1,000 square metre blocks, of which eight have golf course frontage.

Project manager Lawrie Humphry said as the infrastructure of Ravenswood Sanctuary grows, so too does the buyer interest.

He said the project is appealing to a diverse range of people, from those with young families who look to larger blocks of 2,000 square metres to couples who are looking for smaller more manageable blocks at around 1,000 sqm.

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