Bathers Way opens at Strzelecki and Shepherds Hill cottage

CLEAR PATH: Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes has opened the new stretch of the Bathers Way, snaking around Strzelecki lookout and Shepherds Hill cottage. Picture: Marina Neil

NEWCASTLE’s coastal walkers and runners will begin unwrapping a new section of the Bathers Way with the completion of the Strzelecki section of the spectacular beachfront path.

Finishing touches are now being added to the streetscapes and footpaths snaking around the lookout and nearby Shepherds Hill Cottage, which the council announced earlier this month will be opened for expressions of interest in the new year.

The new section of Bathers Way connects Memorial Drive, Cliff Street and The Terrace.

Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the new section added to the Shortland Esplanade stretch andfeatures footpaths four metres wide.

She dubbed itanother milestone in activating the city’s waterfront.

“We’ve seen community usage almost double upon completion of other stages of the Bathers Way and it’s likely to be the same result here,” Cr Nelmes said.

“This is one of the most spectacular sections of the route, with amazing views of the city and access to the Newcastle Memorial Walk –arguably one of the best short walks in NSW.”

Street and promenade lighting will be upgraded in early 2018, when the council will also begin accepting proposals for the former Marine Rescue Newcastle base at the top of the hill.

The Newcastle Herald has reported the site, which is undergoing a restoration worth at least $1.5million after it sustained severe damage in the April 2015 superstorm, could host a cafe or art space when work is finished.

Its eventual use will depend on the types of proposals put forward in the process, but those two have previously won support on community consultation.

The council has rehoused Marine Rescue NSW in Warabrook after terminating their lease on part of the cottage early in order to begin the restoration.

The next Bathers Way section will include an overhaul of the skate park at South Newcastle beach, with the logistically difficult King Edward Park portion to follow.

All six kilometres of the Bathers Way is slated for completion within five years.