Former Mine To Be Transformed Into Motorsport Mecca At Lake Macquarie

A new motorsport mecca is in the works at Lake Macquarie.

Black Rock Motor Resort is set to be built on the site of the former Rhondda Colliery mine at Wakefield.

The first sod on the 252 hectare site was turned this morning, marking the start of a three-year construction project.

Once complete, the $95-million development will feature a 5.25km circuit designed by Tilke Group of Formula 1 track fame.

It will be complimented by a driver training academy and karting precinct, along with accommodation, a cafe and function space, becoming Australia’s first dedicated recreation resort park for motoring enthusiasts.

Founder and CEO Tony Palmer teased the endless possibilities for revheads to enjoy, including 4WD experiences, mountain bike trails, skid pan training, public track days, and events for performance cars, Porsches and Ferraris.

“Black Rock Motor Resort will provide a range of motoring experiences including driver safety training for the young motorists of the region as well as exciting opportunities for the public to drive their own cars, or our cars, on the high-speed circuit”

“Unlike a normal racetrack where the focus is large-scale racing events, Black Rock is more like a golf resort, but rather than 18 holes we have a 5.25km a circuit as our centrepiece,” Mr Palmer said.

In a major milestone, the mining lease has been relinquished following the final stages of land rehabilitation, and a handover will soon take place allowing construction to gear up.

The project is expected to inject millions into the local economy, creating over 400 jobs while the facility is being built and more than 200 ongoing roles once the facility is operational.

NSW Minister for Natural Resources, Courtney Houssos said it was an exciting example of adaptive reuse.

“With hundreds of new jobs and tens of millions of dollars of economic activity, this project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Minister Houssos said.

“This project is an example of the convening power of government, as we bring together communities, councils and private enterprise to create hundreds of jobs and new opportunities for the region.

“Mining has long been a source of economic prosperity for NSW. As mines close, the government is committed to ensuring sites are rehabilitated safely, and the land put to new and productive use for the local community.”

Lake Macquarie City Council Mayor Kay Fraser said the Black Rock project was one of the city’s most significant developments in her 20-plus years of local government, and the first of its type in NSW.

“This will be a very tangible demonstration of a mine site’s adaptive reuse, and it’s something we’re likely to see a lot more of as the world shifts away from fossil fuels,” Cr Fraser said.

“That transformation, from coal mine to adventure tourism destination reflects our city’s seismic shift over the past couple of decades, away from primary production towards hospitality, tourism and other innovative industries”

“I’m excited about what Black Rock will deliver for Lake Mac and the wider Hunter Region, not just in terms of jobs, but the tens of millions of dollars it will inject into the local economy for many years to come.”

Black Rock is expected to be operational within two years, with construction finalised about 12 months later.

The project’s first stage will include track construction and establishment of a café in the former mine’s horse stable building.