Newcastle's largest playground at heart of Harbour Foreshore Masterplan

13 Sept 2022

Foreshore Park will become home to the city's largest playground under a draft masterplan for Newcastle's iconic harbourside precinct, which will be considered by Councillors later this month.

The flagship Livvi’s Place inclusive regional playground and waterplay area form the centrepiece of City of Newcastle's Harbour Foreshore Masterplan, which is designed to create new connections between the city and the harbour's edge around Foreshore Park and along the Joy Cummings Promenade.

The Masterplan also includes increasing the amount of shaded canopy within Foreshore Park by 250% from 2,800 sqm to 9,800 sqm.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the draft masterplan will help realise the full potential of one of Newcastle's most significant open areas and premier event spaces.

"City of Newcastle has worked closely with community representatives on this shared vision for the iconic Harbour Foreshore precinct, which will become a drawcard destination for locals and visitors from across the region," Cr Nelmes said.

"We have listened to the views of our community and incorporated feedback into the detail of this draft masterplan, including moving the playground to the north-west corner of the park adjacent to the parking area and close to accessible parking spaces, as well as provision for a multi-purpose skating, scootering and performing arts area at the base of the Shortland Lawn amphitheatre. The existing Sandhills Community Garden will also remain in their current location."

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said green open spaces and connections along with an enhanced urban canopy will make Foreshore Park an even more inviting public place for all Novocastrians and our visitors.

"Extensive tree planting and landscaping throughout the precinct will allow City of Newcastle to fulfill its commitments to significantly increase shade canopy and create greener public spaces, while an expansive cultural walk around Foreshore Park will link back to Newcastle’s rich Indigenous culture and heritage."

Other features include upgraded amenities and improvements along Wharf Road and Tug Berth Lane, including an iconic destination sign and grassed areas where people can enjoy the spectacle of a working harbour, which will transform this area into a world-class harbourside esplanade.

A tree-lined separated cycleway from Argyle Street to Nobbys Beach and improved cycle crossings at key nodes will also link the Harbour Foreshore to the wider city centre cycleway network.

Concept designs for the accessible playground are included in the draft Masterplan. The fully-fenced space will feature a distinctly Newcastle character and include junior and toddler areas, water-based play, an industrial-themed elevated playground structure, maritime inspired swing sets, accessible flying fox and natured-based play areas, connected via a series of accessible paths, seating, gardens and lawns.

It will be developed in collaboration with Variety – the Children's Charity, who have provided funding to assist with the design phase of the playground, while City of Newcastle has also secured more than $1 million from the NSW Government to assist with its construction including $730,000 from two rounds of the Newcastle Port Community Contribution Fund and $300,000 from Everyone Can Play and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.