Leaping from the cliffs at popular Royal National Park swimming spot Wattamolla could soon be a thing of the past, with National Parks and Wildlife Service proposing a privately-run zip line and new “aesthetically pleasing” fences be installed.
Along with plans for a new campground, kiosk and online parking system, the zip line and regulation of cliff jumping are part of a draft master plan to overhaul the areas surrounding the freshwater lagoon, waterfall and beach.
NPWS regional manager Gary Dunett said the revamp would improve safety and allow the area to cope with increasing visitor numbers.
“The aim of the draft plan is to safeguard the natural elements of the site and improve visitor facilities such a new car park, picnic area and campground, a food kiosk, improved toilet facilities and new walking tracks to link into the Royal Coast Track,” he said.
A zip line run by a commercial operator is proposed and there is also “potential to have [the] zip line operator to include cliff jumping as part of their activity provisions”.
Additionally, under safety plans, the plan proposes installing “balustrades which are aesthetically pleasing, minimise visual obstruction and increase the difficulty of climbing over the fence”. Other possible commercial ventures could include “camping platforms” and the leasing out of the refurbished kiosk.
Mr Dunett said Wattamolla attracted more than 300,000 visitors each year, with more than 4000 on busy days.
“With such large numbers the current car park and waste water disposal system reaches capacity and unfortunately this often leads to the closure of the road to the precinct,” he said.
For this reason, an online car space booking system allowing people to make full or half day bookings.
This would have varying pricing – likely to be more expensive than the current $12 fee – for peak times to encourage people to visit at different times of the day, the plan says.
Public consultation on the plan closes on June 3.