Point Plomer Precinct Revitalisation

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is planning to revitalise the Point Plomer Precinct in Limeburners Creek National Park.

The goal for this project is to preserve the low-key coastal camping experience the site is known for, whilst protecting the site from further degradation.

Point Plomer is a much-loved place for both campers and day visitors in Limeburners Creek National Park on the Macleay Coast. The laid-back beach camp culture is one of the most attractive aspects of this park and is something we want to maintain. A family-friendly beach, excellent surf break and great fishing are all reasons we see visitors return time and time again.

Limeburners Creek National Park also has significant cultural heritage values and is an important place for connection to Country for both Birpai and Dunghutti Aboriginal peoples.

What has prompted this project?

Visitation to Point Plomer is growing each year. On average visitation is growing 5-10% year on year, with 2020 alone seeing a jump of 20%. Additionally, the Hastings Macleay strip of coast has the highest search rate in the state for campgrounds on the National Parks and Wildlife Service website. Factors leading to this sustained growth in visitation are a domestic tourism boom, rapid population growth in Port Macquarie, hardening of access roads and tourism marketing of the area.

We have witnessed increasing visitation place pressure on the carrying capacity of Point Plomer and a subsequent deterioration in the condition of the campground. We are seeking to ensure the experience continues to be a positive one for visitors into the future. Rather than encouraging an increase in visitation and use, the proposed improvements are required to create a sustainable and quality visitor experience. The low-key visitor facilities will remain, and careful planning is required to address overcrowding issues and maintain the laid-back rustic style.

This concept plan has been developed with landscape architects, and we will build on these plans based on feedback from the community. Please read the following planning considerations in combination with the concept plan.

The draft Point Plomer precinct revitalisation plan was on exhibition from 10 December 2021 to 20 February 2022. Public consultation for the draft plan has closed.

Planning considerations

We want to preserve the unique feel of the campground whilst making it more sustainable into the future. Ongoing issues for the precinct include:

  • overcrowding
  • sewage system capacity
  • drainage
  • uneven sites
  • competition for space between day users and campers
  • lack of carparking
  • dust and safety issues associated with existing road entrance.

The precinct plan has been developed with the following objectives and to cater for the challenges of now and for the next 20 years:

  • preserve the laid-back low-key coastal camping experience and visual amenity
  • improved drainage
  • providing clear delineation between camping and day use areas
  • providing bookable camping sites
  • providing a variety of camping options
  • improving road layout and campsite levelling.

Before the implementation of online bookings, the campground would often exceed capacity. Due to the carrying capacity of the sewage system, camping will be limited in the future to 90 sites. We are not proposing expanding the campground through this project.

The plan proposes a variety of camping options, including a walk-in group site, drive-through sites, double sites, and the standard single sites. A single site will have the minimum dimensions of 10x10m. Dimensions of sites on the precinct plan are indicative only and will be refined as part of the planning process.

Many campsites are uneven due to wear and tear over time, high use and inadequate drainage. Correcting this will mean campers will have a wider selection of sites to suit their camping set up.

Implementing numbered campsites will provide visitors assurance before their arrival with the dimensions of the site and a photo available on the booking system. The campsite will be defined by numbered corner markers. These markers will be low visual impact markers on the ground similar to a paver. The sites will not be marked out with lines, but visitors will be able to identify their site by the number painted on the marker and the boundary of the site by lining up the corner markers.

Drainage issues at the site are being addressed by a drainage study and these outcomes of this study will inform revitalisation works within the precinct.

One area of particular interest is the eastern end of the campground commonly referred to as the 'swimming pool'. We propose to rectify this by installing appropriate drainage and importing clean fill to level the site for improved camping sites and experience.

Point Plomer also has a large number of visitors that come just for the day, either for a picnic, beach day or for surfing and fishing. Currently, the day use area isn't clearly defined, and often the allocated day use car parks are also used by campers. This plan aims to better define areas for day use versus camping, and allocating appropriate open space.

The project proposes a new road entrance and check-in office. This allows some campsites to be enlarged and levelled out to where the old road was. It will also involve positioning an office and check-in bay at the entry to the precinct. Revegetation areas within the campground are proposed to compensate for the new entrance road and improve site amenity.

Additionally, the layout of the roads in the eastern section of the precinct will be modified to allow better access to camp sites. Day visitor carparks will also be changed to allow nose in carparking to create additional parking spaces and to remove carparks that interfere with the iconic view across to the surfing break.

Point Plomer is an important cultural site for Aboriginal people. There are many Aboriginal sites and artefacts recorded in the area, and it remains an area of spiritual connection to Aboriginal people. All works conducted on the campground will ensure minimal ground disturbance with site levelling undertaken by building sites up with fill rather than ground excavation. An Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment will be undertaken in consultation with Birpai and Dunghutti people to ensure measures are implemented to protect cultural heritage values on the site.

The project is at the concept phase.

Artist impression - Plomer office

Sketch of new entry and office.