Work steps up on Bay walking trail

16 December 2021

On-the-ground work has officially begun on the Batemans Bay Coastal Headland Walking Trail with the upgrade of some stairs at Caseys Beach.

The 14.5-km walking trail traverses public land along the headlands and beaches between Batehaven’s Observation Point and McKenzies Beach.

Eurobodalla Council’s senior project engineer George Workman said the vast majority of works would be low impact; things like tidying up tracks, shoring up safety on stairs, bridges and lookouts, and installing the odd picnic bench.

“First and foremost this is a nature trail, so this project is really to enhance what’s already here,” he said.

“There’s probably about two or three kilometres where we will need to deviate from existing tracks because it’s either a little bit unsafe, too close to private properties, or we could just put it in a nicer spot. However, we will be  looking to avoid taking trees or destroying any vegetation other than weedy species.”

Mr Workman said the schedule of works along the trail would depend on the outcome of various approvals.

“It’s not a project where we can start from one end and work through to the other, there’s a whole slew of heritage and environmental approval processes to go through,” he said.

“Some components we can start immediately, others we can start soon, but it may appear to be a piecemeal project – as an approval comes in, we’ll get to work.”

Early next year a major project will get underway to upgrade Observation Point, which will serve as the trail’s gateway. A wheelchair-accessible viewing platform large enough to cater for small weddings will be installed, as well as upgraded lookout points, integrated Aboriginal and European cultural and historical information, formal car parking and picnic areas.

From there, the trail will traverse along the headlands and beaches to McKenzies Beach, while a smaller network of inland tracks will allow access during high tides and adverse swell conditions. Eurobodalla Council will maintain the trail.

“This is an exciting project that not only ensures residents and the community retain access to the trail, but it also has the potential to attract visitors year-round,” he said.

The trail is being built with $5.25m from the Commonwealth and NSW Government’s Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, $672,000 from Building Better Regions Fund, $145,000 from Bushfire Regional Tourism Fund, $75,000 from Stronger Country Communities Fund, and contributions from Rotary Club and Council.

All works are due to be complete by June 2023.