Somersby Falls Picnic Area upgrade: Public consultation

National Parks and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on the draft concept plan for changes to the Somersby Falls Picnic area until 14 March 2021.

Somersby Falls Picnic Area is a popular visitor destination in Brisbane Water National Park on the Central Coast of New South Wales. The picnic area has views over Somersby Falls, and there is a walking track to the base of the falls.

Due to increased visitation at this popular site, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is planning to upgrade the picnic area and associated walking tracks. NPWS has prepared a draft concept plan for the upgrade of the picnic area, which is available to the public for information and comments.

What does the project involve?

The Somersby Falls Picnic Area caters for day use and offers barbecues, picnic tables and toilet facilities. NPWS is planning to improve accessibility and facilities at the site. The upgrade proposes to:

  • increase car parking capacity, including provisions for bus parking
  • increase facilities such as BBQs and picnic tables
  • upgrade the amenities block and associated infrastructure
  • provide a covered group area with picnic tables
  • enhance the protection of Aboriginal sites
  • improve accessibility across the area
  • upgrade the walking track and elevated timber walkways leading from the picnic area to the falls
  • provide disabled access to view the top falls.

How will the work affect park visitors?

The work will be carried out by qualified contractors and NPWS staff, but to ensure visitor safety during construction, the Somersby Falls picnic area will be temporarily closed for up to 8 months.

Notification of the closure date will be on the NPWS website. Weather permitting, the targeted completion date is late 2022.

Visitors to the area during this time may want to use other nearby facilities, such as Girrakool Picnic Area, Mt Penang Gardens and Strickland State Forest. Visitors should check with these areas to see if they are suitable for their needs.

Is this work covered in the plan of management?

Yes. The upgrade work is covered by the plan of management, so no amendments to the plan are required.

How will park values be protected?

Prior to construction works commencing, an environmental assessment will be undertaken to identify any likely impacts on the natural or cultural environment. The assessment will outline any measures that may be needed to lessen these impacts.

Where can I see the draft concept plan and find out more?

The draft concept plan (PDF 9.3MB) can be downloaded from this page.

More information about the concept plan can be obtained by emailing npws.centralcoast@environment.nsw.gov.au.

How can I comment on the draft concept plan?

Comments on the draft concept plan are open until 14 March 2021. You are invited to comment on the draft concept plan by sending a written submission by this date.

While all submissions count, they are most effective when we understand your ideas and the outcomes you want for the precinct. Following are some suggestions to help you write your submission:

  • Write clearly and be specific about the issues of concern to you.
  • Note which page of the document your comments relate to.
  • Give reasoning in support of your points - makes it easier for us to consider your ideas and helps avoid misinterpretation.
  • Tell us specifically what you agree/disagree with and why.

Comments will be considered prior to works being undertaken. Please note that the draft plan is conceptual only, and the final works will be governed by engineering limitations, amenities, such as available water and electricity, and budgetary and environmental constraints. 

Your privacy

Your comments on the draft concept plan may include 'personal information'. The Department complies with the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 which regulates the collection, storage, quality, use and disclosure of personal information. For details see our privacy page. The inclusion of personal information with your submission is voluntary but information that in some way identifies you may be gathered when you use our website or send us an email.

A summary of issues raised in public submissions may be made publicly available. If you wish your identity and personal information in your submission to be treated as confidential you must request your name be treated as confidential, and not include any of your personal information in the main text of the submission or attachments so that it can be easily removed.

If an application to access information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 requests access to your submission, your views about the release will be sought if you have indicated that you object to your submission being made public.

Have your say

Public exhibition is from 18 January 2021 to 14 March 2021.

You can provide your written submission in any of the following ways:

  • Post your written submission to –
    Ranger, Brisbane Water National Park
    PO Box 1477
    Gosford NSW 2250.
  • Email your submission to: npws.centralcoast@environment.nsw.gov.au.
  • Make a submission online by using the online form below. 
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