New-look Bald Hill Reserve officially opened

Media Release

DC237/2016

19 December 2016

Joint release with:

Gareth Ward

NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra

Gordon Bradbery

City of Wollongong Mayor

Lee Evans

NSW Member for Heathcote

  • Major facelift for Illawarra landmark now complete and open to the public
  • The redevelopment upgraded amenities, car parking and road access via a new roundabout
  • The project celebrates the site's aviation and historical significance

Wollongong's iconic Bald Hill reserve has received a major facelift, with improved amenities and a reconfigured road access officially opened today.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said Bald Hill was a popular tourist site, with more than 3,000 people visiting the reserve during busy weeks.

“This is a significant site for hang gliding and paragliding, with added international significance as the site of Lawrence Hargrave's historic box kite experiments in November 1894,” Mr Chester said.

“The works have involved replacing the old amenities, including a new coffee spot and viewing platform.

“The Australian Government is pleased to have contributed $1 million under the Roads to Recovery programme towards upgrading Otford Road and building a roundabout to provide safer access to the site.”

Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward said the NSW Government had provided $2.9 million from the Illawarra Infrastructure Fund to enable this project to be delivered.

“This generous contribution means we have been able to deliver quality upgrades to these local amenities, highlighting the culture of the Illawarra, and making this location an attractive stop for locals and tourists to enjoy,” Mr Ward said.

“Local artists have provided decorative pieces for the seating, the amenities building and the plaza area between car parks, which highlight the region's indigenous history.

“This is just another example of how the Australian, NSW and local Governments are delivering more jobs, new opportunities and a greater standard of living for the Illawarra region.”

Local Member for Heathcote Lee Evans said one of the most important aspects of this project was engagement and consultation to ensure the Bald Hill Reserve accurately represented the community and the region.

“Thanks to the community involvement in this project, the space has been designed for the safety of recreational activities, and to create more and safer parking options,” Mr Evans said.

“We also expect to see food and beverage outlets and pedestrian links to the Royal National Park, which will not only help boost tourism to this site, but will also pave the way for more local jobs and benefit the whole region.”

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery OAM said the renewed and refreshed Bald Hill would serve the community and visitors for years to come.

“What we have now is a much more accessible site, with better car parking for buses and large vehicles, a new coffee spot, better seating, and new amenities,” Cr Bradbery said.

“This site is even more welcoming and will enhance the experience of visitors as they take in the best view in the Illawarra, as well as providing better access to the Lawrence Hargrave memorial.”