About the concept
Nullarbor Links - The World's Longest Golf Course
The Nullarbor Links concept is unique. The 18-hole par 72 golf course spans 1,365 kilometres with one hole in each participating town or roadhouse along the Eyre Highway, from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Ceduna in South Australia. Each hole includes a green and tee and somewhat rugged outback-style natural terrain fairway. The course provides a quintessential Australian experience and a much-needed activity/attraction for travellers along the renowned desolate highway.
The Eyre Highway Operators Association (EHOA) is a retail-based community organisation, established to raise the profile of the Nullarbor and to form a networking organisation to support businesses along the Eyre Highway.
The Nullarbor Links concept was developed to complement and enhance the tourism industry along the Highway, by providing travelers with an additional attraction and hence a reason to spend more time and money in the region. The project marries tourism, the world's largest industry, with golf, one of the world's most popular sports. The course provides a much needed attraction/activity along the Highway. It slows traffic down and encourage visitors to stay longer, and hence spend more time and money in the region. The course has the potential to place the region in the travel spotlight, and attract increased traffic flow. Golfing tourists spend more money, and stay longer than an average tourist, making golf tourism a lucrative market.
The Nullarbor Links has a "flow-on" effect to the communities of Dundas, Coolgardie, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, by providing employment to attract people and new businesses to the region.
The Eyre Highway Operators Association has identified the Nullarbor Links as an immediate opportunity for a cross-State tourism product. This project also possesses the potential for the following opportunities to enhance the tourism industry along the Eyre Highway:
- Co-ordination and enhancement of information provided by tourism information centers and businesses along the Eyre Highway through the development of websites attached to the "Nullarbor Link Concept".
- Development and linkage of major attractions/icons and tourist drives across State boundaries.
- Collaborative marketing and branding activities.
- Development of an outback Australian tourism product.
The project also has relevance as an alternative source of income for smaller communities along the highway.
How the project was undertaken
The Nullarbor Links project is an ambitious undertaking, with its geographic spread and large number of participating organisations requiring a high degree of collaboration. It needs to be professionally managed with carefully developed operating procedures and corporate governance regimes. All stakeholders need to agree to the policies and practices.
Since completion of the Feasibility Study in September 2006, the following key steps have been taken:
- A management structure has been developed for the organisation. The project was managed by a Board which is representative of all stakeholders. The work of the organisation was carried out by a Chief Executive Officer, with staffing as appropriate. A project manager has been appointed.
- All participants in the project have been finalised and a Heads of Agreement has been signed by all. This confirms the participation of all key partners in the project.
- Insurance details have been confirmed for the project.
- A funding strategy has been developed to seed the project and assist it achieve operational status. Funding applications were prepared for:
- The Goldfields Esperance Area Consultative Committee and the Flinders Region Area Consultative Committee for the product elements - course design and installation, and provision of golf club hire sets for each hole.
- The Goldfields Esperance Development Commission for funding of the a range of requirements.
- The Australian Tourist Development Program for branding and marketing elements including signage and promotion.
Further, the Eyre Highway Operators Association has contracted a Project Manager to move the project forward. All required planning has been undertaken, steps have been followed to achieve required approvals, and letters of support have been received. The project is poised for implementation. A number of important project components were worked on simultaneously to prepare the project for launch in mid-2009. Therefore, construction of the golf holes progressed concurrently with development of the signage and the marketing program.
Who is involved
The Nullarbor Links is a project which involves collaboration between:
- Four Local Government Authorities - City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Shire of Coolgardie, Shire of Dundas, and Ceduna District Council.
- The managers of the existing golf courses along the route which were incorporated into Nullarbor Links - Ceduna, Eucla, Norseman, Kambalda and Kalgoorlie.
- The managers/owners of roadhouses along the Eyre Highway which developed a golf hole for inclusion in Nullarbor Links - Penong, Nundroo, Nullarbor, Border Village, Ecula, Mundrabilla, Madura Pass, Cocklebiddy, Caiguna, Balladonia, Fraser Range.
In addition, the project maintains close contact and co-operation with:
- Tourism WA, SA Tourism Commission and Tourism Australia
- Golfing associations
- Regional tourism boards and associations