Luxe living

Australia’s newest master-planned coastal community, the $250-million Gateway development at Burnett Heads, will create a diverse residential and retail precinct crowned by a 318-berth marina.

Written by Jeni Bone

30 November 2022


The visionary leading the development is Simon Harvey, CEO of BeauGroup who has more than 25 years’ experience owning and developing residential and commercial projects across the US, Australia and New Zealand.

“Just 370 kilometres north of Brisbane, Burnett Heads is the gateway to two World Heritage-listed destinations, the Southern Great Barrier Reef and Fraser Island,” he says. “Just a walk away is Oaks Beach, a pristine 200-metre-long stretch of beach, safe for surfing and swimming, and great fishing off the rocks and groyne.

“The Gateway is situated at the mouth of the Burnett River, with a sheltered marina that provides easy deepwater access and protection in the form of a large break wall.

“It’s a truly amazing site and has been very enthusiastically embraced by the local Council and community who recognise the project is a big win for the region, tourism, employment and business.”

So confident is Bundaberg Council in the new development, they funded a $6-million refurbishment of the Burnett Heads town centre, just a few minutes’ walk away.


Council also connected sewer and water to the site, which had been earmarked for such a development for many years, with dredging approvals in place and the break wall constructed.

“When we turned up to inspect the opportunity in 2015, the $8-million break wall was already built, which was a big plus,” Harvey continues. “There was also a dredging approval in place and a DA approval for a 265-berth marina, fuel dock and a modest land-based development on a small block of leasehold land.

“Since we took over, we have successfully converted around 70,000 square metres of leasehold land to freehold land from the Gladstone Ports Corporation and obtained a DA approval for significant master-planned, mixed-use marina village with short and long-stay accommodation and a village core of retail, convenience and offices. We were also able to extend our 50-year wet lease area and increase the berthing number to 318 berths.”

BeauGroup is currently funding the project through the sale of properties, including the landmark Capri on Via Roma shopping centre on the Gold Coast, bought for $70 million by Mulpha International, which owns an extensive portfolio of real estate, property development, hospitality, education and retirement assets, including Sanctuary Cove. In 2020, Harvey also sold his stake in the NZD$500-million proposed expansion of the Porters Ski Field in New Zealand.

In Burnett Heads, The Gateway project will set a new benchmark for its facilities and marina infrastructure which will be a magnet for yacht owners and commercial operators wishing to take advantage of its proximity to the islands and the Reef.

“It’s a significant project which will be built in sensible bite-size stages,” explains Harvey. “There will be six buildings in total on around 27,000 square metres. The first will be two low-rise buildings with 46 apartments, followed by 48 in the next building as well as, 38 short-stay accommodation units in the Village Zone, and a commercial building with three levels of residential above it.

“We also have preliminary approval for 80 to 100 accommodation lots on a further 43,000 square metres, the bulk of which is proposed to be operated by a branded resort, as well as strata title and five luxurious over-water villas, some eco-lodges around a man-made lagoon and a conference centre.”

The 318 marina berths will accommodate vessels up to 36 metres. The channel entry is 25 metres wide at a depth of 3.5 metres and the break wall creates a year-round safe haven for boats.

For boaties, the marina’s signature building will give visiting vessels “a sense of arrival”, says Harvey. “There will be a boaties’ lounge, showers, laundry, kitchenette, gym, fuel dock – all the amenities you’d expect at a 5-Anchor standard marina.

“We’re aiming to create a vibrant, mixed-use Village with restaurants, boutiques, and public areas with barbecue pavilions and boardwalk along the water’s edge connecting to the existing network of bike and walking paths in the region – all just two minutes’ walk to the Town Centre,” says Harvey.

The Mon Repos Turtle Centre, 10 minutes south of Burnett Heads, is dedicated to marine turtle research, protection and education. During turtle season, from November to March, mother turtles return to the shores of Mon Repos Beach, Lady Musgrave Island and Lady Elliot Island to nest in the sandy dunes. Around January, the first merging hatchlings make their frantic dash to the sea.

Only one in 1,000 turtles will survive to maturity, which explains why six out of seven sea turtle species worldwide are classified as threatened or endangered.

When it comes to environmental concerns, Harvey is quick to respond: “I love that question!”

“Right from the beginning, we embraced the turtles,” he says. “We engaged the world-renowned turtle experts at Pendoley Environmental to compile a report with recommendations aimed at turtle preservation, right down to the impact of paint sheen on buildings and lighting.

“The report outlined everything from environmental and sustainability recommendations to fuel spill containment. Our Development Application adopted the recommendations and we’re using this report as a guide on every aspect of the development. The Gateway will be the new standard in waterfront living.”

The first stage of The Gateway Waterfront Residences, part of the Coral Sea Collection, includes 46 north-facing waterfront residences across two five-level buildings, called Musgrave and Elliott, with penthouses and ground-floor residences with private plunge pools and views over the marina to the ocean.

Recently released for sale, this phase of the development secured more than $12 million in sales in just five weeks – 40 percent of those from local buyers keen to own a slice of harbourfront living.

Construction of the first 46 residences will commence by the end of the second quarter or early third quarter of 2023 and the development is expected to take between three and five years.

First rights to marina berths will be offered to owners of the most exclusive residential apartments. “A lot of developments sell their marina berths to fund the land-based part of the development, but we’re reserving 30 or 40 for owners to buy and the rest will be leased,” Harvey says.

Work is already underway on Stage 1 dredging which is being carried out by a local contractor to remove 200,000 cubic metres of soft and hard material, including some basalt rock. This will likely be completed by the end of January 2023, which will then trigger the order for the first 80 berths from the French marina construction company Poralu Marine. Harvey predicts the first 50 piles will be undertaken around March. Once completed, BeauGroup Management will manage the marina, with Gary Milne as The Gateway’s Operations Manager.

There will be no maintenance or service facility on-site, but Bundaberg Port Marina, 2 kilometres away by car and an easy cruise up river from The Gateway, has berths for vessels up to 45-metres, a 75-tonne marine travel lift, hard stand, dry storage and Customs Clearance.

“That’s good for us as we can use our land for creating a beautiful marina village atmosphere, yet boaties still have all those other facilities up the river. All that combined, The Gateway is a real boaties’ heaven.”



  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement