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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?

Pedestrians on widened path with viewing platform in background

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?

 Construction workers on the Bathers Way

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.

Summer update

Stage 1 | Dixon Park to Bar Beach Bathers Way

Construction work on the Bathers Way from John Parade, Dixon Park, to Kilgour Avenue, Bar Beach, is nearing completion for Stage 1.

PDF View Stage 1 Plan (2.40 Mb)

Stage 2 | Dixon Park to Bar Beach Bathers Way

Work on Stage 2 of the Bathers Way from Kilgour Avenue to Cooks Hill Surf Club is scheduled to begin in 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.

PDF View Stage 2 Dixon Park to Bar Beach Bathers Way plan (1.15Mb). 

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 early 2015. PDF View indicative plan for angle parking at Bar Beach (1.58Mb).

Bathers Way - Dixon Park to Bar Beach Stage 2 design 

Bathers Way Newcastle Beach to Nobbys Beach

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

Temporary closure of Nobbys northern car park

The northern car park at Nobbys Beach will be closed on 20 October 2014 for the remainder of the year while construction works are undertaken in and around this area. Access may be limited and is subject to change. Please follow the directional signs when erected. During this time, alternative parking is available in the southern car park at Nobbys Beach, including accessible parking.

Closure of Shortland Esplanade remaining northbound access

From Monday 3 November 2014, the remaining northbound access on Shortland Esplanade will be permanently closed to traffic between Nobbys Road and Zaara Street. All traffic movement along this part of Shortland Esplanade will become one way (southbound). The closure is necessary to enable construction of the Bathers Way, new kerb alignments and road pavement along Shortland Esplanade.  These works are staged and will commence adjacent to the existing roundabout behind Nobbys Beach pavilion.

Planning and concept design 

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


  • 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.


Bathers Way viewing platform

View image galleries of completed works:

  1. PDF Download to see 'then and now' images (3.00MB)
  2. Image Gallery - Bathers Way - Bar Beach cliff top
  3. Image Gallery - Bathers Way - Bar Beach car park temporary improvements
  4. Image Gallery - Bathers Way - Merewether Beach John Parade
  5. 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