Progress has been made on the upgrades planned for the Wattamolla visitor precinct area.
The upgrades are in response to a significant increase in visitors to Wattamolla over the last few years. During the peak summer periods there are up to 3500 visitors a day. When the parking lots are full people park on Sir Betrams Stevens Drive and make the 3km walk to the picnic area on foot. Long term plans are to double the parking from 300 to 700 spots. There are also plans to introduce a booking system for peak periods.
The updates currently being made are part of the Wattamolla Stage One upgrade plans which include:
- reconfiguration of the lower loop car park to create additional shaded open space for picnics, and provide for safer bus drop-off and accessible parking
- upgrade of the picnic areas including new shelters and BBQs
- new viewing platform and safety fencing overlooking the falls
- landscaping, pathways and tree planting that will improve the visual amenity of the area
The works started on 26 April and were expected to complete by 24 October. However, construction was halted for two weeks due to the NSW Health orders in response to the Sydney COVID-19 outbreak.
Fencing has been erected around the site but a fenced path still allows walkers to pass through the site as part of the Coast walk. There is also a path away from the contruction site which allows for beach access.
Earthworks have demolished the existing lower level car park area. Some of the retaining walls have been built. These retaining walls will section off the parking, picnicing, BBQing and the new viewing area overlooking the falls.
The controversial issue of cliff jumping off of Wattamolla Falls is also to be addressed during this stage of construction.
The spot is popular with thrill seekers but sadly has lead to tragic consequences including death.
The existing fencing near the cliff edge will be removed. In it’s place a balustrade will be installed which is integrated with a pathway that is set further back from the cliff edge. The design and position of the balustrade will be in a manner that discourages climbing over it.