Construction begins on $20m Kangaroo Island project

  • Cliffs Kangaroo
    Darius Oliver

    Darius Oliver’s The Cliffs course on Kangaroo Island in Australia will include five holes running along the clifftops

  • Cliffs Kangaroo
    Darius Oliver

    Construction of the course is expected to begin in spring 2023

  • Cliffs Kangaroo
    Darius Oliver

    Oliver aims to make the most of the natural landscape to create a world-class course

Amber Hickman
By Amber Hickman

Construction has started on The Cliffs, a Darius Oliver-designed course located on Kangaroo Island, which lies off the coast of mainland South Australia, southwest of Adelaide.

The $20 million project faced several delays and challenges since Oliver’s routing was approved in 2017, namely the bushfires on the island in 2019 and 2020 as well as the impact of Covid-19 restrictions. The project was also waiting for a SA Water pipeline to be completed which would secure water for the island and the project site, too.

Ground was finally broken on 9 December 2022, and construction of the holes is now expected to commence in February 2023 with the aim of opening the course in late 2024.

The project site is atop 500-million-year-old cliffs. “The five holes directly along the clifftops [two, three, eight, fourteen and fifteen], and the three that run toward the cliffs [one, seven and thirteen] will generate the most attention I’m sure,” said Oliver. “But some of my favourites are away from the coastline. The long par-three sixth and short par-four tenth, with its big natural amphitheatre fairway, are among my favourites.

“The cliffs are 30 metres high. Some tees are close to the cliff edge, while the first green feels like it dangles on the edge, but in reality there is a safe setback.”

When course construction begins, Oliver will first focus on shaping tees, bunkers and greens to make the most of the natural landscape and the variety it provides, with the hope of creating exciting holes for players.

The project will also include a clubhouse, pro shop, restaurant, sports bar and outdoor entertainment space. The aim of the development is to make Kangaroo Island, which is the third largest island in Australia, and a huge tourist attraction already, a prime destination for golfers and tourists.

“With unique wildlife and its stunning natural setting, Kangaroo Island is already one of our state’s great tourism drawcards,” said Peter Malinauskas, premier of South Australia. “Regional tourism plays a huge role in our economic mix, and projects like this create exciting new opportunities and jobs for people that live on Kangaroo Island.

“My government is investing to bring the world’s best golfers to South Australia and this world-class golf course and clubhouse will provide further incentive for golf fans to visit and stay in South Australia.”