City limbering up for more outdoor exercise

23 May 2018

A range of new outdoor exercise facilities has been proposed for Newcastle under a plan approved by City of Newcastle for public feedback.

Six individual fresh-air fitness stations are needed to help keep Novocastrians in shape over the next decade, according to the draft Outdoor Exercise Facility Strategy, in addition to four existing sites at Waratah West's Braye Park, Islington Park, Lambton Park and Warabrook Wetlands Reserve.

Outdoor exercise facilities at Lambton Park.
Camp Shortland, South Newcastle Beach, Cooks Hill's Nesca Park, National Park in Newcastle West, Stockton's Griffith Park and Fernleigh Track at Adamstown are among the proposed new hubs for chin-up bars, sit-up benches and other static apparatus to encourage muscle strength and cardio fitness.

Wallsend-Maryland, Minmi, Beresfield and the border of Adamstown-New Lambton will also be considered following feedback on the draft strategy during a month-long public exhibition period.

"Outdoor exercise is growing in popularity, and I thank the many people in our community who have contacted Council to request more facilities across Newcastle," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

"This strategy is a win for everyone who likes to exercise outdoors and also for areas of Newcastle that will get a boost from the daily presence of fitness enthusiasts.

"I'm pleased that we've been able to identify park sites for outdoor exercise facilities in locations right across the City of Newcastle, with new equipment proposed for each of the four wards of the Newcastle Local Government Area.

"As well as healthier bodies, these will also encourage greater social interaction for better communities, so I urge Novocastrians to take a look at this draft strategy and to let us know their thoughts about our plan."

Improving equipment at existing sites, installing helpful signage and developing a program of organised fitness and community activities linked to the facilities are all part of the plan now on public exhibition.

Ten exercise facilities will represent one site per 18,000 people by 2026, when the number of Novocastrians is tipped to top 180,000, which is a higher provision than comparable regional and metropolitan areas.

Fourteen sites, which could later be achieved in a staged approach, would reduce the number to one per 12,857 people to match Australia's most progressive metropolitan areas.

The facilities will largely be funded by Council with help from local and state grant providers welcomed.

The draft Outdoor Exercise Outdoor Exercise Facility Strategy is open for comment until Wednesday 20 June.

View the Strategy online at

• Hard copies can be viewed at:
• City Administration Centre
• Newcastle Region Library and Wallsend District Library