Relocating Mungo Brush Road, Myall Lakes National Park

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has completed the construction work to relocate a 3.2 kilometre section of the Mungo Brush Road away from the Dark Point Dune.

Mungo Brush Road is the main vehicle access for visitors, commercial fishers, tourism operators, emergency services and the local community to the south-east section of Myall Lakes National Park, linking the townships of Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest and Bulahdelah.

The new road is located west of the Dark Point Dunes, a 250 hectare Aboriginal culturally significant mobile sand dune complex, that extends south for 5.5 kilometres in Myall Lakes National Park.

The highly mobile Dark Point Dune sheet is moving inland at a rate of 3.3 to 5.9 metres per year and without action, was predicted to impact the original road in 2018, making it impassable to vehicles.

Action taken by National Parks and Wildlife Service resulted in relocating the road inland from the Dark Point Dunes as the best option for ensuring the popular road remains open for visitors, and that the culturally significant Dark Point Aboriginal Place is protected.

About the work

Construction of the 3.2-kilometre section of road commenced in May 2019 and was completed in early December 2019.

Myall Lakes National Park remained open during the work including access to campgrounds, boat ramps, Bombah Point Ferry and the NRMA Myall Shores Holiday Park.

Visitors were advised that travel on Mungo Brush Road may be reduced to one lane only as required, between May and December 2019.

To allow for the safe completion of the work, the Dark Point precinct and Sandy Point 4WD carpark was temporarily closed, as required.

The Mungo Walking Track between Robinsons Crossing and Duck Hole Fire Trail will be closed for the duration of the work and will reopen once rehabilitation works are completed.

Mungo Brush Road is in Myall Lakes National Park, 95 kilometres north of Newcastle. The section of road being relocated is 10 kilometres north of Hawks Nest and traverses south from the Dark Point carpark for approximately 3.2 kilometres.

The new section of road was constructed approximately 300 metres west of the road's current location, outside the predicted 50-year sand dune edge.

Map showing the location of the Mungo Brush Road relocation

Pre-construction work and site preparation commenced in early May with the construction works planned through to December 2019.

Project stages

Stage 1: complete in 2016
Environmental assessment, concept design and initial stakeholder consultation.

Stage 2: complete 2016-18
Detailed construction design plans, baseline environmental surveys, tendering for construction contract and Project Manager.

Stage 3: March to April 2019
Pre-construction surveys, site preparation, vegetation clearing, ecological surveys, site induction and works planning.

Stage 4: May – December 2019
Construction of new road alignment and new access road to Dark Point carpark and additional parking.

Stage 5: Post-construction
Landscape establishment on the roadside, new signs, rehabilitation and biodiversity monitoring.

The new 3.2 kilometres section of dual-lane road was constructed, 300 metres west of the current Mungo Brush Road. The road was sealed and designed to a maximum speed limit of 80km/hr, in accordance with the Australian standards for road design.

It included a safe turning lane to Dark Point carpark, improved car parking, and pedestrian access to the Mungo Walking Track.

Where possible, material from the existing road was extracted and reused to construct the new road. The old road was landscaped and rehabilitated.

Drawing of Mungo Brush Road relocation - construction map

Options considered

In determining the most feasible option for maintaining the Mungo Brush Road, National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) reviewed 10 options proposed as part of an independent Dune Management Options Study.

It was identified that relocating the road was the most feasible option for ensuring the road remained open to vehicles and that Aboriginal culturally significant Dark Point Dunes are protected.

The $4.3 million road relocation project is managed and funded by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, as part of an ongoing commitment to maintaining visitor access.

Bolte Civil Pty. Ltd. were engaged by NPWS through a competitive tender process to construct the road, in accordance with the environmental assessment requirements. Coffey Projects (Australia Pty Ltd), an independent Project Manager was engaged to oversee the construction work.

NPWS is committed to maintaining access to the popular park for visitors and the local community, and to conserving the culturally significant Dark Point Aboriginal Place.

Mungo Brush Road is the main vehicle access to the southern section of Myall Lakes National Park, and links the townships of Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest and Bulahdelah via the vehicle ferry.

Environmental assessment

In accordance with NSW planning legislation, NPWS carried out a rigorous environmental assessment of the work site and prepared a Review of Environmental Factors (REF), prior to development approval.

This included a review of threatened species, Aboriginal and historic heritage values and vegetation communities affected by the proposed road relocation. The REF was publicly exhibited for feedback in 2016.

The REF identifies several conditions which NPWS must meet in carrying out the work, including the establishment of a 10 Year biodiversity monitoring program and Aboriginal cultural site awareness training for construction contractors.

10 Year biodiversity monitoring plan

Monitoring and reporting on sensitive environmental areas for significant change, is a key requirement of the environmental conditions of approval. NPWS have developed a long-term biodiversity evaluation, monitoring and reporting plan which will monitor critical environmental and vegetation aspects before, during and after the construction stages. The primary focus is monitoring the endangered ecological communities and hydrology within the area of the construction works.  NPWS will be providing reports to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Myall Lakes National Park will remain open to visitors for the duration of the work including campgrounds, Bombah Point Ferry and the NRMA Myall Shores Park.

Road construction was scheduled outside of busy holiday times, to minimise disruption to the local community, commercial operators and visitors.  

From February to May 2019

Motorists and visitors are advised to expect an increase in construction vehicles, road workers and vegetation clearing, as site preparation works is undertaken.

From May to December 2019

  • Traffic on Mungo Brush Road will be temporarily reduced to one lane only, to allow for the safe completion of the work. Motorists are advised to expect minor delays and to drive according to directions.
  • The Dark Point precinct and Sandy Point 4WD carpark will be temporarily closed as required during construction work.
  • Mungo Walking Track between Robinsons Crossing and Duck Hole Fire Trail will be closed for the duration of the works.

More information

For more information about visiting Myall Lakes National Parks including closures and visitor alerts go to National Parks and Wildlife Service: Myall Lakes National Park

1. Will I still be able to drive or cycle along Mungo Brush Road during the roadwork?

Yes. Vehicle access along Mungo Brush Road will be maintained during the construction, however will be limited to a one lane gravel road only. Motorists are advised to be prepared for delays and changed traffic conditions.   

Access to Myall Lakes National Park from Bulahdelah via the Bombah Point vehicle ferry will remain unaffected.

2. Will any camping or picnic areas be closed due to the roadwork?

All camping and picnic facilities in Myall Lakes National Park will remain open during the road’s construction.   

As normal, NPWS may temporarily close and rest some areas in Myall Lakes National Park in the off-peak season to carry out improvements or rehabilitate high demand visitor sites.

To check visit  National Parks and Wildlife Service: Myall Lakes National Park

3. Will any walking tracks be closed due to the roadwork?

Mungo Walking Track between Robinsons Crossing and Duck Hole Fire Trail will be closed for the duration of the roadwork, for public safety.

Pedestrian crossings access gates and new walking track signs will be developed as part of the project. 

4. Can I still access Dark Point during the roadwork?

The Dark Point carpark and walking track will be temporarily closed during the roadwork. Improvements to the carpark will be made as part of this project.   

5. Can I still access Bennets Beach and Mungo Beach during the roadwork?

Yes. Access to Lemontree and Mungo Beach 4WD access will remain open. Visitors should expect delays when travelling along Mungo Brush Road.

The Sandy Point 4WD beach carpark will be temporarily closed as required to allow the completion of the road work.

6. Will trucks and heavy vehicles movements increase in Tea Gardens/Hawks during construction?

There will be a temporary increase in heavy vehicle traffic through Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens to allow road materials including gravel, culverts and fencing to be transported to the construction site, as required. This will occur during normal construction hours and limited weekends.

7. What will happen to the old section of Mungo Brush Road following the construction?

Where possible, suitable material from the existing (old) section of road will be extracted and reused to construct the new road. The old section of road will then be landscaped and rehabilitated.

Progress updates

Regular updates about the progress of the roadwork will be posted here. Please register below if you would like to receive the updates directly.

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