Bathers Way, South Newcastle

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Bathers Way, South Newcastle is the stretch of Bathers Way from Shortland Esplanade to King Edward Park, also known as the Newcastle Beach Community Infrastructure Renewal Project. This section of the project will create a vibrant and attractive hub for visitors and residents while upgrading the pedestrian and cycle path links in this section of the Bathers Way. Activation of this area will also improve passive surveillance and aid in reducing anti-social behaviour in the area.

About Bathers Way, South Newcastle

The Newcastle Beach Community Infrastructure Renewal Project Stage 1 (Bathers Way, South Newcastle) is part of City of Newcastle's Coastal Revitalisation Program and is part funded by a $5M grant from the NSW Government's Restart NSW Resources for Regions program.

The project is designed to cater for a broad range of users by providing a wider accessible shared path, new kiosk and exercise equipment, a skate bowl and terrain park, improved beach access and accessible amenities, and places to sit and enjoy the views.

The wheelchair accessible skate bowl and terrain park will complement the advanced-level facilities at Empire Park and have been designed to both withstand coastal impacts and minimise impacts to the surrounding environment.

Features of Bathers Way, South Newcastle will include:

  • Construction of the Bathers Way shared path from Shortland Esplanade to King Edward Park
  • Improved access to South Newcastle Beach and King Edward Park
  • New skatepark and bowl
  • Parking, landscaping, lighting and accessibility improvements
  • New fitness equipment, shade, seating, and viewing areas
  • New café/kiosk and accessible amenities.

Find out more about the project including insights from professional skateboarder Poppy Starr Olsen on the Your Newcastle podcast.

Timeframe

After completion of detailed design a call for tender was made for the major construction works in May 2020, and the tender was awarded in late July. The successful contractor, Lloyd Group, commenced on site mid-August 2020. A second tender followed in late 2020 for the skatepark element of the project which will be delivered in conjunction with the major works.

Current Status

On 31 March 2023 City of Newcastle received formal notification from the administrators appointed, Deloitte, advising Lloyd Group had entered voluntary administration.

On 15 May 2023 Daracon Group were appointed on an interim contract to manage site safety, address remaining defective work items not completed before Lloyd Group left the site, and assist with confirming remaining works and associated costs.

In August 2023 Daracon Group were appointed as the new head contractor to complete the remaining works. Daracon were highly ranked during the original tender process and are experienced working on complex infrastructure projects in coastal environments, with a track record of successful delivery of major projects across Newcastle.

Daracon is now well established on site and progressing with completion of the project, which is expected to be completed in mid 2024.

Several instances of vandalism on the site have occurred and been reported throughout 2023. Unauthorised access and activity on construction sites are a safety risk, and rectification work as a result of these acts disappointingly add to the costs and timeframes for the project.

Project news

Protection of historic stone arches

When the stones were set in the arches at South Newcastle Beach, horse and carts filled the streets of Newcastle and beach attire consisted of three-piece suits and ankle length dresses. Fast forward more than 113 years and the historic structure still stands as one of the oldest European hand-crafted structures on the New South Wales coast.

Find out more in the project update video below.

Media releases

16 August 2023 - Bathers Way South Newcastle Beach project set for completion with new contractor

15 May 2023 - City of Newcastle appoints interim contractor for South Newcastle Beach project

23 December 2022 - Coastal projects take shape heading into 2023

22 October 2021 - South Newcastle Beach stone shelter stands the test of time

27 May 2021 - Your Newcastle Podcast - Episode 5 - South Newcastle Beach, the Starr of the Show

18 August 2020 - South Newcastle Beach transformation begins

Access

From mid-August 2020 the skatepark will be closed. From 31 August the lower promenade will also be closed. The construction site has been established and diversions in place. During construction you can connect from King Edward Park to South Newcastle Beach at street level via Church Street and Watt Street. Please follow the on-site signage and directions from our team.

Access to South Newcastle Beach from Shortland Esplanade was reinstated in late 2022 with the reopening of the pedestrian ramp leading down to the beach from Shortland Esplanade just south of the Surf Life Saving Club.

Community consultation for Newcastle Beach

We carried out broad community engagement activities for the Bathers Way, South Newcastle in December 2018, including drop-in sessions at four locations across the Newcastle Local Government Area and an online survey.

Having carefully considered what we heard from stakeholders and the community we revised the design and sought additional community feedback in July and August 2019. This concept plan incorporated a skatepark and bowl west of the existing seawall whilst maintaining the other elements of the Bathers Way. This concept was open for community feedback in July 2019 with 80% of respondents supporting the project.

Following this consultation the detailed design was prepared and finalised.

View the indicative designs.

Download the 2018 consultation report

Bathers Way, Newcastle Beach Stage 2 (subject to funding)

Bathers Way, Newcastle Beach Stage 2 is part of the Newcastle Beach Community Infrastructure Renewal Project and pertains to the short section of Bathers Way on Shortland Esplanade opposite Ocean Street and includes the Newcastle Community Hub. The project includes a proposal for demolishing the existing Newcastle Beach pavilion and constructing a new community building, subject to additional funding. Design for this project is yet to commence. This stage includes:

  • Construction of the final section of the Bathers Way shared path along Shortland Esplanade at Newcastle Beach
  • Construction of a new community building including a new Surf Life Saving Pavilion
  • New café/kiosk, accessible amenities and showers
  • New landscaping, shade and seating
  • Improved access between Newcastle Beach and CBD.