April 2022 update

An update on planning for the Macleay Coast Destination project, release of the Trial Bay Coast and Foreshore Protection Strategy and the latest plan of management news.

Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) at sunset beachside camping with great fishing and beaches perfect for whale watching and swimming Arakoon National Park

Trial Bay Coast and Foreshore Protection Strategy

Longshore coastal processes combined with major storms and climate change are eroding sections of Trial Bay's beach and foreshore, requiring their periodic closure due to public safety concerns and the need for coastal recovery. The Trial Bay Visitor Precincts Coast and Foreshore Protection Strategy provides a framework to address these and other impacts and will inform planning for the Macleay Coast Destination project.

The strategy is a living document, highlighting the need for adaptive coastal management involving ongoing learning, clear stakeholder communications and evidence-based decisions. The strategy is open for public comment for 3 weeks, from 11 to 29 April 2022. You can access the document and have your say by visiting the strategy page.

Trial Bay coastal processes

Macleay Coast Destination project

Planning is underway for the $6.7 million Macleay Coast Destination project. The project, funded by the NSW State Government, aims to revitalise the visitor infrastructure in Arakoon National Park to meet contemporary customer expectations, helping to boost the regional visitor economy and contribute to community well-being.

There are 9 design principles for the project, grouped under 5 themes.

Design principles graphic

The project will address aging infrastructure and increase the appeal of the area for visitors and the local community. It will include the development of new visitor infrastructure at Trial Bay campground, including walking tracks and picnic shelters, upgraded access roads, amenities and campsites. It will also provide additional visitor facilities for beach access along Trial Bay and enhance the stunning coastal walk between Trial Bay and Smoky Cape lighthouse. At Little Bay, improved facilities and new family-friendly walking and bike paths will reinvigorate this cherished precinct as a favoured location for family gatherings.

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has undertaken extensive market research to:

  • identify target markets and key success factors to encourage off-peak visitation and extend length of stay
  • explore how, in conjunction with Aboriginal groups, the tourism sector and stakeholders, we can create a world class natural and cultural experience of which the region can be justifiably proud.

We acknowledge and greatly value the contribution of the many research participants who have offered critical insights to inform project planning.

A master plan will be released soon for public comment, including designs for the Trial Bay, Little Bay, Smoky Cape, and Cardwell Street precincts. The master plan provides a vision for the precincts. It will include immediate priorities to be funded under the Macleay Coast Destination project, and longer-term priorities for improvements using future funding.

We look forward to hearing community feedback on these plans. Your feedback on the precinct plans will also help inform the draft plan of management for Arakoon and Hat Head national parks.

Plan of management timelines

Planning and preparation of the draft plan of management for Arakoon and Hat Head national parks is underway. The development of a new plan of management will help to protect the parks' unique values and improve the effectiveness of how we manage the parks. Unfortunately, delays have occurred due to flooding events, Covid restrictions, and competing priorities. At this stage, public exhibition of the plan is expected to occur in late 2022.

Behind the scenes, we have been consulting with key stakeholders, local Aboriginal community groups, local government and our park volunteers. We have also analysed feedback from campers, visitor surveys, and from the people who have registered to receive updates on the planning process.