Are any new walking tracks planned?
A few new connections may be constructed, or existing sections may be rerouted or realigned to improve walking experiences, protect park values, improve safety and expand opportunities. Options for improving visitor pedestrian access at the southern end of Goolawah Beach will be investigated, including the feasibility of formalising a pedestrian beach access track from the top Racecourse carpark to the beach, and at Big Hill day use area.
Has horse riding been considered under the new plan?
Recreational horse-riding opportunities are available in nearby parks, state forests and council-managed beaches. Horse riding is not permitted under the draft plan as it is incompatible with other recreational uses, particularly along the coastal strip, and with the protection of the parks' wilderness and wetland values, sensitive dune systems and threatened ecological communities. Horse riding is not permitted in Goolawah Regional Park due to safety issues with domestic dogs being allowed off-leash on Big Hill and Delicate beaches.
Does the new plan allow cycling?
Due to the steep terrain, dense vegetation, sandy soils and low-lying, wet nature of the parks, cycling opportunities are generally limited to park roads and beaches. To protect the park's natural values, cycling is not permitted on walking tracks or management trails in the parks, including within Limeburners Creek Wilderness Area.
Why does the draft plan remove access for dogs through Goolawah National Park?
Providing dog walking opportunities for the community is generally a local government responsibility. A transitional arrangement for dog walking through Goolawah National Park is in place under the previous Statement of Management Intent. The draft plan intends to cease transitional arrangements to protect important conservation values and ensure consistency with NPWS Pets in Parks Policy of no dogs in national parks. Once adopted, dogs would no longer be permitted in Goolawah National Park, including on Paul Clancy Trail, Back Crescent Beach Access, or NPWS managed areas of Goolawah Beach.
Goolawah beach provides important habitat for a range of threatened shore and migratory bird species, raptors, and sea turtles. Unleashed domestic dogs are well recognised as a key threat to the ongoing conservation of threatened shorebird species, including the endangered pied oystercatcher and little tern – both of which are regularly recorded on Goolawah beach. Domestic dog presence on Goolawah beach also compromises our ability to implement vertebrate pest management programs to protect threatened species from feral animals.
Where will I be able to walk my dog?
There are dog-friendly areas accessible by sealed road from Crescent Head in Goolawah Regional Park at Delicate Camping Area, Delicate Beach and Big Hill Beach north of the day use area. There are also other areas outside the parks managed by Kempsey Shire Council.
Can Goolawah National Park be changed to a regional park?
National Parks and Wildlife Service does not support the proposal to re-categorise the intertidal zone south of the beach access and other parts of Goolawah National Park to a regional park to enable dog walking. Re-categorising a reserve to a lesser level of protection status is not consistent with national parks providing protection in perpetuity for conservation.
Why are you closing Goolawah beach access to recreational four-wheel driving?
We considered a number of factors when proposing to close this beach under the draft plan, including visitor safety, protection of native wildlife and vegetation and protection of cultural sites in line with the NPWS Vehicle Access Policy.
Are you closing access to North Shore Beach too?
No, recreational four-wheel driving is still permitted on North Shore Beach in Limeburners Creek National Park, south of the access track at Queens Head and within the intertidal zone only. Four-wheel drive access is permitted in areas of the parks where it is compatible with conservation and visitor management objectives.
Public access will also remain open to the four-wheel drive section of Point Plomer Road south of Queens Head.
Will commercial fishers still have access to Goolawah Beach?
Yes, current access will continue. Commercial beach fishers are licensed by NSW Fisheries and consents given by the NSW Government. National Parks and Wildlife Service do not have jurisdiction over these licenses. Commercial fishing is an economic livelihood and is normally limited to defined periods of the year based on fish behaviour and which generally is not when we see high visitation.