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Little Beach, Nelson Bay

Port Stephens Council has been successful in an application for a $1.67 million Boating Now grant from the NSW Government. The funding will be used to upgrade the boat ramp and public amenities at Little Beach as well as improve pedestrian and vehicle access in the area. The new boat ramp will be designed to ensure a better boating experience for users.

Project description:

  • Replace boat ramp and upgrade pathways. This project has received funding from the NSW Government's Boating Now funding program.
  • Replacing current amenities with a split building option incorporating 'Changing Places' accessible facilities, as well as change rooms and wheelchair storage.
  • Replacement of the retaining wall at Little Beach Reserve.
  • Updating the accessible playground at Little Beach Reserve with new play equipment, a drinking fountain, paths and bench seating.
  • Plant shade trees and install more seating.
ProjectExpected start monthExpected completion monthStatusBudgetContribution
Playground updateSeptember 2022November 2022Complete$75KPSC funding 60 
Amenities replacementFebruary 2023June 2023Scheduled$580k

Various funding has been received for the amenities:

  • Port Stephens Council
  • NSW Government via the Regional Tourism Activation Fund, Boating Now Program
  • Recreational Fishing and Camping Facilities Program
Retaining wall replacementApril 2023June 2023Scheduled$50kPSC funding 100 
Access rampApril 2023June 2023Scheduled $90k

Latest updates

Works are all but complete on the upgrades to the inclusive play area at Little Beach. Some new play equipment, drinking fountain, paths and bench seating have been installed and is open to the community. To complete the project some shade trees will be planted and some more seating will be installed.

Community feedback in March 2021 suggested that the new toilets must provide internal change spaces. With this feedback we sought more funding to deliver amenities with change rooms. We were successful in securing external funding for Regional Tourism Activation Funds earlier this year, and have since been working to identify the best location for the amenities.

As part of our redesign of the new amenities, we considered a number of locations for the new buildings taking into consideration public use, accessibility and existing sewerage services. After assessing a number of options the location of the building became heavily constrained by accessibility requirements and access to existing services including water, sewer and electricity infrastructure. This means that the opportunity for community influence over the location of the new amenities is minimal.

Council has carefully considered the impact on views from nearby properties from the proposed new buildings. The building's split design has been designed to minimize the impact of the buildings to provide view corridors between the structures rather than a single large ‘block’. The new amenities buildings has also been located opposite the footpath between Kurrawa Close and Columbia Close minimising the impact on views as much as possible.

Council’s overarching goal is to make Little Beach an accessible precinct that is inclusive and easily accessible by all. The Little Beach precinct lends itself beautifully to this focus as it is level with easy access to the beach from vehicles. The nearby Halifax holiday park has already embraced this ideal by providing accessible cabins with dedicated wheelchair access, manoeuvring space and accessible bathrooms. The new dedicated changing places amenities will be the first in the local government area. The 'Changing Places' amenities include a ceiling hoist, adult-sized changing table, privacy screen and additional circulation space to meet the needs of people with complex disabilities and their carers. For more detail about 'Changing Places' accessible amenities please see


We have been successful in receiving various funding for this project, all funding applications had a very strict criteria to be addressed. We're proud to have been granted the below funding to help turn Little Beach into a fully accessible precinct:

  • Funding for the accessible playground upgrade (now complete) was received from the ‘Everyone Can Play’ grant together with Council development contributions.
  • Funding for the amenities has come from Council and the NSW Government via the Regional Tourism Activation Fund, Boating Now Program and Recreational Fishing and Camping Facilities Program.
  • The new furniture , wheelchair beach access ramp and shared pathway will also be funded by the NSW Government via the Regional Tourism Activation Fund and Public Spaces Legacy Fund.

Due to the number of projects involved in this upgrade the timing varies. The most up to date information regarding timing is mentioned in the table above and is updated weekly.

Yes, we already have 2 chairs in storage at Little Beach.

The new all abilities ramp to the sand provides a permanent and easy way to reach the sand and when used in conjunction with the beach wheel chairs the existing wharf provides direct access to the water—so no matting required.

Port Stephens, in particular Nelson Bay, is a popular tourist location. One of our key focus areas in our Community Strategic Plan is Community Wellbeing. With our aim to support wellbeing, inclusivity, accessibility and making all feel welcome. Creating the Little Beach accessibility precinct is a win for the community and accessible tourism.

At present Little Beach is our primary focus to create a precinct which encourages accessible tourism.