The Cape Byron Master Plan talks about a special part of the Country of the Bundjalung of Byron Bay (Arakwal) people known as Cape Byron State Conservation Area, on the NSW far north coast, adjacent to the town of Byron Bay.
The park is an important part of Country to the Arakwal and to other Bundjalung people as a place of spiritual and cultural significance. We know Cape Byron as Walgun, which means 'shoulder'.
The Arakwal people jointly manage the park with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) as members of the Cape Byron Trust, together with other community members. This master plan is to provide our joint-management with a clear vision to plan for future challenges and opportunities that tourism presents our Byron Bay community. The Arakwal people are committed to protecting our cultural, spiritual, historical and natural assets of Walgun.
The Cape Byron Master Plan provides the framework for NPWS and the Cape Byron Trust (the Trust) to deliver high-quality facilities to meet visitor demand, address access and transport, and protect the natural and cultural values of the Cape into the future. It integrates the Trust's current concepts for the popular walking track network and Most Easterly Point and the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan (Byron Shire Council) into the broader master planning for the Cape.
NPWS, working with the Trust, sought extensive public feedback to inform planning for Cape Byron. The following is a summary of consultation in response the Cape Byron Preliminary Visitor Master Plan.
- 124 community surveys from 12 January to 16 January 2016.
- Presentations to the Arakwal Corporation, Cape Byron Trust and Byron Shire Council.
- Public exhibition of the Cape Byron Preliminary Visitor Master Plan was between 13 February 2017 and 27 March 2017, with 43 submissions received and considered by NPWS. Read the summary report.
Feedback received throughout the consultation indicated top community priorities were to:
- improve walking tracks and lookouts
- improve public access
- improve traffic management and parking.
Several management themes arose for NPWS to consider, these were:
- disabled access
- impacts on the Wategos from park visitors
- provision of enough utilities and amenities e.g. rubbish management, drinking fountains, seating and shade
- capturing accurate visitor data.
In response NPWS made the following key changes to the plan:
- NPWS will consider disability access to parking and shuttle services
- NPWS has provided clarity around improvements near the Wategos and mitigation of traffic impacts
- NPWS measures already implemented including a waste audit and implementation of recommendations, installation of a new drinking fountain with water bottle filling station and provision of more shaded seating at the Cape Café.
The Cape Byron Master Plan will be delivered in stages by NPWS and Cape Byron Trust in consultation with the Arakwal people and wider community and as funding becomes available.