Coffs Harbour Marina, Muttonbird to open before Christmas.
Coffs Harbour Marina, Muttonbird to open before Christmas. Rachel Vercoe

Island open over summer

RESIDENTS and holidaymakers on the Coffs Coast are being treated with a pleasant surprise this Christmas.

One of the coast's major attractions, Muttonbird Island, will again be accessible over the summer holiday period, as the Northern Breakwater is set to re-open temporarily.

The North Wall has been closed for six months as it undergoes what has been a somewhat tedious upgrade for the local public.

The North Wall was the only access point to the island for pedestrians.

The marina boardwalk, which had recently been extended, was set to be the pedestrian access route to Muttonbird Island during this time, however it was destroyed in the severe thunderstorm that hit the region in June.

In another setback to eager locals, work on the $6.73 million upgrades slowed down as issues with rock supplies have arisen.

The wall has otherwise been deemed safe for pedestrian access by the Department of Industry, reducing potential damage to the local tourism economy over the school holidays.

A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: Large rocks for the upgrades have been difficult source
A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: Large rocks for the upgrades have been difficult source Rachel Vercoe

Haslin Constructions have been working on widening the breakwater near the entry of the harbour.

Approximately 8,000 tonnes of rock has already been placed in the area, but the upgrade requires about 30,000 tonnes of five to eight-tonne rocks.

These larger rocks have proven difficult to source, but work is soon expected to pick up as new sources of supply are being negotiated.

The rock will be overlain by 1,400 concrete armour hanbars and, once completed, it's anticipated the upgrade will improve public safety as the impact of waves overtopping will be reduced.

It will also to protect infrastructure situated behind the wall from potential damage.

The North Wall and Muttonbird Island will be accessible to the public again in over weekends before Christmas, and weekdays during the summer holidays.



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