Batemans Bay Rotarians sent up cheers when it was announced that Observation Point would be open before Christmas 2022, prior to the completion of final works on the site in 2023.
In 2012, our Rotary Club contacted the Eurobodalla Shire Council (ESC) about the appalling state of Observation Point lookout. The area was trampled, with damaged vegetation leading to an unsafe, sloping viewing area. The existing ring mesh fencing around the parking area was damaged and missing. The carpark was ill defined and potholed.
Even though the concept plan for the Coastal Headlands Walking Trail had been approved by Council in 2010, it hardly mentioned Observation Point. In 2010, the construction of the Coastal Trail was estimated to cost around $2m.
Through representation to ESC and the then State Member Andrew Constance, Rotary Batemans Bay suggested that the headland should be upgraded to promote out beautiful coastline and provide a safe lookout. Back then our idea was to construct accessible walkways that would lead to three accessible viewing platforms, looking north, west and south east. The project was to include the remediation of the headland with appropriate replanting and removal of invasive weeds.
After allocating Rotary funding to support the project, we gained support through the State Government Community Building Partnerships Program in 2017.
The rationale for the Community Building Partnership stated: The need to upgrade our recreational facilities to provide free access to those with mobility impairments will not only enrich the lives of our community, it will also enhance the Eurobodalla as a tourist destination for people with disabilities. The added benefits of this project include the need to protect the vegetation at a headland that currently does not have any infrastructure, as well as providing a safe viewing platform near the cliff’s edge.
After much frustration about the lack of progress on Observation Point, Rotary agreed that the funds be used to provide the stairway from Corrigans Beach up to Observation Point. This stairway was completed in 2019.
Since then, our Rotary Club has consistently reminded ESC of its commitment to Observation Point. Following the bush fires, significant funds were allocated from State and Commonwealth Government and the project finally opened on Christmas Eve 2022. The total cost of the Observation Point upgrade and walking trail combined will be around $6.5m.
It has a two-level viewing platform at the end of an accessible walkway leading from the parking area. The viewing platform is fully accessible, with ramps and seating to present outstanding views of nearby islands, Batemans Bay and new bridge and the Clyde Mountain. The deck, designed to hold up to 100 guests will be bookable for wedding and events.
There is coach and car parking, seating, a bespoke shade structure, yarning circle with seating and several smaller viewing areas. In its final design, information provided by our Rotary signage team informed the planners of the significance of Observation Point to our Walbunga people. It pleasing to see how our ideas has been integrated into the design with Dhurga language interpretive signs.
Observation Point is now an asset to the community and a welcoming place for all locals and visitors alike. Congratulations to Eurobodalla Shire Council for delivering it before Christmas!
Community Services Director