Coast walk steps up a notch

Sandon Point cycleway, Bulli.

Sandon Point cycleway, Bulli.

IF you like the idea of cycling or walking from the Royal National Park at Otford through Stanwell Park and on to Lake Illawarra, Windang, Wollongong City Council wants your input.
Council will begin community engagement on the draft Masterplan for the Grand Pacific Walk, which will eventually wind its way along the north’s majestic coastline.
Council will also be talking with community members on the draft concept plans for stage one, which is from Station Street, Stanwell Park, over the Stoney Creek Bridge, Coalcliff, through to the northern end of the Seacliff Bridge.
Council is starting at Stanwell Park as it currently has no pathways.
This section of the Grand Pacific Walk route is challenging, with steep and sometimes unstable land, narrow roads and a lack of provisions for pedestrians and cyclists.
Providing safe access along this part of the route is considered a high priority by Council.
This is a long term project and Council will work on each segment as funds become available.
The community engagement will be from November 25 till February 10 2014.
The first engagement will take place at Berkeley Community Centre Park, off Winnima Way, on Saturday December 14 from 4.30pm to 6.30pm.
“This stretch of our coast is among the best scenic views on the eastern coast of Australia,” Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.
“The Grand Pacific Walk will eventually become a walkway and cycleway for tourists and visitors from around the globe. I’m hopeful that the city’s Grand Pacific Walk will rival great walks along Australia’s eastern coast and attract tourists from throughout the world. “The Grand Pacific Walk will offer access down this part of our coast through a shared pathway and use of potential on-road bicycle lanes. We are also planning to include viewing areas, natural vantage points with links to playgrounds, cafés, and other places, such as toilets, which are just as important. And we have highlighted great places to stop off for a bite to eat or just a quick dip or relax under the pines.
“During the summer period we would like all community members to take part in refining our ideas and vision for the Walk.” In many areas a pathway already exists and this long term project will aim to provide the ‘missing links’ between these shared pathways segments. Council will be talking with community members on the new sections proposed to connect with the existing footpaths and shared pathways. It will showcase our natural features – the escarpment and the sea – and will be enjoyed by locals as well as visitors. By creating wider paths separated from vehicle traffic, the Grand Pacific Walk will provide a safer route for pedestrians and cyclists. For more information on the draft Masterplan, the concept designs and site analyses, you can visit council website at http://www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/services/majorprojects/Pages/grandpacificwalk.aspx.

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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