How would you revamp Forster Main Beach?

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It’s a stunning location of natural beauty and wonder, with important heritage and history – a vibrant place which buzzes with many varied activities and people every day.  It’s one of the jewels in Forster’s crown, but it’s looking a little tired lately. MidCoast Council will soon be calling for everyone’s input and ideas to rejuvenate the Forster Main Beach promenade, which includes an area from the Bullring Ocean Baths to the Forster Surf Club and incorporates North Street.

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The Beach is one of Forster’s most visited tourism sites and is equally important for local people too.  Sporting events are regularly held here including the club events of the Forster Mud Crabs and Forster Turtles. Forster Surf Club is integral to the Main Beach area, providing lifesaving services and beach facilities for all users. Local cafes and restaurants are popular meeting places on the beachfront and attract large numbers of people to this popular spot.”Forster Main Beach is one of Northern NSW’s iconic holiday locations and is certainly a hub for Forster residents and visitors of all ages” says Council’s Manager of Property and Commercial Services, John Dougherty.  “We want to start a conversation about how we use this area, what’s important to us, and maybe how we’d like to improve it.  This will lead to a clear plan that can be used to attract funding towards the project.”

Main Beach and its headlands are beautiful natural features of Forster’s coastline and the area has strong cultural significance, with important Aboriginal and interesting post-European settlement sites.

Forster Surf Club President, John Quinn says “we are pleased to be working with MidCoast Council and the community to develop plans for the entire Main Beach area in conjunction with plans to redevelop the Surf Club.  It’s critical that the surrounding area integrates well with surf club activity and the natural beach processes”.

Although Main Beach retains a certain charm (and sparks many treasured holiday memories for people from all over Australia and beyond), it is now looking a little dated and some facilities are struggling to meet modern needs.  In addition, the Surf Club premises and associated Council building has reached the end of its useful life, and needs to be replaced in order to meet the demands of today’s users.

“The first step towards rejuvenating the Main Beach area is to develop a Plan that meets community and visitor needs” says John Dougherty.  “With that in mind, we’d like to start by thinking big and hearing everyone’s ideas for how we could improve the whole streetscape and provision of facilities which support the many uses of the area.

“We’re also not forgetting that it’s very important that we consider the connectivity and improve access between the Main Beach and Wharf Street shopping area and other key locations that make up the Forster central district” adds John.

Once we know what our community would like to see at Main Beach, we will develop concept plans to present to the new incoming Council later this year. These Plans will be an essential element for Council to seek funding sources to realise the plan.

Watch this space for announcement of upcoming consultations so we can hear your ideas (big and small) for how you’d like to revamp the Main Beach area.

3 thoughts on “How would you revamp Forster Main Beach?

  1. We need a great walkway from the breakwall in Tuncurry, over the bridge, around the headland to main beach & then all the way up to Bennetts Head, to showcase our lovely coastline & to create an exercise route that would also send people into the more cafes that are needed to create a beachy retail vibe for breakfasts, lunches & dinners.
    Also more family areas for picnics etc with possibly a playground incorporated.
    The bullring needs to be featured in some way, what a shame the original structure that sat with the pool wasn’t valued & retained, we’ve lost so much by not retaining our history

  2. Id be asking why places like Bundabah have no water, sewer, digital TV or mobile phone reception when you are looking at spending $20 + million on Forster. So you need a rate rise to spread across the community? No its another rate rise that will be sucked straight into Forster.

  3. Care must be taken when making decisions which favour some and not others within a community. However the following ideas would hopefully bring people together. With the inevitable upgrade of the surf club and neighbouring buildings, I’d like to see a wider promenade but as a cost saving exercise not touching the existing promenade but building an extension to it…in timber with viewing platforms and an increased number of staircases to the beach. This wide timber boardwalk would provide shade beneath it, something essential in 21st century design now that we know how dangerous the sun can be. Little gardens cleverly designed on the boardwalk would be a good idea too. As well, don’t take parking spaces away. Instead carefully and tastefully increase parking without detracting from the beauty of the location. Cars are a fact of life. They won’t always be petrol sucking so we should think of where we might locate future electric charging outlets in the overall plan. Improve the grassed area at the pool, the change rooms including disabled access and with the entire plan whatever direction is taken, include detailed historic information with a strong emphasis on the Aboriginal history of the region.
    When whatever is decided upon is finished, consider an annual ocean festival with quality music, international foods and stalls, plus events for all to be involved in, including the aged and those with disabilities.

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