Boat ramp

Coffs Harbour Regional Boat Ramp

Transport for NSW Maritime is proposing a major upgrade to the Coffs Harbour Regional Boat to increase the size of the ramp, provide more facilities and improve parking options.

Coffs Harbour Boat Ramp webcam

Transport for NSW have installed live webcam vision at the Coffs Harbour Boat Ramp. This will provide members of the community a live feed of the coastal conditions, to help boaters and skippers prepare for a safe trip.

Weather conditions on NSW waterways can change quickly. Boaters are reminded of their responsibility to assess conditions before negotiating any marine channel. Please check forecasts before you go out and while you're on the water.

Local weather update

We recommend that skippers do not attempt to access the channel and boat ramp at low tide, as sand build-up is making it very difficult to access the mouth of the channel at low tide.

Latest news

Coffs Harbour Boat ramp

This is a hydrographic map of the boat ramp channel and harbour showing depths in the area.

Note that this map was current as of 6 June 2022. Note that seabed conditions could change rapidly due to waves and currents. Extreme caution should be used when navigating the boat ramp entrance area.

We have commissioned a hydrographic map of the harbour and the channel which show relative depth throughout the area. We will publish this on the website as soon as it’s available. We recommend that skippers do not attempt to access the channel and boat ramp at low tide, as sand build-up is making it very difficult to access the mouth of the channel at low tide. Boaters are reminded of their responsibility to assess conditions before negotiating any marine channel.

DPIE Coffs Jetty Revitalisation - have your say on the draft Masterplan

The Department of Primary Industries and Environment (DPIE) is working with the community on a draft Masterplan for the Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshore. The draft Masterplan seeks to benefit the whole community while maintaining the environmental, cultural and neighbourhood qualities that we know you value.

Have your say online and in person until 13 June 2022 (up until 11.59pm). Please visit the DPIE website for more information on the draft Masterplan, the survey, online information sessions and in person sessions.

Please contact the Department of Primary Industries and Environment (DPIE) for further information at precinctdevelopment@property.nsw.gov.au.

Recommendation for boat ramp access

We recommend that boaters do not attempt to access the channel and boat ramp at low tide. The sand build-up is now happening at the channel entrance and is making it very difficult to access the mouth of the channel at low tide. While we are working towards a permanent solution for this, we recommend you avoid the boat ramp at low tide.

Temporary boat ramp closure

We have attempted to keep the boat ramp open throughout the build but due to the unprecedented amount of sand that has washed into the channel, we need to close the ramp for 12 days to allow for a greater volume of sand to be extracted from the harbour.

The boat ramp will therefore be closed from Wednesday 27 April-Sunday 8 May 2022.

During this time, a cutter-suction dredge will be set up and deployed across the channel and harbour to clear as much sand as we can and then dismantled and moved off-site. Our aim is to dredge for the maximum amount of time that we can during this period.

The sand will be disposed of by our contractor and not moved to any local beaches.

We apologise for this inconvenience, but feel that we will better serve the boating community if we do a bulk cleanout of the sand in the channel.

Our plans for ongoing sand management are currently being developed and we’ll share those with the community as soon as they are finalised.

On Tuesday 15 February 2022 there was a sudden sand build-up combined with a low tide in part of the channel to the Coffs Harbour Boat Ramp.

Since February, sand has been collecting in that part of the channel at a consistent rate. Our contractor continues to monitor the channel and remove any further sand build-up where it might affect safe navigation.

Please note, the boat ramp will remain open throughout the Easter long weekend and we are endeavouring to have all boat ramp lanes open all weekend.

What are we doing?

We have a range of measures in place to address sand build-up in the channel:

  • We are monitoring the channel depth daily and dredging as required.
  • We have organised for a specialised dredging barge – known as a cutter suction dredger – to help remove sand build-up, which is expected to arrive in coming weeks.
  • We will build a rigid hydraulic structure – known as a groyne – on the western side of the channel. This will enable dredging of the channel from the shoreline and improve access for dredging machines.
  • We have commissioned an expert study to re-examine the movement of sand around the new breakwater and develop options to improve the situation.

These measures will continue as needed during construction of the regional boat ramp precinct and whilst an ongoing plan for dredging is considered.

What are we planning?

We are developing an Addendum Review of Environmental Factors (AREF) for additional work, which includes:

  • Increased dredging of the navigation channel
  • Construction of a platform on the tip of the extended breakwater to allow access for a long-reach excavator to dredge
  • An alternative sand deposition area on the seaward side of the breakwater
  • Additional stockpile areas on land for increased sand deposition
  • An ongoing plan for dredging the harbour and the incorporation of the boat ramp precinct into the Transport for NSW state-wide dredging strategy.

The AREF will be published on the project’s website when it is completed in coming weeks.

Our advice for boaters

NSW Maritime advises vessel operators to navigate with extreme caution in the vicinity of the Coffs Harbour Boat Ramp.

The boat ramp entrance is very shallow due to sand movement and may pose a navigation hazard to some vessels.

Vessel operators are advised to assess the conditions prior to use, navigate with caution and check tides. 

People have begun surfing at the channel entrance, so boaters need to especially be on the lookout for surfers and swimmers.

For more information on the sand build-up, read the latest Community Update below which answers some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Since we last contacted the community, work has begun on the boat ramp upgrade and to take advantage of favourable tidal conditions and longer daylight hours, we have decided to increase our hours of work on Saturdays so we can keep the project on track in accordance with our projections.

See details of this change under Community updates.

Work continues on-site. For and immersive look at the final project, view the video below for a flyover of the completed project site.

The work on this project will begin in late August. This will mean some changes to the way the ramp operates such as:

  • A construction compound will be set up and fencing will be placed around the construction area.
  • There may be some restricted parking and delayed access to a boat ramp lane due to some road lanes being closed off for work.
  • Work on the pontoons, boat ramp and dredging may temporarily restrict movements in the bay. Boat users and visitors will need to take extra care in manoeuvring their vessels in and out of the harbour.

At least two lanes of the boat ramp will remain open during most of the construction work, with short periods with no access. We will notify the community before the closures to allow time to make alternative arrangements.

Stage 1 may affect road traffic in the area from time to time. There will be truck movements delivering equipment, materials and rock for the breakwater, as well as taking away debris. Traffic control measures will be in place during this work to maintain safety and control.

Our hours of work will be from 7.00am-6.00pm on weekdays and 8.00am-1.00pm on Saturdays

Artist’s impression of completed boat ramp area

Artist’s impression of completed boat ramp area

Project information

The proposed project will be designed and constructed in two stages during 2021 and 2022

Stage 1 (2nd quarter 2021) would include:

  • Extending the existing breakwater by 75m
  • Widening the existing boat ramp, adding an additional two lanes
  • New top surface over the existing boat ramp area
  • Extending the existing pontoon
  • Adding two new pontoons
  • Dredging the existing boat ramp basin and channel as part of an ongoing dredging program at this site

Stage 2 (early 2022) would include:

  • Extending the existing main carpark to include additional parking for cars, boats and trailers
  • New carpark entrance at the western end of the carpark
  • Blocking the entry adjacent to the boat ramp off Jordan Esplanade (for safety reasons)
  • Diverting traffic along Jordan Esplanade road opposite the main carpark
  • New road signage
  • New rigging and de-rigging bays around the main carpark
  • A new shared pathway (2.5m) for walking/cycling
  • New amenities facility
  • New Lighting and signage
  • Recreational furniture including seating and tables
  • Pedestrian pathway on south side of Jordan Esplanade with access to Gallows beach carpark and to amenities facility in the main carpark area
  • Landscaping
  • Extending services, including water, power and sewerage

The Coffs Harbour boat ramp is located) in a small basin on the southern side of the harbour. The original boat ramp and basin was constructed in the mid-1970s, and there is a history of reports by boaters of the difficulties launching and retrieving boats and navigating vessels through the entrance channel to the boat ramp.

The boat ramp basin regularly suffered from water level surges, making it difficult to secure boats coming into or leaving the ramp and operational difficulties were also experienced in the vicinity of the boat ramp during times that north-easterly swell entered the harbour.

In 2015 the boat ramp basin was extended to reduce some of impacts of the wave action on the structure. There are still impacts from the waves, particularly during low tide that are being addressed by the upgrades proposed in this project.

The Coffs Harbour Regional Boat Ramp Precinct Enhancement Committee (CHRBRPEC) comprises local boat ramp users who have a vision to develop the boat ramp precinct into a world class facility that will meet existing and future demands from local and visiting mariners.

The CHRBRPEC identified the need to upgrade the boat ramp to address safety and congestion concerns after a number of boating incidents. In particular over the 2018 Easter holiday period, over a dozen boats were washed onto rocks at the entrance to the boat ramp basin. Harbour City Council (CHCC) have endorsed the need for the project, and funding has been approved by Transport for NSW to undertake improvement works at the boat ramp facility.

Project documents

Community updates

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October 2021 project notification

Extension of working hours at Coffs Harbour Regional Boat Ramp.

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Community update August 2021

Coffs Harbour Regional Boat Ramp.

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Plans

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Stage 1 1.51Mb
Stage 2 2.69Mb

Media releases

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26 November 2020

Extra $4 million for Coffs Harbour boat ramp

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Contact us

You can contact the project team in the following ways:

Email: coffsboatramp@transport.nsw.gov.au

Phone: 1300 778 928 Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm

Mail: Coffs Harbour Boat Ramp, Transport-Maritime, Locked Bag 5100, Camperdown, NSW 1450

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