THERE’S several days of northerly winds coming Phillip Island’s way through to next weekend.
And there’s sure to be plenty of local surfers enjoying the absence of Melbourne visitors for an uncrowded barrel or two along the ocean beaches from Cape Woolamai through to Surfies Point and beyond.
But the fact that they’ll be paddling out in 4/3 or even 5/4 steamers, most with booties and some with hoods, in water temperatures that have reached 11.7 degrees, will likely be lost on property pundits who have taken to labelling Cape Woolamai “the new Byron”… really?
“This tiny beachside oasis has been hailed the new Byron Bay,” was the introduction to an article by Alice Murphy in the Australian Daily Mail this week, but at least the journalist was savvy enough to acknowledge “one major difference that might turn away” Byron-style buyers.
Notwithstanding the fact that Woolamai was where the Hemsworth brothers cut their teeth on the Island’s consistent swells, she said the “icy cold water and chilly winter temperatures might be enough to keep tourists away”.
“The tiny beachside town, less than two hour’s drive from Melbourne looks set to become a less crowded and more affordable version of the iconic hippie hangout in New South Wales.
“With its world-class surfing, wide open beach and quaint main street dotted with cafes, restaurants and ice cream parlours, realtors and travel experts are predicting the coastal oasis could one day rival the more famous northern destination.
“Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee included Cape Woolamai in her latest report on little-known places to watch in Australia.”
It all reads pretty well and certainly there’s been a boom in prices in this Phillip Island sweet spot.
But local real estate agent, Greg Price, doesn’t think it will develop into Byron Bay anytime soon.
“I think our water temperature is a little different to Byron Bay and I’m sure the locals have always known how good it is,” Mr Price said this week.
“I’m not sure our Cape Woolamai residents would like to see it as busy as that, but it has certainly seen a price explosion in the past 18 months and this will continue to stay strong given it offers so much- a patrolled surf beach, a stunning bay beach and a magnificent coastal park.”
But if Byron Bay prices are anything to go by, there’s still plenty of growth at Cape Woolamai where the average house price has been quoted at $655,000, according to sales records from 2020, as compared to a typical house in Byron Bay at a staggering $2.78million.
So, it mightn’t ever become another Byron Bay, but all agree on one thing, properties at Cape Woolamai are going to continue to make great investments, not to mention fantastic surfing pads.