Malabar Headland Coastal Walkway

Consultation has concluded

Thank you to everyone who participated in this consultation.

  • Council resolved on 28 June 2016 to proceed with construction of the walkway, but to remove the access from Ford Rd following feedback from residents. View the report.
  • Council considered a report on the outcome of the consultation on 24 May 2016. View the report and resolution.
  • National Parks and Wildlife Service is seeking feedback on the proposed eastern walkway. Find out more and have your say (consultation open 1-29 July).

Randwick City Council is working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to return public access to Malabar Headland with a new coastal walkway connecting South Maroubra Beach and Malabar Beach.

The proposed walkway will offer stunning ocean views across Malabar Headland to Maroubra Bay and will be the first public access to the newly declared Malabar Headland National Park in 150 years.

The 1km walking track has been designed to minimise impact to the natural environment such as the endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub and provide a direct connection through the National Park.

It will consist of a new 1500mm wide boardwalk constructed of fibreglass, stainless steel and timber. There will be seating and viewing areas taking in the panoramic vista.

This is an exciting new project and we want to know what you think!

This consultation is open from 1 - 31 March 2016.

More information: Phone 1300 722 542 or email council@randwick.nsw.gov.au

Thank you to everyone who participated in this consultation.

  • Council resolved on 28 June 2016 to proceed with construction of the walkway, but to remove the access from Ford Rd following feedback from residents. View the report.
  • Council considered a report on the outcome of the consultation on 24 May 2016. View the report and resolution.
  • National Parks and Wildlife Service is seeking feedback on the proposed eastern walkway. Find out more and have your say (consultation open 1-29 July).

Randwick City Council is working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to return public access to Malabar Headland with a new coastal walkway connecting South Maroubra Beach and Malabar Beach.

The proposed walkway will offer stunning ocean views across Malabar Headland to Maroubra Bay and will be the first public access to the newly declared Malabar Headland National Park in 150 years.

The 1km walking track has been designed to minimise impact to the natural environment such as the endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub and provide a direct connection through the National Park.

It will consist of a new 1500mm wide boardwalk constructed of fibreglass, stainless steel and timber. There will be seating and viewing areas taking in the panoramic vista.

This is an exciting new project and we want to know what you think!

This consultation is open from 1 - 31 March 2016.

More information: Phone 1300 722 542 or email council@randwick.nsw.gov.au

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
  • As the rifle range is on Commonwealth owned land and Council has no control over it who do we contact in the Government to find out what's happening? Thanks. Can't wait to roam free range in my park whenever I like.

    Tracey asked about 1 year ago

    Hi Tracey, to find out more about the rifle range you can contact the Department of Finance. They advise the best means for the public to make contact is via malabarheadland@finance.gov.au 

  • Why aren't you fighting for the WHOLE Headland to be handed to local people and the people of NSW? Is the Council going to support the sub-division and sale of the rest just like Prince Henry was lost to the public?

    Bob Strachan asked about 1 year ago

    Council’s position on the Malabar Headland is outlined in the Randwick City Plan and includes an action for the four year delivery program (2013-2017) to:
    "Advocate the return of the remaining Commonwealth land at Malabar Headland to community open space."

    To view the plan, visit (see page 53): http://www.randwick.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/10279/20_Year_Randwick_City_Plan.pdf


  • What is a plan to reopen Malabar SMAC aero modelling club?

    azarov00 asked about 1 year ago

    The Sydney Model Aero Club's use of Malabar headland was subject to a lease agreement between the Commonwealth Department of Finance and the club. The club was required to vacate the site with all other users in 2011 when asbestos was found to present a health hazard. Any further use of the central lot of the Malabar headland site would be subject to a lease agreement between the club and the Commonwealth as owners of the land.

  • Has the landscape architects included any wheelchair users when planning this track? It seems incredible that in the middle of the track you are putting in a set if stairs. Go and watch who is using the coast walk and you wont see any wheelchairs - because it not accessible at all. There is a spinal unit at Randwick and Spinal Cord Injuries Australia is at Little Bay - disabled people should be included in this facility

    Neil McLennan asked about 1 year ago

    Hi Neil, we appreciate your comment.  In planning the proposed track,  Council and the landscape architects were mindful of providing an accessible walking track.  Unfortunately, in an effort to retain significant vegetation and to traverse some very steep topography, we have been unable to avoid the one set of stairs you are referring to in the plan.


  • Hi Council and thanks for the forum. I have two questions: 1. The coastal walk along Maroubra currently is quite heavily laden with dog excrement due to walkers who do not pick up after their dog. This walk will be built in a sensitive natural environment in a national park. How will it be protected from dogs, and how will these measures be enforced? 2. The walkway is only substandard to a coastal walkway, which I understand is regrettably not within your control at the moment. Will the Council's official position continue to be to strongly lobby the Commonwealth government and the State for the return of ALL of the headland to the community so it can be availably for recreational use by everyone?

    O G asked about 1 year ago

    Hi G, dogs are not permitted in NSW National Parks. Signage will be included at the entrances of the walking track to inform pet owners of park regulations. Enforcement of park regulations is carried out by National Park and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Rangers. Some regional parks can and do allow dog walking. You can find the National Parks and Wildlife Service, 'Pets in Parks’ Policy along with a list of regional parks which allow dog walking at; http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/conservation-and-heritage/care-for-parks/dogs-in-parks

    NPWS have begun the planning for a walking track in the eastern part of Malabar Headland National Park, which will connect South Maroubra Beach to Long Bay. While these plans are being developed, NPWS will maintain an interim Class 4 walking route between these locations (Class 4 tracks are defined as long, rough and very steep. Directional signage may be limited and bushwalking experience is recommended). This mostly on-ground track will be open for public use by June this year. We agree that a walkway should be built around the coastline and this is Council's long-term plan.


  • If the walkway is going to protect the environment from foottraffic, wouldn't it also significantly reduce any impact from responsible dogwalkers who cleanup after themselves and have dogs on leads? Is there anyway to get an exemption from the State National Park prohibition on dogs and manage the pathway so that dogwalkers can use the whole coastal walkway and not have to go around from Pioneer Park to Maroubra beach?

    Cesare asked about 1 year ago

    Dogs are not permitted in NSW National Parks, although some regional parks can and do allow dog walking. You can find the National Parks and Wildlife Service, 'Pets in Parks’ Policy along with a list of regional parks which allow dog walking at; http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/conservation-and-heritage/care-for-parks/dogs-in-parks . There are a number of on and off leash open spaces adjacent to Malabar Headland National Park, a list of these locations can be found at; http://www.randwick.nsw.gov.au/services/animals-and-pets/off-leash-dog-areas


  • What action is intended to eradicate bitou bush which is infesting the whole of this coastal area including The Coast gold course?

    PSD asked about 1 year ago

    The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is currently conducting bush regeneration activities including weed supression at Malabar Headland National Park and will continue to do so into the future. Bitou Bush is being targeted by both contractors and the community volunteer group, the Friends of Malabar Headland. The Friends of Malabar Headland have been carrying out activities to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the headland for over 15 years . If you would like to volunteer with the Friends of Malabar Headland or find out more, visit http://malabarheadland.org.au/


  • May I clear up an error stated by one questioner to start. He called the centre Commonwealth controlled portion (the Rifle Range) the South Maroubra Shooting Range, designed it appears to assign it diminutive status for the unknowing. It is in fact The "Anzac Rifle Range, Malabar" and the facilities therein include heritage-worthy items themselves concerning the training of generations of ANZACs for the defence of the realm and eventually Australia. The NSW Rifle Association is the current tenant and it has a licence agreement with the Commonwealth, proven in the Supreme Court, to be in perpetuity until a replacement is found in the metropolitan area that is suitable to their needs. Instead of attempting to ignore the "elephant in the room of the green dream" to turn this entire area over to walkers, navel gazers, druggies and vandals, perhaps those who'd like to make "legal" use of this Commonwealth property should try one of the best participation sports going, an activity that can be done from 12 to 95, able or disabled, male, female or trans (if you like), people from all social stratum and occupations. It challenges brain, not brawn and is not peopled by rednecks and the uneducated. Those who wish to get rid of the shooters just need to accept that uses of land can include activities that they may not like. Live and let live and stop trying to make a battle out of this situation. Accept it and make friends with shooters; don't demonise us as we are the most law-abiding, stable members of your society.

    Marcus asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you Marcus for your comment. While this forum has been setup to provide the opportunity for questions and answers from Council or NPWS, I have decided to publish this comment in the interest of open and constructive dialogue between all parties. Kind regards Josh Hay, Manager Communication.

  • As the Coastal Walk (once extended along coast-edge of golf courses to South of Malabar) will be stair-less and fully 'accessible' from North Coogee to at least Little Bay (or maybe even La Perouse), why would Council introduce one set of stairs in this 4-8km length of 'accessible' walkway? Surely the the alternative to this one flight of stairs is to 'curve' the walkway route towards the West (ie staying in NP land) to slowly gain the height, rather than building a set of stairs to go directly up edge of rock-face. Especially with raised walkway, this change to avoid stairs is 'easy' (as an engineer who has walked whole area). The curved path that climbs from Bronte playground North to Marine Parade is a 60+ year old design done properly, whereas the endless stairs where path passes cemetery South of Bronte is a 10yo design that was done poorly, due to its excessive use of stairs. Can Council please 'step-up' to a better less-discriminatory design?

    GraemeHarrison asked about 1 year ago

    Hi Graeme, thanks for your considered comment.  Council has engaged the services of Landscape Architects who are experts in the design of walkways and trails.  In planning the construction of the new walkway, Council has attempted to minimise the use of stairs to ensure the highest level of accessibility.  Working in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Council considered a range of options to provide access in areas where the topography changes, including ramps. Unfortunately, in an effort to retain significant vegetation and to traverse some very steep topography, we have been unable to avoid stairs in some parts of the track.  It would be great to meet you at our Drop-in session on Saturday 19 March, 9-10am where we can discuss your comment further with the architects and National Parks.


  • Is it disability-friendly? i.e. can a person using a walker negotiate it?

    scrapstrial asked about 1 year ago

    Some sections of the track will require the construction of stairs to ensure safe access over escarpments, rock ledges and changes in topography, as well as protecting significant vegetation.  Council has engaged the services of landscape architects who are experts in the design of walkways and trails, and have attempted to minimise the use of stairs as much as possible to ensure the highest level of accessibility. 


  • Is the walkway going to be "wheelchair accessible". OR Is the walkway going to be JUST another place the disabled/elderly cannot go. So far only a few places on the whole walkway are "wheelchair accessible" .

    Sr Jessica asked about 1 year ago

    Council has engaged the services of landscape architects who are experts in the design of walkways and trails.  In planning the construction of the new walkway, Council has attempted to minimise the use of stairs to ensure the highest level of accessibility.  Working in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Council considered a range of options to provide access in areas where the topography changes, including ramps. Unfortunately, in an effort to retain significant vegetation and to traverse some very steep topography, we have been unable to avoid stairs in some parts of the track.


  • Is the walkway going to be "wheelchair accessible" OR Is the walkway going to be JUST another place the disabled/elderly cannot go. So far only a few places on the whole walkway are "wheelchair accessible"

    Sr Jessica asked about 1 year ago

    Council has engaged the services of landscape architects who are experts in the design of walkways and trails.  In planning the construction of the new walkway, Council has attempted to minimise the use of stairs to ensure the highest level of accessibility.  Working in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Council considered a range of options to provide access in areas where the topography changes, including ramps. Unfortunately, in an effort to retain significant vegetation and to traverse some very steep topography, we have been unable to avoid stairs in some parts of the track.


  • Why isn't the "Coastal" walkway actually running around the Coast? It seems like an inland walkway. Why can't you work with governments and users of the headland to actually run it around the headland.

    Randwick Boy asked about 1 year ago

    Hi Randwick Boy, we agree that a walkway should be built around the coastline and this is Council's long-term plan. However we can't progress these plans until issues around access and safety are resolved on the eastern part of the headland, so the walkway across the western part of the Headland provides an immediate solution to return public access. We're hopeful to be able progress plans for a walkway around the coastline in the future which will link up with the western walkway providing a 4km loop around Malabar Headland as well as a link between South Maroubra and Malabar Beaches.


  • While I think a walkway is terrific, has any consideration been given to a bicycle path of some description which could eventually become part of a separate cycle or shared path route connecting Maroubra to La Perouse? Such a path could be along the lines of those enjoyed by cyclists and walkers on the southern end of the Gold Coast in Queensland or the Cooks River in Marrickville. We live in a relatively flat part of Sydney and we need more family friendly cycleways as well as walkways. Making this walkway wide enough to be a shared path would increase its use, especially once a more coastal walk along the cliff edge of the headland can be negotiated.

    NomadicMel asked about 1 year ago

    When designing the Coastal Walkway, various options were considered in regards to the function and width of the pathway. Due to the topography of this area and cost implications a path that accommodated a cycleway was not feasible. In the future, the National Parks and Wildlife Service may consider the inclusion of a bicycle path in the park.

  • How much construction of this walkway would cost to local residents?

    azarov00 asked about 1 year ago

    The cost to construct the entire length of the walkway will be in the vicinity of $2 million, however this is an estimate at this time. The walkway is funded by Council’s annual works budget.  For a number of years numerous sections of the Eastern Suburbs Coastal Walkway have been significantly funded by Randwick City Council, which has resulted in a world class recreation facility that is rated as one of Sydney’s most admired tourist attractions. The walkway has contributed substantial income to the local economy.

  • Hi Council, are you actively working to remove the shooting range which is taking away all the truly spectacular precious area of the Malabar peninsula away from the general public? To be honest, the walkway is not really a coastal walkway - it is more or less a compromise walk around the shooting range (which is way too dangerous for anyone even remotely being able to enjoy what the Malabar has to offer). The proposed walkway is just around the corner from the existing pathway to Malabar via Broome street, Anzac Parade and Cromwell pl....it seems like a waste of tax payers' money to be building another walkway that does not deliver what everyone wants i.e. an actual "coastal walkway".

    atrejka asked about 1 year ago

    The Commonwealth Government control the central portion of the Malabar Headland where the ANZAC Rifle Range is located, and attempts to relocate the rifle range in the past have been unsuccessful. Any future negotiations to relocate the rifle range remains the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government.  The proposed western walkway provides a very different experience to walking along Broome Street. The walkway offers some spectacular views of the coast as it winds its way through some impressive vegetation and terrain.

  • The ESBS remnant behind Byrne Crescent at the northern end of the walkway is now part of the Malabar Headland National Park and is magnificent condition. Is it intended to allow unrestricted access to this remnant? How will people, dogs and cyclists be confined to the boardwalk?

    Jonathan Milford asked about 1 year ago

    Randwick City Council and the National Parks and Wildlife Service are aware of the extent of the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub located in this area and this important ecological community has been carefully considered in the location and design of the walkway.. The walkway route is largely located to the western edge of the ESBS, also sections of the walkway include  “ESBS Protection fence” which is a low fence that encourages walkers to stay on the walkway route.

  • Hi, Are there any plans to reduce the odour that is produced by the wastewater treatment plant? The odour can be quite bad on certain days. It would be good if the national park could be enjoyed without the odour. Thanks

    jasminapetkoska asked about 1 year ago

    Sydney Water manages the Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and they are currently implementing an Improvement Project at the Plant. A reduction in odour from the WWTP is one of the expected benefits of this project.

    If you would like to know more about the Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Project please call Sydney Water on 13 20 92 (Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm) or you can email them on malabarwwtp@sydneywater.com.au


  • As it is a national park dogs need to be prohibited. I would love a place i can go with my children that would be clean and safe. Ie. Free from dog poo and peoples dogs. Please let me know that you will ensure this is dog free.

    Naturelover asked about 1 year ago

    Hi, dogs won't be permitted on the walking track as it's through a National Park. Kind regards

  • How about an off road bicycle trail in there? There is an increasingly large user group of cyclists in the eastern suburbs that can not ride off road legally, anywhere between Manly and Sutherland. There has been plenty of push for something similar in centennial park for years but Malabar would hugely better suited!! MTBA could provide statistics where necessary.. Thank you

    AB asked about 1 year ago

    Malabar Headland National Park contains the Endangered Ecological Community, Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS). Less than 3% of the original distribution of this community remains in a number of isolated remnants.

    ESBS occurs on disjunct patches of nutrient poor aeolian (wind blown) dune sand. These soils are very sensitive to erosion.  Historically, informal access to the headland has resulted in erosion and physical damage to the ESBS.  The National Parks and Wildlife Service are, in the first instance, committed to providing visitors with safe and environmentally sensitive walking routes to reduce the current degradation and fragmentation of the ESBS at Malabar Headland National Park.

    A Plan of Management will be prepared for the park and there will be a community consultation phase and stakeholders will have an opportunity to propose further recreational concepts at that time.


  • Is it really necessary to scar the escarpment with a steel fence? In the design phase is it not possible to design the walk way further from the edge of the escarpment to limit councils exposure to duty of care legislation? I would prefer the walkway to have a low impact upon the landscape.

    quolltrek asked about 1 year ago

    Thanks for your comment. We have tried throughout the design to minimise the amount of fencing wherever possible to reduce the visual impact. However there are a number of reasons why fencing has been required on the project:

    • To protect the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub endangered community
    • In accordance with recommendations arising from a risk assessment to reduce the likelihood of a walker falling from a cliff
    • To stop walkers inadvertently walking into the rifle range from the National Park

    The design of the Walkway has been undertaken in close liaison with NPWS and issues such as fences align with the risk tolerance for a National Park track.


  • How can this be a Q & A when council has already decided the route of this INLAND walkway. This is NOT a coastal walkway. I am very disappointed that construction is proposed to commence on a substandard route. Please, please try harder to negotiate mutually suitable times for shooters and walkers to access the COAST, not the inland as shown in this proposal. Specify times for walking and times for shooting and advertise. If you are going to do it, do it right and make it a truly coastal walkway.

    Local Citizen asked about 1 year ago

    Hi Local Citizen, Thanks for your comment! The route for the walkway is just a proposal at this stage and will be informed by this consultation process. At this point in time we are limited in where we can locate the walking track and it needs to be on the western part of the headland which has already been declared national park. The middle part of the headland is Commonwealth land used by the Shooters and Council has no control or input into this land or how it is used. We are also planning a walking track around the coast on the eastern part of the headland as you suggest, however these plans are dependent on resolving safety and access issues. The benefit of having both an inland walking track and coastal walking track is that they will meet up and provide a shorter 1km track from South Maroubra Beach to Malabar Beach and also a longer 3km coastal track as well as a 4km loop around the headland. Please be assured our long term goal is to provide a walkway around the coast and we're working with our partners NPWS to achieve this. Kind regards Josh

  • When is construction proposed to commence on the Malabar Headland segment? When is construction proposed to commence on the Malabar-Little Bay- La Perouse sections? This is a fantastic project and the sooner it happens the better. Thank you to all involved.

    John Lee asked about 1 year ago

    Construction of the Malabar Headland walkway is expected to begin mid to late 2016.  As a long-term project, Council envisages extending the coastal track south of the headland.  However to complete this, a number of significant issues need to be resolved, including areas that are topographically challenging to design and agreement between Council and the local Golf Clubs who control the land in regards to impact on the course, ongoing maintenance and liability.


  • If the gunmen use it more frequently what about noise pollution ?

    Dr Shane asked about 1 year ago

    The rifle range is on Commonwealth land located in the central part of the headland. Randwick Council does not have any control over these activities.

  • Does Randwick Council with Sydney Water intend to bury under dirt and vegetation (as has been proposed) most of the unsightly green storm-water pipe on Malabar Beach? It is not a good look for people to experience the beautiful natural headland along the proposed new walkway only to be confronted with this huge ugly green pipe that many people today still think allows effluent on to the beach despite it originally for storm water. Moreover this pipe sits incongruously as a reminder to all of the bad old days of storm water pumping directly into our beautiful beach. Please reply. Regards Louie

    Malabarman asked about 1 year ago

    HI Louie, yes we are looking at a number of options to reduce the visual impact of this pipe on Malabar Beach. As you are probably aware, a number of years ago Randwick Council and Sydney Water diverted most of the stormwater away from the beach which has resulted in a significant increase in water quality at the beach with BeachWatch rating the beach 'good' for the past three years. Unfortunately we can't remove the whole pipe as it is still required for overflow stormwater activity. As the pipe is an eyesight and a reminder of the 'old days' we're looking at options to partly bury it so that it blends into the natural landscape. Kind regards Josh

  • Is Randwick Council considering removing south maroubra shooting range and turning into public access park?

    azazello asked about 1 year ago

    The rifle range and associated facilities at Malabar Headland is on Commonwealth owned land and Council has no control over it. The Commonwealth has advised that they are investigating potential new sites for the rifle range, however no announcements have been made as yet.

  • How will the deep green moss carpets, which grow especially well on the escarpment edges during winter and spring, be protected from damage by our footwear?

    castillo asked about 1 year ago

    The moss carpets have been carefully considered in the design of the walkway. They have been mapped and where necessary they have either been avoided or in some sections a low level elevated mesh boardwalk is proposed for this area to protect the moss from walkers and to allow light through and allow the moss to continue to grow below.


  • Wouldn't it be better to have the walkway closer to the coast - or an alternate path along the coast? I understand the issues with the shooters, but there is plenty of space close to the sea cliff edge to have a walkway that would not in any way be affected by the shooters (I have walked there many times during shooting - you are nowhere near the range). It would be good to rationalise the many small pathways that currently run near the ocean - they are affecting the bushland there. A built walkway would keep people out of the rest of the bush there - is this under consideration?

    Sally25 asked about 1 year ago

    We agree that a walkway should also be built around the coastline and this is Council's long-term plan. However we can't progress these plans until issues around access and safety are resolved on the eastern part of the headland, so the walkway across the western part of the Headland provides an immediate solution to return public access. We're hopeful to be able progress plans for a walkway around the coastline in the future which will link up with the western walkway providing a 4km loop around Malabar Headland as well as a link between South Maroubra and Malabar Beaches.

  • what are the plans for the eastern bushland section of the headland?

    Emma D asked about 1 year ago

    The ownership of the eastern headland has been handed over to NPWS to be managed as a National Park. It is the intention of the NPWS to make it officially open for public use once some outstanding issues are resolved. It is also a long term plan of Council and NPWS to have a eastern headland coastal walk.