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Old Sydney Town as it stands today. Old Sydney Town as it stands today. Featured
29 December 2021 Posted by 


Exciting new plans for Old Sydney Town
THE new owners of Old Sydney Town have plans to transform the site into Australia’s first comprehensive tourism precinct, following major trends overseas.
The success of fully self-contained developments such as Disney World in Orlando have demonstrated that tourism projects are most successful when they contain all facets of the industry.
The owners of the 120h site will combine a wide range of cultural tourism, recreation and entertainment experiences.
World Culture Tourism Village (WCTV), which purchased the site in 2018, is furthering their vision for the site which would combine 14 tourism elements and could reuse parts of the Old Sydney Town.
This is good news for thousands of Old Sydney Town supporters who were concerned the town would be destroyed.
There is also potential to expand the highly renowned Australian Reptile Park, the region’s premier tourist destination attracting 300,000 visitors annually.
Old Sydney Town precinct has a prime location, an hour’s drive from central Sydney and Western Sydney. it has easy access from the Gosford exit of the M1 at Somersby. Brisbane Water National Park is on its western boundary and the area is a high priority for re-development as identified in the Central Coast Regional Plan 2036.
The Sydney-based consortium WCTV is seeking a rezoning for parts of the site - currently zoned as E4: environmental living - as well as Expressions of Interest from operators and investors who want to be part of stage one of the precinct’s redevelopment or in its later phases.
Covering around 20% of the site, proposals for the first stage include an artificial surf wave attraction, local agricultural-based food and beverage outlets, artist workshops and studios, short-stay accommodation, an Aboriginal Cultural Centre recognising the Indigenous caretakers of the Central Coast and extended car parking facilities for the Australian Reptile Park.
The WCTV executive team have advised that the consortium’s plans for the site aim to provide employment, recreation and tourism opportunities for the region into the future.
A WCTV spokesperson told media: “When we purchased the site, to our knowledge we were the only prospective buyer who considered redevelopment from a tourism perspective, as we had a strong vision for its tourism potential”.
“Our vision is not to deliver a single large attraction like a theme park but to create a unique tourism hub bringing together a range of leisure-time experiences.”
“Given the relatively limited size and spread-out nature of Australia’s population we see the site operating as a hub - with multiple different attractions. While we plan to cater to the local community and Central Coast population, we envisage the majority of visitation will travel from the Sydney catchment.”
Reuse of parts of Old Sydney Town
The concept has grown to 14 potential elements, including the reuse of parts of Old Sydney Town.
WCTV will provide the framework and infrastructure for operators and investors to develop specific parts of the site, and advise there may be flexibility to adjust the plan according to investor needs.
WCTV believe the location and business model will drive success, saying “we will benefit from the location, with the site’s proximity to Sydney and the Australian Reptile Park being an established attraction, our precinct-based business model and the diversified elements will attract visitors year-round.”
Beyond its development, WCTV will also create a domestic tourism operating vehicle and is potentially looking for another partner for this venture.
Plans for later stages of this cultural, entertainment and tourism precinct unique in Australia, will see the reuse of the former Old Sydney Town site as a cultural theme park, reusing some of the former heritage attraction’s original buildings as the hub of a key attraction.
The total site includes the former Old Sydney Town at 11ha - which operated on the site between 1975 and 2003, before closing after many years of financial losses; the Australian Reptile Park of 5.4 ha which operates on a long lease, as well as 100ha of land that wraps around both sites and is currently vacant.
There would be a performing arts area, entertainment and attractions, retail and exhibition facilities, further food and beverage outlets, water-based activities, a hotel and short-stay accommodation and residential development.
WCTV undertook a community engagement program in early 2019 and is continuing to work through plans with a wide range of stakeholders for the project.
Engaging with local communities and businesses will see stage one include a creative corner with artist workshops and studios, the sale of local agricultural products and ‘paddock to plate’ outlets and other showcases for local products
Envisaging both global and domestic investment interest, the WCTV consortium has “a proud and extensive history in delivering world-class projects around the globe, including resorts, hotels, office buildings, industrial parks and boutique residential developments.”
As for the consortium’s vision, they said: “the reimagining and redevelopment of this site represents a compelling and unique opportunity for the Central Coast, with significant investment, major new employment opportunities and delivering a major boost to the social and economic infrastructure for the region.
“Importantly, the current proposal seeks to not only maintain but also improve the Australian Reptile Park to create a unique Australian learning and recreational centre with improved amenities, conservation and tourism experiences.”
WCTV is hopeful that it will receive planning approval in the coming months with initial projects to get underway this year.
Sources: Australasian Leisure Management, WCTV Old Sydney Town


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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Central Coast Business Access (CCBA) covers the business and community issues of the NSW Central Coast region. CCBA is a prime media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities.