Pristine beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Uluru - what more could a tourist want in Australia? Apparently, a theme park designed to look like Beijing's Forbidden City, according to Chinese tycoon Bruce Zhong. After four years of rumours, Zhong finally submitted the planning application for his mega-park this month and hopes to start building in mid-2015. Dubbed the Chinese Disneyland, the A$500million (HK$3.2 billion) attraction in Wyong Shire, New South Wales, will attempt to lure visitors with a nine-storey Thanksgiving Temple, Zheng He's "treasure ship" and a sadly panda-less "panda paradise". "As an Australian-Chinese author, I've always been thinking about how to spread Chinese culture overseas," says Zhong. "The theme park will attract tourists from all over the world. The main clients, however, will be local Australians. It will also become a gathering place for Australian-Chinese during special festivals, and will let tourists from China get another understanding of Chinese culture." The park will cover more than 15 hectares of previously industrial land, 100km north of Sydney, and feature canals, theatres and, according to a press release, a Ming-dynasty building that will be dismantled in China and reconstructed on-site. The park will offer accommodation tailored to Chinese tourists, who are expected to double in number in New South Wales by 2020, making them the state's largest international tourist market. Visitors will experience a microcosm of China and enjoy traditional celebrations in Spring Festival Square, absorbing "culture and happiness, nature and spirit". And the location couldn't be better: it is within a two-hour drive of a quarter of the population of Australia. Doug Eaton, mayor of Wyong, believes the ambitious theme park has "the potential to rival the Opera House and Harbour Bridge" as a tourist attraction. "We are short on man-made attractions. We've got beaches, forests, lakes, but nothing like this," he says. "A big part of the theme park will be Chinese restaurants in provincial styles, and lots of local people, like me, will go for that." Offering a big clue as to why picturesque Australia might need a replica of a 15th-century Beijing palace, the park's project manager, John O'Grady, says the cultural theme park will increase Chinese investment in the area. "This will be a great catalyst for development," he says. Australia's central coast has already seen strong Chinese investment and Zhong's vision could turn the area into a major destination and vibrant multi-cultural district.