Port Macquarie Southern Breakwall Repair


Project overview

The NSW Government is delivering major improvements to maritime infrastructure and facilities statewide, to help the boating and wider community safely access, use and navigate our inland and coastal waters.

Port Macquarie Breakwall Upgrade

Latest news

September 2023 - Engaging with the community and preparing the project timeline

Throughout August and September, Transport for NSW have been engaging with community groups and businesses in Port Macquarie. There have been lots of conversations about how we can minimise the impact of this work on residents, businesses and others who utilise the Breakwall.

We will be going out to tender in November and can confirm that we will not be starting work on the Breakwall repair until after 1 March 2024 (in order to ensure we do not impact the summer holiday tourist season). We will also pause work over the Easter long weekend and April school holidays to ease the economic impact to tourism operators.

Transport is also currently trying to negotiate additional access points to the site, which would reduce the duration required for the repair work. If the project is not complete by December 2024, we will close down the site for the school holidays and will not recommence until February 2025. 

We are continuing to reach out to businesses and stakeholders in the area to discuss the work. Any businesses or stakeholders who have questions or concerns are encouraged to send an email to portmacquariebreakwall@transport.nsw.gov.au so that our project team can discuss with you.

August 2023 - The Port Macquarie Southern Breakwall Repair is moving forward

The Port Macquarie Southern Breakwall Repair is moving forward with Transport for NSW Maritime set to launch engagement with key stakeholders in the community.  

This new design will focus on repairing the breakwall and improving accessibility by incorporating a footpath with improved disability access. This will include wheelchair access to multiple viewing platforms along the length of the breakwall. Today, we have started the process of bringing these new plans to the community starting with individual engagements with the local Council, with relevant businesses and community groups to follow.

The project will not impact Port Macquarie’s world famous and much-loved surf break as all repair work at the breakwall head will take place within the existing footprint.  

Transport for NSW Maritime will publish the revised design on this project website shortly, and the project will go out to tender with the new design later this year.

August 2023 – Update

Transport for NSW has completed our review of the project design which we will publish shortly. 

Once we have a date for going back out to tender, we will update our project website. 

May 2023 – Tender process concluded

The tender process for the Port Macquarie Southern Breakwater project ended on 30 May and there were no successful tender submissions.

Transport for NSW is now reviewing the project design to incorporate a footpath with improved disability access.

We will go out to tender again once we have completed the redesign in July.

We are now planning to start construction in Q3/Q4 2023 with the aim of completing it in Q2 2024.

May 2023 – Internal review complete

The Maritime Infrastructure Delivery Office (MIDO) has completed its independent internal engineering review of the project and will provide a briefing to the Government in due course.

A definitive start date for construction has not yet been determined. 

March 2023 – General update

The NSW Government is committed to progressing the Port Macquarie Breakwall project. 

Transport for NSW Maritime Infrastructure Delivery Office (MIDO) is yet to finalise the tender process for the Port Macquarie Breakwall Project and is undertaking further internal project development reviews. 

The Port Macquarie Breakwall Project relies upon engineering reports conducted by Manly Hydraulics and Royal Haskoning DHV, both of which confirm the need to remediate and repair the Southern Breakwall.

December 2022 - Environmental approval received, project now seeking tenders

Following the release of the submissions report in November, and the resubmission of the finalised Review of Environmental Factors and project plans, Transport for NSW has obtained approval to proceed with the Port Macquarie Southern Breakwall Upgrade project.

We are now advertising the tender for the construction work of this critical maintenance project. This tender process will take a number of months to complete. Information about the tender process can be found on the eTender website.

We will continue to update you on the progress of this project.

November 2022 - Consultation Submissions Report

We thank the community for providing feedback on the Port Macquarie Southern Breakwall Project.

The number of submissions received reinforces that the Port Macquarie Breakwall is an iconic and loved treasure for the community.

Transport for NSW recognises the importance of this Maritime infrastructure asset and has carefully considered all feedback received, provided responses in the submissions report and has changed the project in response to some of the concerns.

This submissions report and a number of additional project reports are now available on this page. See the Documents section below.

Project information


The Port Macquarie breakwalls were installed to provide a safe navigable boat entrance and maintain the current river mouth entrance.

The Port Macquarie breakwall was built over a period of 40 years with completion in 1939. The last major maintenance was carried out on the head of the breakwall  in 2014.  

As part of the project early investigations, including underwater assessments and scans shows the southern breakwall is in need of extensive repair works. The rock has settled and shifted over time, creating voids which compromise the effectiveness and stability of the structure.

About the project

The NSW Government is funding a proposal to repair the southern breakwall at Port Macquarie. We have developed a refined concept design which includes:

  • repairing 600 metres of the breakwall along the river section
  • completing maintenance of the breakwall head with minimal change to the footprint
  • installing a new five-metre-wide footpath along the majority of the structure’s length. This excludes the last 30 metres at the head of the breakwall, where the current footprint and width will stay the same.
  • Installing two new stair accesses to the NRMA Holiday Park, and a new access ramp at the seaward end of the Holiday Park
  • Installing safety fencing along the southern side of path and a kerb along the northern side of the path
  • Installing new lighting on the shared user path
  • Installing new seating areas and accessible viewing platforms
  • Landscaping the area with over 6000 plants and 43 mature replacement trees.

An updated concept design will be available on the project website soon.

What's happening now?

Following release of the Submissions Report in November, and the re-submission of the finalised Review of Environmental Factors and project plans, Transport for NSW  has obtained approval to proceed with the Port Macquarie Southern Breakwall Repair project.

In May 2023, the project advised that there were not successful tenders for the construction of the project and would review the project design.

Transport for NSW has completed our review of the project design which we will publish shortly.

Once we have a date for going back out to tender, we will update our project website.

Next steps

  • Award the tender for the work
  • Start construction

Transport for NSW acknowledges the significance of the painted rocks along the southern breakwall to the Port Macquarie community. To preserve this part of the community’s history as much as possible, we have created a virtual gallery, and invite you to virtually walk this vibrant trail - explore and download images of your favourites here.


Community information

Fact sheets

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Community updates

Project documents

Some documents on this page may not comply with accessibility requirements (WCAG). If you are having trouble accessing information in these documents, please contact us.

Project notifications


Contact us

For more information contact the project team:

Phone: 1800 571 311


On this page you can find all Maritime projects related to Maritime property and commercial, environmental and ferry wharf upgrade programs.