Shark Beach at Neilsen Park is one of the Eastern Suburb’s most treasured swimming spots – but since March 2022 it has been tightly closed to the public, inciting mass frustration among locals who desperately want to dive back into their favourite turquoise cove as warmer days approach.
In a breaking (and potentially very happy) development, Shark Beach swimmers could be in luck this summer, with the possibility of a temporary access path being floated by local Vauclause MP Kellie Sloane. But before we get too excited, this is yet to be 100 per cent confirmed.
Communities across the Eastern Suburbs have voiced their frustration at how long it has taken the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to repair the seawall at Neilsen Park, with the beloved cove getting shut off to the public way back in March, 2022. Reconstruction work was originally meant to be completed by December, 2022 – but after the wettest Sydney year on record, contractual delays and the discovery (and removal) of a hefty 3,600 tonnes of asbestos, the project is now slated to be done in April, 2024.
Locals are calling for more governmental transparency about when they will be able to enjoy their favourite beach again, and MP Kellie Sloane has said that she has written to environment minister Penny Sharpe to see if a pathway or temporary access route can be created down to the water this summer.
Thus far, we don’t know for sure if a path will be approved, with the environment minister’s latest statement being that the beach will open to the public once the NPWS says it’s safe to do so.
The worst case scenario? Shark Beach will be closed to Sydneysiders for the second summer in a row.
All we can do is wait, but in the meantime, we’ll just have to swim at one of these gorgeous Sydney swim spots instead.