Newcastle City Council is planning a new lease of life for South Newcastle Beach with a uniquely designed skate bowl, kiosk and outdoor gym featuring in the next stage of the Bathers Way project.
Concept plans for stage one of the Newcastle Beach project, stretching from Newcastle Surf Club to King Edward Park, reveal the signature widened pathway, an iconic skate bowl jutting out into the sand and a street-style skate park that skaters can "drop into" from the shared pathway.
Art installations among stylish landscaping, tiered seating and shade shelters similar to those along the Merewether-Bar Beach section of Bathers Way have also been proposed ahead of final design.
"It is exciting that we are realising our goal of connecting Nobbys to Merewether with a coastal pathway to rival any in Australia," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"This is an ambitious concept to activate a long-dormant part of the coast at South Newcastle by proposing a competition-standard skate bowl as well as street-style skate facilities, and making public domain improvements that will beautify and activate the previously ungainly site between the ocean and the cliff.
"Inclusion of a new kiosk, fitness and parkour equipment, and areas to stop and enjoy the view means that the South Newcastle stretch of the Bathers Way will offer something for everyone.
"Bathers Way is already gaining a reputation as a must see destination for visitors to Newcastle and the region, allowing them to take in the beautiful sites along our coastline and enjoy the safety, amenity and buzz the shared pathway provides.
“Judging by early successes, the Bathers Way could rival Sydney's Bondi to Bronte Walk and Victoria's Great Ocean Road on the bucket list of great Australian coastal attractions.”
The Newcastle Beach Project was originally to be delivered in three stages:
* Stage one: Bathers Way, South Newcastle – Shortland Esplanade to King Edward Park, including skate park and recreational facilities;
* Stage two: Redevelopment of South Newcastle Beach Community Facility; and
* Stage three: Bathers Way and traffic improvements – Zaara St to Watt St.
Council continues to develop the plans for Stages 1 and 3, with Stage 2 dependant on securing grant funds to proceed.
Designs for stage one of the Newcastle Beach project will continue over the next 12 months with the aim of being construction ready by mid to late 2017. Funding approvals and budget allocations need to be sought before actual construction can commence.
Preparatory construction work has already begun to reinforce the South Newcastle Beach seawall to repair long term erosion and support the new Bathers Way infrastructure.
“Newcastle City Council's Bathers Way project has already delivered broader pathways, new seating and well-designed shaded areas and exercise facilities,” Cr Nelmes added. "We have created better public places to enjoy our beautiful coastal environment, and to date, we are only half done. This next phase is going to be fabulous."
The design concepts for South Newcastle will be shown today to the Coastal Revitalisation Consultative Committee. The CRCC is an advisory group established in 2010 with key stakeholders to advise Council on all aspects of the coastal revitalisation project including Bathers Way, public domain plans and coastal revegetation.