Revealed: Major Transformation Planned for One of Sydney❜s Most Popular Beaches

  • All Ages

A real gem of the Northern Beaches, Freshwater Beach is an absolute favourite among Sydneysiders and visitors alike. The beachside suburb is famed for its relatively lowkey, sleepy vibe—alongside its epic surf and a strong sense of community.

And now, the Northern Beaches Council is on the brink of beginning an extensive redevelopment of the sprawling parklands that sit adjacent to Freshwater Beach, which includes seating, picnic areas, and—cue choruses of "hallelujahs" from parents—a brand new playground. The plans have been in the works for five years, and they intend to improve amenities, access, and even some public artworks. 

Here's what you need to know about the Freshwater Beach Masterplan. 

A Mega Beachfront Precinct is Coming to Freshwater Beach

Freshwater Beach Masterplan
Freshwater Beach Masterplan

The Freshwater Beach Masterplan will incorporate the likes of a lookout with terraced seating, grassed picnic areas with shelters, picnic tables, designated seating areas, a new playground, and electrical BBQs.

Freshwater Beach Masterplan also includes new ramps and footpaths to improve accessibility—as Freshwater's access is notoriously difficult for those using wheelchairs and those with prams. 

The Playground

Freshwater Beach Masterplan Playground
This artist's impression of Freshwater's beach playground promises a serious glow-up! 

The current play structures in place at Freshwater haven't been updated since the 1980s, so it's safe to say they're long overdue for an upgrade.

The new playground is set to include shade sails, an accessible spinner, swings, sheltered areas for seating, and a really lush, tropical vibe. Playgrounds really do offer a hub for local children to come and play, and we're so excited at the prospect of such an extensive upgrade at Freshwater! 

Accessibility and Art

Freshwater Redevelopment Masterplan
The Masterplan would make Freshwater a much more accessible destination for people in wheelchairs and those pushing prams.

A fundamental complaint about Freshwater is its terrible access. The beach access path currently stops halfway, which is a dealbreaker for many community members. The lookout plans include an accessible walkway to the lookout and terraced seating along the way. 

In a related project, Northern Beaches Council has approved a boardwalk extension linking McKillop Park on Freshwater headland with the boardwalk to South Curl Curl Beach, which will be installed in 2023 as part of the Coast Walk and Public Art project.

Freshwater Redevelopment Artwork
This beautiful public artwork will provide a space for the community to sit and engage with their surroundings. (Artist impression).

The headland artwork is inspired by the concept of signal fires lit by Aboriginal people on headlands along the coast as a communication system and by traditional Aboriginal structures called gunyas. The integrated seating will provide a place for the public to engage, sit and rest on-site without obstructing the views of the ocean and sky.

When Will the Freshwater Beach Masterplan Begin?

The current timeline would see work on the playground design begin during winter 2023; however, if the window to build it this year in winter is missed, the playground upgrade will be postponed until winter 2024 to avoid closing it down during the summer months.

The rest of the Freshwater Beach Masterplan will be progressively implemented over the next three years, mostly in winter, as the beach is of such value to the community during summer.

Construction of the headland art piece is set to commence in autumn 2023, while the boardwalk's construction is set to begin in late 2023. Watch this space! 

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