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The aerial photo in diagram No 5 shows the existing area and surrounds of Apex Park, Main Beach and the north end of Jonson Street. The dominant feature of this precinct is the large car parking area along the beachfront, the town swimming pool, the adjoining caravan park and public car park, the shops, trees and parking in the north end of Jonson Street and the Bay Street area with the Surf Club and residential accommodation.


The potential for this area is:-

    •  to provide more people space along the beachfront
    • to connect the natural beach to the natural features of the town
    • to rationalise the car parking areas as part of an overall traffic plan
    • to prioritise movement of pedestrians, bikes and skateboards
    •  to allow more efficient servicing of commercial premises
    • to provide new, fully accessible public facilities
    •  to fully landscape all public areas
    •  to ensure that any future buildings or structures in this area reflect the beachside character and theme
    •  to provide interesting and iconic street furniture
    •  to allow more outdoor eating places for café patrons
    •  to encourage local participation with artists, drummers, buskers and performers interacting with the public.
    •  to allow occasional park concerts and community performances
    •  to enhance the theme of Peace Park with paving, sculpture and ceremonies
    •  to provide new and larger people spaces with interesting paving, sculptures and landscaping
    •  to encompass a natural and nautical theme for this precinct and generally allow the full gambit of recreation functions compatible with this area.


A concept to encompass the incredible potential of Beach Park is shown in diagram No 6. The basic theme is based on nature, open space, separation of cars and people and providing for more people activities to circulate, enjoy, relax and eat.



A people plaza is provided in Jonson Street which is closed to vehicles between Lawson and Bay Streets. An alternative street for traffic is provided behind the shops on the western side through the existing car park. This allows a free flow of traffic one way from Lawson Street to Bay Street as well as giving direct access to existing car parking spaces and a dedicated loading zone for servicing behind the shops.

The plaza would be available for limited vehicular servicing during nominated restricted hours out of peak periods to avoid any pedestrian conflict. The design of the plaza should retain the existing trees, provide more trees, planting and landscaping, have interesting geometric paving, use art and colour on all street furniture and encourage the shops to use bright rainbow colours and natural materials to reflect this beach location and encompass the real spirit of Byron. It should encourage people to slow down, chill out, be happy and lose the ego.

The plaza would also feed directly into Bay Lane behind the hotel to provide a safe venue to all the restaurants fronting this lane and turn it into an intimate ‘eat street’ with its own theme and to be an exciting retreat from the main street activities.

The eastern end of Bay Lane could be used for service only vehicle access during the day whilst maintaining the existing arcade connections between Bay Lane and Lawson Street. The public swimming pool has been moved and relocated in another more suitable site within the town, to provide a larger swimming and water sports centre, with high grade facilities, and direct parking access.

The beachfront car park is relocated onto the existing swimming pool site and can be designed as a one level, two level or split level car park to reduce its impact and present a low profile in this area. In the future it may also be possible to build a one or two level low profile building over the car park to provide additional retail or community facilities but extreme care would be needed for a site sensitive design on this prominent site to minimise any intrusion into views or vistas from the town or from the beach.

The existing ‘Fisheads’ restaurant and historical building is retained and a new café built next to it with an outdoor eating area. This new building has been shown with a 45 degree angled façade to Bay Street so as not to impede on the ocean view that opens up as you walk up the Jonson Street plaza. The area of the existing beachfront car park and roadway now becomes an extension of the park as a spectacular open green space joining the two beaches on either side of the rock groin. Additional viewing platforms provide interesting lookouts with the platform to the west of the new car park accessed also from a new pathway through the corner of the caravan park and linking to the beach access.

The corner of the car park is also splayed to increase the vista from the platform and the green space in this new waterfront park. The iconic drummers circle is now enlarged with plenty of safe space around it for the many people who come to dance, watch, listen or take their photos of the sunset over Wollumbin.

The landscaping and design of this new park presents an opportunity to create a significant Byron Bay theme reflecting the water, beach, trees, nature, colours and activities of the local people. It should allow for open air functions, sculptures, a pop-up stage, kids play area, direct beach access, viewing areas and platforms, colourful paving in geometrical shapes inspired by the sand mandalas which often appear on main beach at low tide. Apex Park extends past the Surf Club to the east into Peace Park and the foreshore park through to Clarkes Beach. Peace Park is the ideal place for the new peace pole created at the recent Uplift Festival. It could be set into new paving with a sacred geometry motif such as the seed of life or other significant symbol. Ceremonies held in this area have been a vital and integral part of our town culture in the past and should continue. There is potential for a new small café on the eastern end of the Surf Club with an outdoor eating and viewing area which would open up this space and be part of the market days when they are located here.


For the Beach Park precinct we have outlined some ideas which would reinforce the Byron theme and provide upgraded facilities for community and general public benefit. There are many more ideas and concepts which should be considered before a final design is implemented. However, there are several principles within this concept that should not be compromised. These significant concepts and principles are to:-

    •  provide a new pedestrian plaza in Jonson Street between Lawson Street and Bay Street.
    •  extend this plaza into Bay Lane to create a unique ‘eat street’.
    •  provide a new bypass road through the existing car park between Lawson and Bay Streets.
    •  relocate the town swimming pool.
    •  remove the beachfront parking area.
    •  extend the existing park across the full width of the beachfront area.