Boating enthusiasts and picnickers will soon enjoy vastly improved amenities on the Hunter River thanks to an $850,000 overhaul of the North Stockton boat ramp.
Council will pave a large car park over the 1980s-era dust bowl and dramatically improve infrastructure surrounding the existing ramp in a recreational facility upgrade jointly funded by Transport for NSW (TfNSW). The work is being carried out as part of the NSW Government's Boating Now program. The program aims to further enhance the user experience by improving the capacity and amenity of boating infrastructure on NSW waterways.
When finished the asphalt boating hub will boast 42 spaces for cars with boat trailers and another 16 earmarked for cars to the south of the miniature harbour and its floating pontoon.
The upgrade entails a sealed carpark for boaties
Picnic facilities will provide boaties and their kin a comfortable place to sit, while a new amenities block with a welcoming design and more convenient location will provide disabled access and improved safety for all.
"The Hunter boating community is set to have a top facility not only for launching and berthing boats but for relaxing by the river," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"This is a popular facility for both local and regional boating enthusiasts due to the easy access it offers to the Lower Hunter River and offshore, and the upgrade will make recreational fishing and boating more enjoyable for all, with picnic tables and shade trees welcome additions to the boat ramp's surrounds."
Masterplan for the new-look paved area next to the North Stockton Boat ramp.
An improved fish cleaning facility adjacent to new wash-down bays for cars and trailers is also part of the project.
Landscaping will help order traffic at the new carpark, improve storm water drainage and be followed by foreshore stabilisation and riverside plantings.
The existing amenities block will remain open until the new one is completed and the South Stockton Boat Ramp will be available during temporary closure of the northern facility as the works go ahead.
The old uninviting amenities block will be demolished after the new facility is built.
The North Stockton boat ramp upgrade project is jointly funded by City Of Newcastle and NSW Government through TfNSW.
Work is expected to begin in early April and take around four months to complete.
A floating walkway and pontoon was completed in 2012 with part funding from the Better Boating Program to provide access to vessels for all users of the boat ramp facility and to aid launching, berthing and boat retrievals. A shared pathway was also constructed in 2012 and runs between Fullerton Street and the boat ramp carpark, crossing both of the carpark driveways in a safe location.
For more information about NSW Boating Now or the Better Boating program visit the Roads and Maritime Services website: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/key-build-program/boating-now/