Stage One works between Bridge Eight to Gerrin Point Lookout have been completed.
The work was undertaken in 3 sections. NPWS staff installed 70 sandstone steps and approximately 80 tons of surface material across 325 metres of the track. Remember, each of those sandstone steps weighs 160 kilograms. This work addresses eroded sections of the track and provides improved access and enjoyment for park users. Feedback so far is extremely positive and visitors are enjoying the feel and look of the new surfaces. See images below of some of the work carried out.
We are so proud of what the staff have achieved in such a short time while still doing all the other work they do to keep the parks running and with minimum disruption to visitors.
Before: The track was well worn from high visitation and erosion. Water on the track made it difficult for walkers to traverse.
After: The new surface and sandstone steps have greater durability and will make the track easier to walk in all weather conditions.
After: The new surface will reduce erosion and will blend into the environment even more over time.
Next steps: Stage Two
The next scheduled work will be carried out between Little Beach and Mourawaring Moor. This stage is scheduled to begin on 12 October 2020, weather permitting. Due to the nature of the work, a temporary closure of that section of the track will be required during construction to ensure our visitors and construction staff are safe.
The work will be undertaken by contractors and include installing 350 sandstone steps along a 250-metre steep section. Significant planning has gone into designing this steep section to ensure improved accessibility. National Parks and Wildlife Service will fly in the heavy construction materials by helicopter to assist the contractors.
Temporary closures will be required for Stage Two.
The section of track from Little Beach, north to Mourawaring Moor (250 metres), will be closed during construction works from 12 October 2020 to 21 December 2020, weather permitting. There will be no detour in place during this time. Walkers using the Bouddi Coastal Walk will have to commence from Grahame Drive rather than MacMasters Beach.
There are two helicopter lifts planned during this time on Tuesday 13 October 2020 and Wednesday 4 November 2020. Additional closures may be required at these times. Helicopter operations will also occur at Hawkehead Drive on these days. Visitors should adhere to signs and follow the directions of NPWS staff.
All alerts for closures will be on the National Parks and Wildlife Service website.
Boom in visitors during COVID-19
The number of visitors enjoying the Bouddi Coastal Walk has increased significantly during COVID. The increased use is thought to reflect the popularity of outdoor exercise while gyms, theatres and sporting activities were restricted. Local Central Coast residents were most likely making the most of the spectacular coastal walk to enjoy some socially distanced exercise.
Over winter 2020, the visitor numbers were a record 60,005 (pedestrian counters are placed along the track to monitor numbers) compared to winter in 2019 at 27,873. That's an increase of a whopping 115 %. Looks like the secret is out; the Bouddi Coastal Walk is a great place to visit.
What people are saying?
Thank you to those who completed the Bouddi Coastal Walk survey. It's good to hear what people think, and it gives us great feedback for future planning. We heard that people want more directional and information signs. This is something that we are working on and hope to provide in the future subject to funding. Some people suggested additional infrastructure such as seating along the walk as well as lookout points. We hope to include this in some of the sections we are working on over the next few years.
We were pleased to hear that most people really enjoyed the walk and recognised it as a pretty spectacular place to visit repeatedly, we couldn't agree more. We appreciate you taking the time to provide your feedback. Some of the results we collected are provided below for your information.