Birubi Point Aboriginal Place Tourism Interchange Site Depiction banner image

Birubi Point Aboriginal Place Tourism Transport Interchange

Expected start month Expected completion monthStatusBudgetContribution
March 2024 January 2025 In progress $1.3mInfographic showing 95% external funding

Project Overview

The development of a new visitor interchange was identified as part of the Birubi Point Aboriginal Place Management Plan. Since this time, Council in partnership with key stakeholders, had worked to source funding for the construction of the Birubi Point Aboriginal Place Tourism Transport Interchange.

The design of the facility includes a centralised tour coach parking area and tourism operator interchange, short-term car parking for visitors participating in tours along with improved visitor services including toilet facilities, all-weather protection and multilingual signage and interpretation of the important cultural landscape.

Council finalised the design for the facility in 2021 and expected to commence work in late 2021. As part of these plans, Council was required to manage the removal of a large amount of sand from the site to enable the building. Since this time, rather than moving the sand off-site, Council has been working with neighbouring landowners including the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council to investigate options for retaining the sand onsite.

The plan for this sand is to move it and use it to build a boundary buffer (i.e. vegetated dune system) that will help to protect the interchange site and reduce maintenance issues over time. Retaining the sand onsite also maintains the cultural integrity of the site and minimises the likelihood of cultural items and occupational evidence being impacted (i.e. not having disturbed artefacts involuntarily sent offsite).

Council has utilised the services of a Royal Haskoning DHV to revise the existing Sand Management Plan and we are now working through the approval process and an amendment to the DA.

Working through this sand management process has impacted our project delivery schedule. We anticipate the completion of the facility in early 2025 (subject to contractor availability and weather).

Project Update

Council has recently lodged a modification to the Birubi Point Aboriginal Place Tourism Transport Interchange Development Application.

The original plan for the facility required the removal of a large amount of sand from the site to enable the build. In 2023 new opportunities occurred for Council to work in partnership with the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council to retain the sand to create a vegetated dune boundary buffer on adjoining land owned by the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council.

This approach will ensure greater long-term protection of the development site by reducing the impacts of windblown sand.  This will, in turn, reduce maintenance costs of the facility and more importantly, maintain the cultural integrity of this site by keeping remnant soils and materials on Worimi Country.

A joint vegetated sand dune stabilisation program also provides added protection to otherwise exposed, cultural materials within the Birubi Point Aboriginal Place.

The DA Modification is currently under assessment.

The changes to the DA have impacted timelines for this project. Once approved, Council will review the schedule and be in touch with all stakeholders to communicate the time frames and stages for development.

As the complexities of this project continue to be a challenge and the scope changes to make sure the project can move forward.

The project has been expanded to relocate the sand extracted from the construction site to reconstruct severely eroded dunes within the Aboriginal Place. The currently eroded dunes contribute significantly to the migration and accumulation of windblown sands within the site. Documentation of the dune reconstruction has now been completed and approvals are being sought for this culturally and environmentally sensitive endeavour.

Slab poured under water metre for tourism interchange in preparation for future protective cage installation.

Key information

Development of the Birubi Point Aboriginal Place Tourism Interchange includes:

  • construction of the centre
  • car parking area
  • landscaping

The proposed project at Birubi Point Aboriginal Place Tourism Transport Interchange involves:

  • a centralised tourist coach parking and tourism operator interchange
  • redesign of small vehicle parking spaces at Birubi Point Headland
  • areas for cultural heritage interpretation.
The purpose of the proposed investment

Parking: The transport interchange will remove large coaches and smaller tour buses from the main headland area. It's estimated that 10 coaches arrive at the existing location daily. Removal of the coaches from Birubi Point will have a positive impact on the site allowing more private vehicle parking and reduce gridlock caused by coaches dropping off and picking up tour participants.

Reduction in damage to areas of cultural significance: Removing coaches from the headland will reduce the impact on places of Aboriginal significance. Coaches are currently unloading visitors in areas where they may be required to walk across the protected areas of the Birubi Point Aboriginal Place.

Improve the visitor experience: The new transport interchange will provide an improved visitor experience including additional toilet facilities, all weather protection, multilingual signage and retail opportunities, such as souvenirs and additional tours.

Encourage additional investment: The development of the tourism transport interchange will be a catalyst for the development of surrounding sites. There are 2 key sites directly adjacent to the proposed interchange that are earmarked for development.

  • Early Works: Complete
  • Tender Release: Mid 2024
  • Award Contract: Mid/Late 2024
  • Construction Commencement: Late 2024
  • Project Completion: Late 2025

  • Port Stephens Council
  • Worimi  LALC
  • Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management
  • NSW Government
  • The Commonwealth of Australia – Represented by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

  • Restart NSW Fund - $5,447,819 (NSW Government)
  • Building Better Regions Fund - $4,024,787 (Commonwealth)
  • Port Stephens Council - $400,000

Sand Management Plan and Site Depictions