Scot MacDonald
12th Jun 2018

The 2018 State Budget has delivered a $7 million tourism boost for Port Stephens’ Tomaree Coastal Walk.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC, welcomed the funding that would be invested linking and expanding the iconic coastal walk to 23 km, providing whale watching and interpretative facilities.

“This means more people not only get to see the beautiful Tomaree Coast but also have the opportunity to appreciate the remarkable Aboriginal and World War Two history of the area,” Mr MacDonald said.

“The project will be delivered in stages over a four years with completion in 2022. Tomaree National Park is located at Port Stephens, just over 60 kilometres north of Newcastle.

Port Stephens Council Mayor Ryan Palmer said “This will drive visitation particularly outside the traditional high season and boost both the regional visitor economy and community wellbeing, capitalising on high levels of visitation attracted to Port Stephens to appreciate Tomaree National Park.”

“The $6.7 million project is part of $40 million being invested by the Government to reinforce the state’s position as a key tourism destination through greater participation in visitor activities in national parks,” Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said.

“The expanded walk will help increase NSW’s nature-based tourism,” she said.

“It will boost the regional tourism economy through further investment. Port Stephens’ many accommodation and service providers will reap the benefit.”

The project includes:

• Enhanced visitor experiences for the iconic Tomaree Headland including improved access, walking tracks and visitor amenity. Selected sites of the World War II fortifications (gun emplacements, command post and radar site) on Tomaree Head will be interpreted for visitors to the park.

• Creation of a loop walking track with new access and elevated vistas at Box and Wreck headlands.

• New links to establish a coastal walking connection to Birubi Point utilising existing and former trails wherever possible.

The popularity of nature based walks is growing globally. This project will strengthen the appeal of NSW as a walking destination.

NPWS will work closely with Council, Tourism, Aboriginal communities and qualified NPWS commercial tour operators to optimise the visitor experience and enterprise opportunities for local communities.