The Urunga Boardwalk Upgrade Project aims to enhance access, safety, and sustainability while preserving the natural environment. The historic boardwalk, which has undergone multiple transformations, requires modernisation to meet current safety standards and provide a secure pathway for all users. The project includes widening the boardwalk to improve accessibility for individuals with mobility issues and wheelchair users, aligning with inclusivity goals. The upgrade also aims to enhance the well-being of the local community, attract more visitors, and support local businesses. The project received $3.96 million in funding from the NSW Government's Regional Tourism Activation Fund and is scheduled for completion by June 2026.
Throughout its rich history, the renowned Urunga boardwalk has undergone numerous remarkable transformations. From its modest origins as a rudimentary, handrail-free structure composed of just two timber planks, it served as a pathway for boatmen accessing the newly constructed southern break wall in 1906.
In 1940, during its second upgrade, the boardwalk underwent an expansion that incorporated a 50-metre swimming area. Fast forward to 1988, when the initiative to develop a wheelchair-accessible footbridge commenced. Over the years, the boardwalk has seen several enhancements and renovations, culminating in its completion in 2010. Today, it proudly stands as one of the town's most cherished attractions.
The decision to upgrade the boardwalk stems from our commitment to enhancing access and sustainability and safety within the Bellingen Shire. We recognise the importance of creating inclusive spaces that cater to visitors of all abilities while prioritising the preservation of our natural environment. The Urunga Boardwalk Upgrade project has been initiated to address these crucial aspects and deliver a transformative experience for both locals and visitors alike.
Safety Enhancement: Recognising the importance of ensuring the well-being of our visitors and community, an upgrade to the boardwalk is necessary to enhance safety measures. The existing structure, with its rich history, requires modernisation to meet current safety standards and provide a secure and reliable pathway for all users.
Enhancing Accessibility: providing equal opportunities for everyone to enjoy the beauty of Urunga. By widening the boardwalk, we aim to improve accessibility, ensuring that individuals with mobility issues or those requiring assistance, including wheelchair users, can easily navigate and experience the boardwalk. This aligns with our commitment to inclusivity and the objectives outlined in the Inclusive Tourism Strategy and Disability Inclusion Action Plan.
Preserving the Environment: Sustainability lies at the core of our values and actions. We aim to create a boardwalk that seamlessly integrates with the surrounding environment, preserving its natural beauty for generations to come.
Community Well-being: The boardwalk holds a special place in the hearts of the local community. By upgrading the boardwalk, we aim to enhance the well-being of our residents, providing them with an improved space for leisure, relaxation, and quality time with friends and family. The revitalisation of the boardwalk will not only benefit our local community but also attract more visitors, boosting the vibrancy of our region's tourism and supporting local businesses.
Indigenous Engagement: Council staff have been liaising with Crown Lands who will be engaging with the Coffs Harbour & District Local Aboriginal Land Council (https://coffsharbourlalc.com.au/) around this project associated with indigenous culture and heritage to determine what approvals may be required.
The Urunga Boardwalk Upgrade project received $3.96 million in funding secured from Round Two of the NSW Government's Regional Tourism Activation Fund. The primary objective of the project is to create a seamless pathway along the 1-kilometer boardwalk, catering to visitors of all abilities.
Collaboration with stakeholders is pivotal to our success. While an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and community consultation are not currently anticipated, we remain committed to fostering meaningful engagement and incorporating diverse perspectives as we shape the future of the Urunga Boardwalk.