Pools with swim-up bars, ten pin bowling alleys, gold-class cinemas, luxury country clubs and championship-level bowling greens - these are some of the incredible features of the new breed of Queensland retirement resorts.
With its warm climate, and long-standing history as a lifestyle destination, Queensland is increasingly delivering retirement resorts which are the size of small suburbs.
These resorts have recreational precincts which you generally won’t find in other States, and are more akin to a large cruise ship or world-standard holiday resort than the traditional notion of a retirement community.
We take you inside three of the State's newest and biggest resorts.
The first residents moved into Palm Lake’s Caloundra Cay community in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in August 2018. The residential land lease community straddles some 18 hectares, with 109 of the planned 259 homes now constructed.
The centrepiece of Caloundra Cay is the Caribbean-styled Hemingway’s Country Club, which is home to a plush movie cinema, billiards room, craft room and music room.
It also includes a gymnasium specifically designed for over 50s, along with a ten pin bowling alley, golf simulator and championship-level undercover eight-rink lawn bowls green.
The clubhouse is also connected to a tropical outdoor pool with a swim-up pool bar, as well as an indoor pool.
Residents of Caloundra Cay also get to play the Greg Norman-designed Pelican Waters Golf Course, which the Palm Lake Group also owns and operates.
Caloundra Cay Sales Manager Alysia Nechvoglod said around 10-15 per cent of buyers coming into the resort were from interstate.
“A lot of people want to make that change to Queensland, to enjoy the weather and the sun,” Ms Nechvoglod said. “Caloundra is one of those hot spots - a lot of people have holidayed here and know the area and therefore are comfortable making the change.”
“What we hear a lot from our clients is that we build beautiful homes and facilities, but what they are really after is the lifestyle.
“When they are going on holidays, people often think ‘What is the best cruise ship, which ones are going to have the most experiences.’
“Our clients are very similar, they know they are going to get a great home, but want to know what the lifestyle is going to be like.”
When fully complete, the community will contain 530 homes.
The community has a $15 million recreational precinct. The latest addition to this precinct is The Lodge, which opened in April, and features a 40 seat gold class-style cinema, library, fireplace, kitchen and bar, small stage and a private lounge area.
The community’s 2.4 hectares of facilities also includes a recreation centre, clubhouse and golf club. The resort pool has an adjoining firepit, while there is also a 25m undercover pool.
For sport lovers, there are nine pickleball courts, tennis courts, lawn bowls and a bocce court, while residents can also access a workshed, gymnasium, dance studio and beauty salon.
Homes range from $486,000 to more than $1,000,000 for a golf course view Fairway Home (there just two of these homes left).
Halcyon Managing Director Dr Bevan Geissmann said the inspiration for Halcyon Greens came from an overseas trip during the global financial crisis.
“We went to America and saw the Florida model - that is nature, reserves, golf courses, broad lifestyle, country club living as it were,” he said.
“We thought ‘is there anywhere in Queensland that is more Florida-like than South-East Queensland’.
“Part of our vision originally was centred around Sanctuary Cove - we always thought it was one of the great master-planned communities in Australia.
“We wanted the themes of heath, wellness, environment and technology to flow through the streets and be part of the background of everyday living when you live at Halcyon Greens.”
RV Lifestyle Village Oceanside
RV Lifestyle Village Oceanside is a 33 hectare residential land lease community, located at Burnett Heads just north of Bundaberg. It is due to open in October 2020.
There are 79 homes available in stage one, with the community to eventually contain 357 houses sites and 130 duplexes when fully complete in 2028.
The facility will include a 600 sq/m lagoon pool with 25m lap lane and a beach-style entry.
The recreational precinct, which is currently under construction, includes a games room, with ten pin bowling, golf simulators, billiard tables, self-serve bar and lounge.
It will also include a state-of-the-art gymnasium, a large art studio, casual lounges, bars, BBQ areas, a men’s shed, and a recreational vehicle wash bay.
The next stage of facilities will include a gold-class style cinema, covered lawn bowls with dedicated clubhouse, tennis and pickleball courts and community kitchen garden.
Homes range from $366,000 (for a duplex) and $530,000 (for a three bedroom home plus study). Weekly fees range from $157 to $175. All homes feature oversized garages which can hold recreational vehicles and measure as large as 16m by 6m.
“RV Oceanside is all about lifestyle and liveability,” a community spokesperson said.
“Situated in the coastal town of Burnett Heads, we wanted to create a community that embraces a small-town beach feel, with landscaping and architecture that suits the Queensland climate.”
“Burnett Heads is a holiday destination itself and only a short drive from the town of Bundaberg which is serviced by public and private hospitals, domestic airport and tilt train station, shopping centres and leisure precincts.”