Boat Harbour Beach Master Plan

Tender awarded for Development of Master Plan
Extensive public and stakeholder consultation
Master Plan adoption
Planning, environmental and and Geotech reports
Western Bay seawall replacement
Foreshore development plan adopted
August 2019
April - June 2023

Detailed description

Boat Harbour Beach is a small beachside settlement located on the northwest coast of Tasmania – approximately 30km west of Burnie within the Waratah Wynyard municipal area. The township is predominantly a coastal shack community that has between 20-30 permanent residents and approximately 100 residential dwellings and a number of non-residential uses such as a surf club, café and visitor accommodation. It is part of the larger locality of Boat Harbour that includes services such as a primary school and convenience store that provides fuel adjacent to the Bass Highway. Boat Harbour Beach has a unique natural landscape setting with aqua blue water and white sandy beaches. It sits at the bottom of a steep escarpment below rich agricultural land and within a dramatic amphitheatre-like location. Boat Harbour Beach experiences significant seasonal fluctuations in population and visitors to the township that peak in the summer period.

Why a Master Plan?

The Boat Harbour Beach Master Plan (Master Plan) was developed to address community expectations and provide a strategic plan for the area. 

The Master Plan provides a unifying vision for the area focusing particularly on the management of public spaces around the beach area and the provision of supporting infrastructure and development.

In this context, the Master Plan:

  • Identifies the overall values of the place which should be protected;
  • Examines the role and function of the Boat Harbour Beach area in the context of North West Tasmania;
  • Identifies current opportunities and constraints;
  • Aligns the interests of all stakeholders towards common goals and achieves cohesiveness in future actions by those stakeholders;
  • Gives clarity to the community, business, investors and government about the future direction for the area; and
  • Provides an overarching framework to prioritise investment in the area.

What are the aims of the Master Plan?

  • Identify the overall vision for the township based on key directions.
  • Develop clear objectives for the future development and character of the town including specific planning scheme requirements that may be required for Boat Harbour Beach to reflect the objectives.
  • Consider and detail the key environmental constraints of the township.
  • Consider and detail key infrastructure constraints including car parking and access for the township.
  • Establish a plan to improve the quality of the areas available for public open space; including pedestrian access, BBQ facilities and play equipment.
  • Identify a settlement boundary having regard to key land constraints and values.
  • Consider further detailed work that may be necessary to support implementation of the plan such as streetscape design plans or precinct plans.

Key projects and progress updates

Western Bay Seawall replacement

The Boat Harbour Beach Working Group has been liaising with Parks and Wildlife Services to determine the environmental impacts and whether reclamation of some land around Western Bay might form part of the overall foreshore development plan. This consultation highlighted the need for significant remediation works to the existing seawall as a priority, with the likelihood of land reclamation approvals low. Council has commenced the remediation works in May 2023, with works anticipated to be concluded by the end of June 2023.

Boat Harbour Beach foreshore development

This project includes planning and designs for:

  • New surf club building incorporating community space , Café and public amenities
  • Foreshore landscaping , play spaces and public spaces
  • Access roads and parking

This project is subject to external funding commitments, with Council to date having secured a commitment of $5.0 M from the Australian Labour Party to progress these plans, with further funding still being sought. 


In 2016 Council commenced the development of a Boat Harbour Beach Master Plan. Through an expression of interest tender process, Council engaged ERA Planning Pty Ltd to lead a multi-disciplinary consultancy team to undertake analysis and planning through an extensive process involving:

Principal Consultant and Master planning – ERA Planning Pty Ltd.
Architectural and Master planning – Cumulus Studio; and
Stakeholder Engagement – Noa Group.

Extensive public consultation and engagement with key stakeholders was undertaken and the strategic directions identified through the process have guided the preparation of the Master Plan with feedback shaping the final proposal.

The final Boat Harbour Beach Master Plan was endorsed by Council in August 2019 with a working group made up of Councillors, Officers, Boat Harbour Surf Life Saving Club members and members of the public then established to progress the Master Plan.

Council has adopted a range of Master Plans and strategies in consultation with the community outlining future community aspirations which require a capital investment of approximately $58m over the next 10 years. In addition to the capital outlays, additional recurrent costs will be incurred and will be planned for and managed in the context of Council's long term financial management strategy.