Coastal track - Portarlington Pier to Wrathall Park Indented Head

"Locomote" is a recently formed walking action group linked to the Victoria Walks program.

The audit group are residents of the three coastal communities (Indented Head, Portarlington and St Leonards) which participated in the award winning Positive Ageing project ‘Guidelines for Walkable Coastal Environments’.

Through engaging with CoGG (????) officers in setting planning priorities for footpath construction, our interest in the ‘walkability movement’ and the challenges of ensuring equitable access to community resources such as shops, recreational opportunities and inclusion in community life has been sharpened. The challenges to walkability in ageing ‘sea change’ towns are considerable and are linked with the broader challenges of creating sustainable communities in coastal areas. Those challenges include low levels of physical activity, climate change, development pressures and increasing reliance on tourism.

Our first project, is to look at one of the most important assets shared by the communities, residents and visitors alike - the coastal walking track which links the 3 towns. The coastal track brings together some of these challenges. It is in part threatened by rising sea levels and extreme weather events, but to maintain and enhance the track and increase its access to residents and visitors of all abilities is a contribution towards promoting community health and wellbeing.



Approach to the Audit
We have applied the most relevant issues and challenges to ensuring walkability detailed in the ‘Guidelines for Walkable Coastal Environments’ and we have been guided by the Victoria Walks ‘Walking Audit’. As a result of an exploratory walkability audit conducted by Locomote members on Saturday August 1st from the Portarlington pier to Wrathall Park, Indented Head we have addressed the following potential issues with the walkablity of the coastal track

 Priority Issues and Challenges 
 1 Creeks and drainage lines form barriers to movement
Challenge: To design bridges and culverts to reflect the fact that they are crossing water bodies and enhance the area’s coastal character
(Issue 9 in the guidelines)
 2  Difficult paths due to steep slopes, slippery surfaces, narrow or discontinuous path
Challenge: To enhance walkability and useability for all whilst reflecting the areas coastal character (Issue 5 in the guidelines).
 3  Few opportunities to rest and relax and enjoy the surroundings
Challenge: To design seats and other streetscape features to reflect that area’s coastal character. To locate features where they can most benefit the community (Issue 11 in the Guidelines).
 4  Managing access to ecologically sensitive areas
Challenge: To maximise comfort and visual access whilst minimising intrusion in areas of high landscape and environment value. To minimise opportunity cost of getting to and from areas of high landscape and environment value (Issue 10).
 5 Coastal areas are subject to more severe weather than elsewhere
Challenge: To provide shelter to enable the coast to be enjoyed for more of the year.Issue 14.
 6  Busy roads act as a barrier to pedestrian movement to beach, parks and shops
Challenge: To facilitate safe pedestrian crossing and reflect and enhance the area’s coastal character (Issue 16).
 7 Minimising the sense that coastal roads are psychological barriers that divide the coast   from the township.
Challenge: To create the sense that the road is not an edge and that the coastal environment extends into the township (Issue 17).


View the photos.

The Indented Head to St.Leonards audit is yet to be completed.  Results of this audit will soon be made available.  Currently Locomote members are involved  in the Health Impact Assessment for Strategic Footpath Routes - Northern Bellarine 2009 project  - yet to be completed.