Wattamolla Visitor Precinct is one of the most popular places in Royal National Park, with visitation increasing significantly over the past few years driven by day trippers and those walking the Royal Coast Track. Visitor demand regularly exceeds the capacity of existing facilities, including picnic areas and car parks, which negatively impacts the visitor experience and puts pressure on the natural environment.
National Parks and Wildlife Service prepared a master plan to address these challenges and guide how it could better manage visitation whilst protecting the natural and cultural values of the place. This plan was placed on public exhibition in 2016 with over 150 responses received. The plan was finalised and approved in 2017.
The master plan identified and assessed visitor needs, the impact of increasing use on the natural environment and managing the sustainable use of Wattamolla. The plan guides the enhancement of the precinct to meet rapidly escalating visitor expectations. It proposes a range of measures, including traffic and parking upgrades, enhanced landscaping, an improved waste water treatment system and public amenities. The plan's implementation has been staged based on prioritised actions and cost.
A number of key upgrades proposed by the master plan have been completed. The onsite sewerage treatment system was upgraded in 2016–17, and a new amenities block was completed in December 2019. Both these projects have substantially contributed to improving visitor amenity and environmental outcomes within the precinct. These works are being delivered as part of the largest visitor infrastructure program in national park history.
What is happening at Wattamolla?
The lower loop carpark and picnic area at Wattamolla have undergone upgrades during 2021. This has included:
- reconfiguration of the lower loop car park to create additional shaded open space for picnics, and provide for safer bus drop-off and accessible parking
- upgrade of picnic areas, including new shelters and BBQs
- new viewing platform and safety fencing
- landscaping, pathways and tree planting to improve the visual amenity of the site
- new drainage works to help protect Wattamolla lagoon.
These works provide a safer, more accessible and improved visitor experience. The picnic area and lower loop carpark has reopened to visitors as most of these works are now complete. In January, contractors will be back on site to complete the final minor works to the picnic area.
In addition to this project, an upgraded pathway from the picnic area to the lagoon and beach is scheduled to open to visitors in mid-2022. Contractors will be on site over the coming months to complete outstanding works along the path. This is currently closed with onsite signage in place. Please do not cross the barrier, the beach and lagoon can be accessed via the pathway near the amenity building.
Please check current alerts before planning your visit.