About this project

Design challenges are met head on in a collaborative approach by GeoLINK’s landscape architecture and engineering teams.

Project Overview
Arakoon and Hat Head national parks, near South West Rocks on the NSW mid north coast are popular visitor destinations. The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is taking steps to improve and modernise visitor facilities in the parks to enhance the user experience for both visitors and locals.

A draft masterplan has been developed for four key precincts, which are popular destinations, within the parks:

  • Trial Bay
  • Cardwell Street
  • Little Bay
  • Smoky Cape precincts

Plans include the development of new walking tracks, amenities blocks, shelters and upgraded access roads at the Trial Bay campground.

Project Scope
The masterplans form part of the Macleay Coast Destination project which has been created to improve community wellbeing, enhance the regional visitor economy and increase nature-based tourism.

Concepts and designs have been developed that complement the existing historic and cultural significance within the key visitor precincts in Arakoon and Hat Head national parks by increasing the range and quality of experiences on offer and improving park visitor facilities.

Included in the proposed masterplan are

  • upgraded visitor infrastructure
  • walking tracks, including a new walking track south of Gap Beach which will complete the Smoky Cape to Little Bay walking track
  • shared pedestrian cycle ways
  • upgrades to roads and parking facilities
  • reconfiguration of camping areas
  • repurposing of existing infrastructure

GeoLINK have developed precinct plans for the four distinct areas as part of the design process. These precinct plans form part of the Draft Masterplan, which once finalised, will be incorporated into the Plan of Management.

It’s planned that the project will be implemented in 3 stages, with an initial $6.7 million in funding focused on delivering the first 2 stages over the next 4 years. Proposed project stages are:

Stage 1 – Develop a blueprint to meet long-term visitor demands of key visitor precincts in Arakoon National Park and Smoky Cape in Hat Head National Park and determine priorities for implementation.

Stage 2 – Use project funding to improve the visitor experience by improving pedestrian, cycle and traffic circulation; separating non-compatible uses; and modernising facilities in priority areas.

Stage 3 – Undertake remaining works as funding becomes available over the 10-year life of the master plan.

Stage 1 is almost complete with the draft Master Plan now on public exhibition.

Landscape Architecture and Engineering Services
GeoLINK’s reputation for delivering holistic, creative and sustainable solutions provided NPWS with the expertise needed for this large and diverse project. Our depth of expertise includes a Registered Landscape Architect.

Having previously worked on similar major public design projects meant we were able to provide our client with the understanding and knowledge needed to encompass both the landscape architecture and engineering facets for the design phase.

Design challenges and outcomes
A major element of the project was the upgrade of existing roads to improve the traffic flow system at Trial Bay Gaol, as well as separate general vehicle access from campground locations to enhance the camping experience. The solution for this iconic location required GeoLINK’s landscape architect and civil engineer to design collaboratively to ensure that pedestrian safety was maximised, and vehicle access was improved in a highly constrained location.

Our experience means we understand the need to be flexible and adaptable with this scale of project, especially when there is significant community involvement. Our approach with NPWS was to:

  • Maintain regular communication with the Project Manager and NPWS Planning and Design Working Group.
  • As the project evolves, confirm outcomes of discussions and actions to be taken.
  • Develop designs within the agreed timeframes.
  • Regularly report on progress or delays to the Project Manager.

This approach has developed a level of trust and understanding with the client, allowing for positive outcomes for the initial stage of the project. We look forward to seeing the remaining stages unfold.

Find our more about how our Landscape Architecture and Civil Engineering services can help with your next project.





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