Crackneck Lookout access upgrade

Crackneck Lookout in Wyrrabalong National Park at Bateau Bay is a very scenic and popular lookout with the local community. It is one of the best locations to observe whales on the Central Coast or join The Coast walking track and is easily accessible by car.

Crackneck Lookout, Wyrrabalong National ParkCrackneck Lookout is undergoing an upgrade to improve visitor enjoyment, access and safety. The upgrade project is estimated to be completed by June 2023.

What does the project involve?

This upgrade project will enhance the overall visitor experience at Crackneck Lookout by improving the landscape design and universal access to the ocean views, creating a safer car park and fixing the site's water drainage issues.

The upgrade actions include:

  • redesign of the car park, including new surface, increased capacity and designated mini bus and disability parking spaces
  • improved universal access to viewpoints, picnic tables and general area
  • better pedestrian links between the car park, picnic area and The Coast walking track
  • improved drainage and erosion management
  • installation of new park interpretive signage focusing on whales and whale watching information.

The NSW Government has allocated funding under the Improving Access to National Parks and Visitor Infrastructure Economic Recovery programs to upgrade Crackneck Lookout. Funding has already allowed for the design development, planning and project implementation. Construction works are forecast to start in February 2023 and finish in June 2023.

Our national parks are managed to protect their unique values and provide for sustainable visitor use and enjoyment. With visitor numbers growing across all NSW national parks, the need to improve visitor infrastructure like Crackneck Lookout has been highlighted.

The Crackneck Lookout site requires better design to manage traffic, provide a safe, accessible location for all visitors and modernise outdated facilities. High vehicle and pedestrian traffic levels during peak periods can create congestion and risk visitor safety. The siting of visitor facilities can better use the space and provide access to everyone, including those with mobility issues.

These works will improve the longevity of the lookout area and assist with maintenance.

We have reviewed and considered several car park configurations. An environmental impact assessment of the proposed upgrade works that also determines the measures needed to protect the park values from those impacts has been conducted. All works will be carried out in accordance with this assessment and will be closely monitored during the life of the project.

The car park configuration option selected reduces tree removal as far as practicable while still addressing vehicle congestion, visitor safety and drainage issues. The upgrade project will provide the opportunity to restore the bushland and biodiversity values surrounding the car park through weed removal and localised native plantings.

The safety of visitors, construction staff and contractors is paramount. To ensure this safety, the lookout will be temporarily closed for defined periods during high-risk construction activities. The lookout will be open at other times but with restricted or limited access. We will endeavour to reduce inconvenience to visitors as much as possible.

Alternative temporary pedestrian access around the construction site will be in place and open when safe. We ask visitors to observe the directional and safety signs during the upgrade.

Notices of site closures will be communicated via this project webpage, the National Parks and Wildlife Service visitor website, media releases at key milestones, warning signage at the site, registered stakeholder notifications and any other required community updates. Visitors can also phone the local National Parks and Wildlife Service office on 02 4972 9000.

Whilst the temporary closure of the lookout area will restrict enjoyment of the area for a period, the visitor benefits and protection of the environment from the improvement works will be long-term. We request that all visitors consider their safety by adhering to closures and following any directions given by on-site workers.

We aim to have the upgraded Crackneck Lookout reopened to visitors after construction works for the 2023 whale watching season.

The project is consistent with the Wyrrabalong National Park Plan of Management and specifically addresses the need for Crackneck Lookout to have a precinct plan before renovation. The plan of management identifies the need to improve visitor safety and overall experience by upgrading paved (hard) surfaces, picnic facilities, viewing areas and interpretative information.

Update January 2023

Construction is starting at Crackneck Lookout.

  • 23 Jan 2023

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