A long way in 25 years

Noosa Springs Golf Course, one of the best in the country.

Noosa Springs, the Sunshine Coast’s finest golf and spa resort, turns 25 this month, completing a quarter century of growth that has seen the property become a key part of Noosa’s fabric.

The 25th anniversary of the opening of Noosa Springs’ superb golf course will be a special occasion for those members of staff who have been employed since the very beginning and, of course, for Noosa’s Starkey family, who built the resort, and who remain closely attached to it.

It was Alan Starkey, a Noosa architect and developer, who conceived the idea of a world-class golf course complex, situated within natural bushland surroundings, yet located only a short drive from one of the country’s most prominent tourism towns.

Starkey paid $3.7 million in 1992 for a rundown quarter-horse stud on the banks of Lake Weyba and became the owner of 103ha of overgrown trees and swampland, plus some cleared land where, in years past, Weyba Ranch had hosted the annual picnic races.

Starkey’s vision was to create a residential golf course development comprising beautiful homes, designed to meld with the environment, a first class golf course carved out of the bush, and a resort offering the sort of facilities that would make living at Noosa Springs a joy.

It’s come a long way from 1999, when the course opened on a rainy Saturday afternoon in May to 200 invited guests, who later enjoyed a cool drink in a simple donga situated on the spot where a Tuscan-style clubhouse would later be built.

Mark Holland, the first general manager of Noosa Springs, remembers the spirit of excitement, the thrill of starting something from scratch, and the realisation that Noosa Springs was destined to be something special.

“I remember the smell,” he said. “It was like a new toy – the smell of something brand new.

“It was a fun time – starting from nothing, building relationships with tourism people, working to attract members and guests, and putting new systems into practice.

“Now, when I look back I get the sense that Noosa Springs is bigger and better than even I imagined,” he said. “It’s become a jewel.”

Though the centrepiece of the resort is its 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course, Noosa Springs Golf and Spa Resort offers superb dining, one of the best day spas in Queensland, a boutique golf shop, tennis, swimming pool and a fully equipped fitness centre.

Noosa Springs, situated only about 3km from bustling Hastings Street, is a special place, according to manager Daniel Chandler, who worked in a variety of roles for 14 years before being appointed to the top job in 2022.

“Sometimes when I drive in I just pull over, look around and appreciate the beauty of Noosa Springs,” he said. “I speak to members who have been here since the beginning – there about 35 of them – and it’s wonderful to see their pride in what has been achieved.”

The resort hosts a number of special golf events, including the showcase Noosa Springs Open, an annual Ladies Day series and the Queensland A, B and C Grade Championships each summer.

But many visitors are attracted by the resort itself – the opportunity to relax in the day spa, work out in the fitness centre, swim in the 25m pool, or take in the view from the restaurant terrace while enjoying a meal from the locally inspired menu.

In 2014 the Starkey family sold Noosa Springs to an offshoot of Hong Kong-based real estate and resort developer Golden Horse Nine Dragon Lake Holdings, which purchased Links Hope Island about the same time.

The new owners share the vision that drove Alan Starkey to create Noosa Springs – to provide the best possible experience for members, guests and visitors.

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Noosa Springs is offering 25 per cent off golf shop merchandise from 6am to 6pm on Friday 10 May.

It is also running a competition where entrants could win an Ultimate Noosa Springs Getaway.

The prize, valued at more than $1900, is two nights’ accommodation in a two-bedroom deluxe apartment with breakfast for four people each day, four rounds of golf with a motorised cart and four Thermal Suite Experiences in The Spa.

Enter by visiting noosasprings.com.au/25th-anniversary-competition-entry-form/