THERE are many waterfront resorts inAustralia's Gold Coast but Oyster Cove standsout as one of the best that has appealed to peoplefrom the world over.
After three visits to the Gold Coast (1997,1998 and December 2006), including a recentstay in one of Oyster Cove's bungalows, I mustsay Oyster Cove is truly a gem of a waterfrontliving.
Its best attribute is its serenity and fantasticlocation, being a mere six minutes drive – bymy rented car along Helensvale Road (linking tothe Pacific Highway) – to Movie World, Wet nWild and Gold Coast's hottest attraction, TheAustralian Outback Spectacular.
It is also five minutes to the Sanctuary Coveand Hope Island Resort and three internationalstandard golf courses as well as a 25-minute driveto Surfers Paradise and Robina town centre.
Oyster Cove is a communityof 1,200 people withhomes surrounding anextensive private canal network,a private lake and naturalwaterways. Mosthomes with pontoons face alake or riverfront where residents can enjoyfishing and boating. There are kangaroos and avariety of birds.
This 800-acre project with gated and guardedprecincts has nice landscaping. Security is topnotch, with friendly and helpful rangerspatrolling the area in cars.
No wonder Singaporean developer Datuk DrJannie Tay, who is the co-founder and vice-chairmanof The Hour Glass Ltd, fell in love with OysterCove when she first saw the marshland in the late1980s and later turned it into a dreamland.
Tay, who has a big bungalow on MountTamborine on a 28-acre estate, plans to buildher second bungalow at Serenity Shores, one ofOyster Cove's precincts.
She has found two partners — Sime DarbyBhd and Brunsfield Corp Sdn Bhd — to continueher vision to make Oyster Cove one of the mostexclusive eco-resorts in the Gold Coast.
With the tie up with Sime Darby andBrunsfield (both taking up a 70% stake in OysterCove International Pte Ltd, with Tay’s companyPressview Pte Ltd holding a 30% equity), OysterCove will have a new master plan to include aVillage Centre and to build 380 bungalows onthe 250-acre freehold land recently bought bySime Darby Brunsfield Pte Ltd.
Lake Serenity will double in size to 22ha in aproposed extension of its waterway. There arenearby village centres, including one atSanctuary Cove.
Tay said when she first started in 1995, shesold 50 to 60 homes to Singaporeans.
“Many of our earlier Singaporean investorshave sold their houses and made some money.
Now, we want Malaysians to have their homeshere,” she said, adding that Oyster Cove houseswere among the most affordable.
For example, all six Boulevard Homes in theSerenity Shores were recently sold under a“build-then-sell” concept. Four of the largerfour bedroom bungalows were sold forA$750,000 to A$800,000 while one of the twoidentical single-storeyhomes (with lap pool and265-sq-m floor area/660-sq-m land) was sold forA$700,000.
“One of our successes isour dedication to landscaping365 days a year. We have a team that continuouslybeautifies the place. It's not expensiveliving in Oyster Cove where you can have yourboat, pontoon and there are no marina fees,”she added.
Oyster Cove sales & marketing director PhilipBlackman, who first visited Gold Coast in 1971,had seen the region grow.
“The Hope Island area (where Oyster Cove islocated) is set to become the jewel in the crown.Besides being extremely well located, it enjoysan almost ideal climate with cool ocean breezesin the summer and very mild winters. It is closeto the mountains and to the ocean in a clean,green environment,” he said.
Blackman said Oyster Cove has the advantageof being a fully waterfront community fromwhich one could enjoy many nearby amenitiesand facilities without having to suffer thedownside of living in a tourist resort.
“It is set in a peaceful, natural environment,surrounded on three sides by lakes, rivers andenvironmental reserves. The private, securewaterways are unique and the community offriendly people truly love living here,” he added.