Bathers Way, South Newcastle

Page hero image

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, with construction estimated to be completed by Spring 2022. A second tender followed in late 2020 for the skatepark element of the project which will be delivered in conjunction with the major works.

In preparation, minor construction work took place in June 2020. During this construction period drainage works were undertaken, along with maintenance of the cliff face and preparation works for the extension of the existing rock catch fence.

As of October 2021, piling to create a strong foundation and protect the coastline is now complete and the majority of the bleachers constructed. The foundations for the skate bowl are in place, with the surrounding skateable surfaces due to be constructed in the coming months.

For more information on the project including safety measures in place during construction view our answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

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.

We have embarked on work to shore up the foundations of the historic beach shelter to ensure the iconic arches are preserved for decades to come. The stone shelter and its foundations have been surveyed and stabilisation works, that honour the original structure while allowing construction activities to continue safely, are underway.

Find out more in the project update video below.

Media releases

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.

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.