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Bathers Way

"The Bathers Way is an iconic part of the Newcastle lifestyle, giving access to our beautiful beaches, and providing an important venue for both exercise and relaxation." Mark Richards

What is proposed?


The Coastal Revitalisation Program is in various stages of delivery, from the initial planning phase right through to construction. To assist in providing consistent responses to enquiries, educating the community and enabling Council to continue the implementation of Coastal works efficiently, this FAQ answers some of the most commonly asked questions from the community. 

The PDF Bathers Way (42.3 kb) connects Newcastle's five main beaches from Merewether Ocean Baths to Nobbys Beach.  Up to 500 people an hour already use the path in some locations. Upgrading the Bathers Way is the community priority for revitalisation of the Newcastle coastline (Newcastle Coastal Revitalisation Strategy Masterplan, Newcastle Voice Survey 2010).

The Bathers Way will be upgraded to provide comfortable pedestrian and cycle access for diverse recreational uses along our beautiful coast, including wider shared pathways, shade, seating and viewing areas. The community strongly supported the Bathers Way Public Domain Plan during public exhibition and it was unanimously adopted by Council in August 2012.

What is happening now?


Coastal Revitalisation includes significant works along our coast over the next ten years. To complete the works within this timeframe, construction will occur year round, including in the warmer months. The outcome will be a substantial improvement for all to enjoy.

Winter update

Stage 1 | Bathers Way Dixon Park (John Parade to Kilgour Avenue)

This work has recently been completed and Bathers Way is now open.

Stage 2 | Bathers Way (Kilgour Avenue to Cooks Hill Surf Club)

Work on Stage 2 of the Bathers Way from Kilgour Avenue to Cooks Hill Surf Club commenced late January 2015 and is expected to be completed by Spring 2015, weather depending.

The upgrade includes a minimum four metre wide shared pathway, pedestrian lighting, furniture, shade trees and structures, landscaping, pedestrian access upgrades, road and streetscape improvements. 

The existing Bathers Way footpath will be closed in sections as necessary to complete the works. Council apologises for any inconvenience these temporary closures may cause and will endeavour to ensure maximum accessibility is maintained. 


Parking at Bar Beach

Council aims for a 'parking neutral' approach (or wherever possible, an increase in parking) when undertaking significant public domain works along the coast. In this instance, given the loss of some car parking spaces at the Cliff car park (Kilgour Avenue), additional on-street parking is proposed along Kilgour Avenue and Bar Beach Avenue. This is being investigated and is subject to a separate approval. Consultation with the residents of the area will occur in 2015.

Beach access at the Bar Beach cliff

The stairs that were shown in this location on the design drawings could not be constructed as part of the current works due to the severe regression of the dune during the April storm. The erosion also exposed the foundation material which was at a much higher level than originally anticipated. These factors combined resulted in the design of the stairs needing to be revised, however time restrictions on the contractors meant that this element had to be taken out of the contract, and will instead be constructed by Council.

Council is currently progressing the design and are hoping to have the stairs constructed by the end of September, subject to the availability of Council contractors to complete the works. Once the stairs are completed, the fencing will be altered to allow access. The current fencing is required to prevent accidental falls as there is a significant drop from the new pavement.

Bathers Way Newcastle Beach to Nobbys Beach (Shortland Esplanade)

Stage 1  | Bathers Way Shortland Esplanade

- is nearing completion with shelters, artwork and landscaping still to be undertaken.

Stage 2/3  | Bathers Way Shortland Esplanade

- has commenced and is scheduled for completion in December 2015

Construction works commenced in August 2014. This involves the construction of Bathers Way shared pathway, one-way traffic movement in Shortland Esplanade, dedicated on road cycle path, cliff stabilisation works and new shade, seating, lighting and bins.
More information


Planning and concept design: Bathers Way 

  • Bathers Way King Edward Park planning and design development is underway.
     View draft plan
  • Bathers Way Newcastle South planning and design development is underway.
     View draft plan

What is complete?

Bar Beach 

  • Shared pathway at Bar Beach from Cooks Hill Surf Club to the car park
  • Viewing platform at Bar Beach
  • Temporary shared pathway Bar Beach car park
  • Strzelecki car park and connection of ANZAC Memorial Walk to Bathers Way.


  • Shared pathway from Watkins Street to Ocean Street
  • One-way traffic John Parade and dedicated cycleway
  • Shared pathway from Merewether Surf Club to Merewether Ocean Baths
  • Bleacher seating in front of Surf House and new entry/gathering area between the Baths and Surf House (including public art for Ladies Baths)
  • Stair access to lower promenade
  • Pedestrian path from Bathers Way to Scenic Drive
  • Seating, lighting, bins, bike racks and landscaping along Bathers Way
  • Bathers Way shared pathway and new plaza area in front of Merewether Surf Club.

Dixon Park

  • Shared pathway from John Parade to Kilgour Avenue
  • Seating, lighting, bins, bike racks and landscaping along Bathers Way
  • Water quality control devices
  • Resurfaced carpark.

View image galleries of completed works:

  1.  Download to see 'then and now' images (3 MB)
  2. Image Gallery - Bathers Way - Dixon Park - Stage 1
  3. Image Gallery - Bathers Way - Bar Beach cliff top
  4. Image Gallery - Bathers Way - Bar Beach car park temporary improvements
  5. Image Gallery - Bathers Way - Merewether Beach John Parade
  6. Image Gallery - Merewether Surf Club to Surf House


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Contact us

City Administration Centre
282 King Street
Newcastle NSW 2300

Tel: 02 4974 2000