Dawkins Park Environment Precinct Interpretive Plan

Client: Nambucca Valley Council

Dawkins Park is a public green space in the heart of Macksville, with a man-made lake that has become home to a bustling colony of water birds, a windmill to aerate and improve water quality, and other environmental sustainability initiatives.

Together with schools from the local area, and Cascade Environmental Education Centre, Council have developed an environmental case study on Dawkins Park that examines water quality, bird life, water bugs, and human impacts both positive and negative.

Fisher Design + Architecture was engaged to develop a precinct interpretive plan,  with content development and design for signage supporting the sustainability initiatives.

The eye-catching artwork featured on the Dawkins Park entry sign is by Gumbaynggirr artist Denise Buchanan, and is a representation of the connecting waterways that surround Macksville.

Nambucca River Public Art Precinct Plan

Client: Nambucca Shire Council

In 2022, Fisher Design + Architecture was engaged by Nambucca Valley Council to develop a Public Art Precinct Plan with the vision of enriching the experience of
the Nyambaga Bindarray (Nambucca River) foreshore walk for community and visitors. The plan outlines the opportunities for development of an engaging layer of art and interpretation, reflecting
and celebrating the Gumbaynggirr significance of the river, and fostering connections with this special place and the surrounding lands and waters.

Implementation of the Nambucca River foreshore walk public art commenced after the precinct plan was adopted by Council in late 2022, and was completed in early 2024.

Wonga Walk Interpretive Master Plan & Rest Nodes – Dorrigo National Park

Client: National Parks and Wildlife Service, Coffs Coast Area – 2022 – 2023

The Wonga Walk in Dorrigo National Park is one of the most popular nature walks on the North Coast, set within World Heritage listed Gondwana rainforest. 

Fisher Design and Architecture were part of a team of architects, designers and sculptors commissioned to provide an interpretive design master plan, a suite of viewing platforms and rest nodes, interpretive signage, and sculptures along the walk. 

Wompoo sculpture by Nick Warfield.
Stainless steel sculptures by Tim Johnman.

The Glade Precinct Plan & Temporary Visitors Centre – Dorrigo National Park

Client: NPWS Dorrigo Area

The Glade precinct plan includes aTemporary Visitors Centre – a  multi use building and interpretative space highlighting the DARC / DEW project, and linking to Walk with the Birds and Crystal Shower Falls. The building design includes an external deck area stage for small events, an area for workshops and classes, reception space with small counter,  and retail area.  Adjacent demountable buildings will be connected to TVC by breezeway, to provide basic facilities for staff – kitchenette and storage for education equipment. Temporary toilets will cater for increased visitors numbers and staff.

Baliiga (Never Never) Precinct Plan – NPWS Dorrigo National Park

Client: NSW NPWS Coffs Coast Area, November 2022

The Never Never picnic area and picnic shelter have historical significance, reflecting important periods and events in the Dorrigo National Park history. Both the picnic area and picnic shelter also have aesthetic and social significance, being highly valued by NPWS and the local community. The precinct plan aims to upgrade and improve the visitor experience so that it can adapt to increased visitation in a sustainable manner. The Baliiga Precinct Plan incorporates existing infrastructure and heritage requirements, and provides design solutions for current and future usage, including upgrades to the picnic shelter and surrounds, a new toilet block, a new camping area with walk in tent sites and vehicle camping sites. The plan also incorporates a new overnight camping facility for the proposed Dorrigo Escarpment Great Walk.

Walgun Cape Byron – Most Easterly Point

Client: National Parks & Wildlife Service, Tweed Byron Area – December 2021

The Most Eastern Point concept design was prepared in 2014 by Fisher Design and Architecture with Mackenzie Pronk Architects.

Designed to be functional and robust, the landmark public space concept design celebrates the natural and cultural significance of the site, simply and elegantly conveying geographic, natural and Indigenous stories, and creating a unique sense of place.

Design development of the concept approved by the Cape Byron Trust has been undertaken in conjunction with the Cape Byron Track design by Stephen Gorrell Architect, and the Cape Byron Interpretive Plan, and incorporates a materials and detail palette established by the consultant team and NPWS. A subtle overlay of interpretive elements has been designed to integrate with the new viewing platform, reflecting both Arakwal cultural significance as well as European geographical information.

Concept by Fisher Design + Architecture with Mackenzie Pronk Architects. Design development with Stephen Gorrell Architect.

Macintyre Falls Day Use Precinct Concept Master Plan – Kwiambal National Park

Client: National Parks and Wildlife Service, Northern Inland Branch October 2021
The Macintyre Falls Day Use Precinct is located in the Kwiambal National Park, near the town of Inverell in northern NSW, and the Queensland boarder. The plan explores site issues and opportunities, provides broad concepts which demonstrate short
and long term strategies addressing visitation and universal usage, and describes a vision for now and the future. The Macintyre Falls day use precinct is to be revitalised and enhanced as a unique and popular National Park destination, with a wide array of natural settings which provide a variety of visitor experiences, and connect people with place.

Macksville Foreshore Concept Master Plan

Client: Nambucca Shire Council October 2021
The Macksville Foreshore along the Nambucca River is a well-recognised urban feature of the Nambucca Valley. With the brief to upgrade and improve the riverside public domain, the Macksville Foreshores Concept Master Plan aims to revitalise the precinct, better connect the Macksville community with the Nambucca River, and enrich the user experience.Designed around nature, arts and culture, the design provides a safer and more functional space for the community, while creating an environment which is meaningful and engaging, with improved visual amenity, recreational, social and economic potential, and new public facilities and community assets.

Gleniffer Reserves Master Plan

Gleniffer (Promised Land), Bellingen- 2016

The Gleniffer Reserves are situated along the Never Never River in the Bellingen Shire, approximately 10 kilometres northwest from the township of Bellingen, within one of the most scenically beautiful landscapes in Australia.

Neighbouring the world heritage Dorrigo National Park and Tuckers Nob State Forests, the Gleniffer Reserves form part of a signicant natural regional asset which is highly valued by local residents and the Bellingen community.

The Gleniffer Reserves have become an increasingly popular place of recreation and swimming for locals and visitors. Visitation numbers and visitor behaviour are at a point where the environment and local quality of life have been signicantly affected.

Bellingen Shire Council in August 2014 contracted a multi- disciplinary consultant team comprising Fisher Design + Architecture, Mackenzie Pronk Architects, Jackie Amos (Landscape Architect), Caroline Desmond (Community Engagement),
and Keiley Hunter (Planning Consultant) to work with the working group, stakeholders and the community to develop the Gleniffer Reserves Master Plan.

The four reserves which are the subject of the Master Plan are:

– Earl Preston Reserve
– Arthur Keough Park
– Broken Bridge Reserve
– Angel Gabriel Capararo Reserve

With sustainability being a key precept of the Master Plan intent, the vision for the Gleniffer Reserves reflects our communities creative spirit and environmental values, aiming to preserve a sense of ‘place’ through implementation of ideas and design solutions which are meaningful and engaging.

The Gleniffer Reserves Master Plan has been created for present and future generations to provide a framework for a sustainable future for the Gleniffer Reserves over the next decade.

Nightcap National Park Concept Design

Northern Rivers – 2016

Nightcap National Park is located in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, north of Lismore and east of Byron Bay. Whian Whian State Conservation Area lies within the south east of Nightcap National Park.

The World Heritage Area features unique Gondwana rainforests, waterways, gullies, ridges and peaks, offering a variety of recreational opportunities such as swimming, bush walking,
horse riding and mountain bike riding.

Aboriginal communities with connection to the region include the Nganduwal, Galibal, Githabul and Widjabal. The region is part of the Bundjalung Nation, and the parks landscapes, plants and animals feature prominently in Aboriginal culture and dreaming stories. There are sites of cultural significance in the area.

Concept designs have been prepared in consultation with Mackenzie Pronk Architects and National Parks and Wildlife Service for the Rummery Park campground, Minyon Falls, Minyon Grass and Telephone Road in the Nightcap National Park.

Rummery Park campground is situated within the Whian Whian State Conservation Area, in the Nightcap National Park.

Offering a peaceful, relaxing picnic and camping experience in a World Heritage rainforest, Rummery is a popular destination for day users and family holiday visitors.

Currently the campground is a base point for nearby Nightcap National Park attractions and destinations, including a variety of short and long walking trails, and areas with trails designated for mountain biking and horse riding.

With its undulating topography, existing tracks and trails, and close proximity to Minyon Falls, Minyon Grass, and Telephone Road,
the area presents the potential as a unique rainforest adventure destination.

Key strategies and solutions include:

– Preserve identity as rainforest adventure destination and base point for nearby Nightcap National Park attractions
– Improve existing campsites and amenities providing new camping platforms, and expand into old plantation forest areas and along existing trails/roads
– Provide new walk-in eco-cabins with nearby car parking
– Provide new precinct for large vehicle drive-through and multi-use sites with ensuite amenities shelters
– Provide horse riders and mountain bikers camping area with Long House and campsites

Minyon Falls is a popular picnic destination and features the Minyon Falls Lookout, where Repentance Creek plunges over 100m, flowing down over enormous cliffs that were once part of the Tweed Volcano.

The Minyon Loop Walk connects Minyon Falls Lookout with Minyon Grass, winding along forested cliffs, past a swimming hole at the base of Minyon Falls, and through a deep palm-shaded gorge.

Key design features include:

– Complete trail loop and connections between Minyon Falls and Minyon Grass
– Aggregate and improve existing picnic facilities with boardwalk entry structure and picnic platforms located to the outside of circulation routes, re-vegetate central area
– Improve lookout platform – set back from cliff edge, retain accessibility, provide safe edge to balustrade
– Create new lookout platforms, and boardwalk along eastern ridge-line to connect with Minyon Grass
– Create new eco-cabin precinct with A-Frame cabins, entry gates and signage, carparking and connecting pathways

Minyon Grass picnic area is located on the eastern edge of Nightcap National Park, with BBQ’s, picnic tables and toilets, and features a viewing platform looking back across the gorge to Minyon Falls.

Key design features include:

– New extended lookout platform with interpretive signage
– Emphasise the view corridor with long picnic table located along lookout platform axis
– Create uniting centralised interpretive artwork
– Create new boardwalk to the north to connect with Minyon Falls Lookout
– Relocate existing picnic areas and upgrade with new tables and BBQ facilities

* Illustrations by Neil Mackenzie

Bundjalung National Park Concept Design

Northern Rivers- 2016

Bundjalung National Park is located between Iluka in the south and Evans Head in the north. Containing unique and significant areas of coastal plain, heathland, rainforest and isolated beaches, the area is extremely diverse, supporting a great variety of flora and fauna.

Concept designs have been prepared in consultation with Mackenzie Pronk Architects and National Parks and Wildlife Service with an aim to provide a framework for a sustainable future for the Bundjalung National Park Woody Head and Blackrocks campgrounds, over the following decades.

Woody Head Campground is situated within the Bundjalung National Park at Woody Head, north of Iluka.

Surrounded by remnant subtropical rainforest and a protected sandy beach, the site has a 60s municipal character and features retro cottages and cabins – beach ‘shacks’ which have been frequented by families for decades.

The campground is a popular destination for day users and family holiday campers, offering a variety of accommodation opportunities, a boat ramp, and a selection of picnic spots, beaches, rock platforms, creeks and trails.

Key strategies and solutions include:

– Preserve identity as family recreational destination and campground with 60s retro character
– Improve existing campsites and public spaces with native landscaping and new suite of elements and materials palette which reflects the site identity and character
– Improve sense of place reflecting environmental, historical and cultural meanings through integration of interpretive information with built fabric and landscape elements
– New luxury hilltop eco-cabins
– New amenities and facilities to meet campsite expansion
– New boardwalk along the reinforced sea wall linking the between the boat ramp and Woody Head Beach.

Black Rocks presents as a uniquely remote site while being within easy reach of Evans Head and Iluka.

Situated on Ten Mile Beach, and adjacent to Jerusalem Creek in the Bundjalung National Park, the Black Rocks landscape is combination of dry sclerophyll, littoral rain forest, low sandy marsh land and undulating frontal dunes.

The area is a popular destination for day visitors and family holiday campers, with a variety of walking tracks, creeks, picturesque wetlands, and the Pacific Ocean. Popular activities include picnics, walking, mountain bike riding, swimming, kayaking, surfing, fishing, bird watching and whale watching.

Key strategies and solutions include:

– Preserve identity as niche remote coastal bush campground
– Create entry experience with new pull-in bay and signage
– Separation of day use and camping areas, relocating day use area to the north of the site, and rationalising roads, car parking and trails
– Formalise beach and river access points and provide relocatable boardwalk and stairs, and viewing platforms
– Improve existing campsites with native landscaping, new BBQ’s, robust timber picnic tables & seats, and timber site identification bollards and signage
– Improve sense of place reflecting the unique coastal environment, indigenous connections, and sand/ gold-mining/ logging history

* Illustrations by Neil Mackenzie

The Cape Byron Experience Concept Design

Byron Bay- 2014

The Cape Byron Headland Reserve is a stunning 100 hectare State Conservation Area. The site holds special spiritual, cultural and historic significance for the Arakwal people of Byron Bay. Over a million visitors annually come for the sites geographic, scenic, historic and cultural attributes. The world renown walk taking in the lighthouse, eastern most point of the Australian landmass and numerous spectacular lookouts is busy year round.

The heavy utilisation of the sites pathways and lookouts places great strain on the infrastructure. The pathways and lookouts must be sited on and traverse challenging topography and a sensitively regenerating landscape. The site must cater for visitors moving at different speeds and directions, joggers, kids and the less able. The infrastructure must be constructed from a simple high quality and extremely robust palette.

Key strategies and solutions include:

– Improve all infrastructure – lookouts, pathways, stairs, seating and signage
– Identify key locations for interpretive material
– Establish coherent way finding strategies, implement a unified signage hierarchy including new entry threshold and gateway signage
– Identify opportunities for future expansion including accessible pathways
– Amplify the experience and presentation of the historic narrative in the lighthouse precinct
– Create a visually consistent interpretive and way nding signage system for application throughout the Cape Byron Reserve
– Enhance the user experience through the introduction of signicant interpretive information throughout the Cape

Fisher Design + Architecture in association with Mackenzie Pronk Architects

Cape Byron Most Easterly Point Concept Design

Byron Bay 2014

The Most Easterly Point of Mainland Australia is an icon to locals and visitors to Byron Bay, having approx 1.2 Million visitors per year.

The Most Easterly Point requires enhancement works to bring it to a level expected of visitors and the high standard maintained in the Reserve. The current facilities at the Most Easterly Point are also a safety issue with raised pathways mixing the different uses of visitors stopping to appreciate the location and fitness people walking/jogging.

The proposed design for the Most Easterly Point of Australia will create a landmark public space, celebrating the natural and cultural significance of the site.

The proposed design will provide a unique and iconic experience enhancing the various user experiences, and creating new opportunities for social interaction, learning, story telling and rest.

Tangible connections with the surrounding environment are created through the use of a suite of appropriate and durable materials, artwork and interpretive signage. The public space is designed to be elegant, functional, and robust – a valuable public asset and investment for future generations.

The interpretive information will be simple, focused and have a timeless quality, elegantly conveying geographic, natural and indigenous stories creating a unique sense of place.

Fisher Design + Architecture in association with Mackenzie Pronk Architects