Narrabeen Lagoon Stage 1

“Delivering a high profile upgrade for a highly sensitive community asset”


Warringah Council





Design Partners

ASPECT Studios

Scope of Work

Deliver, Detail

Executive Summary

The Narrabeen Lagoon Trail is a high profile shared pathway on Sydney’s northern beaches. It weaves its way through a beautiful, but environmentally sensitive, habitat on the fringes of one of Australia’s most populous and affluent residential regions. Fleetwood won a competitive tender with Warringah Council to complete the 850 metre first stage of the trail’s upgrade, including marine piling, elevated boardwalks, stairs, lookouts, custom furniture and landscaping. With more stages to follow, it was essential to set a high standard by delivering an attractive and cost-effective outcome that was environmentally friendly, safe and durable.


Fleetwood Involvement

Fleetwood was appointed by Warringah Council following a competitive tender. Our involvement began by collaborating with the project’s landscape designers, ASPECT Studios, and included detailed design consultation and planning. We then moved into the often-complex delivery phase, overseeing manufacture, construction and installation for the project’s key elements – a timber and fibreglass boardwalk with public seating and a series of look-out points, sandstone paths and soft landscaping. Harnessing our wide range of in-house skills, combined with strict project controls, flexibility and intelligent planning, we were able to meet all of Council’s requirements, finishing on time and within budget.

More Project Information


The trail upgrade was challenging due to the high design standards required and considerable site constraints. It was particularly important for the design of the new structures to take into account the environmental sensitivity of vegetation.


The project time frame was very tight. The construction envelope was also highly constricted, with limited access opportunities and an intentionally narrow construction corridor to limit damage to the fragile surrounding vegetation which had ecological significance.


Site access was severely restricted and required an innovative approach to both construction and material handling. We needed to minimise environmental impact and – remembering that the trail is linear – ensure we didn’t ‘paint ourselves into a corner’. The solution was to carry out the piling first, starting at the Deep Creek end and working back to the limited access points. We then craned in some of the steel sub-frame off the nearby Wakehurst Parkway before bringing in the remaining materials using small crawler tracked ‘dumpers’, quad bike-towed trailers and, occasionally, a boat.


  • Wheelchair-friendly elevated boardwalk
  • Public seating and look-out points
  • 400-square ‘perch seats’
  • Sandstone paths
  • Soft landscape elements

  • Mild steel
  • Hot dip galvanising
  • Unseasoned hardwood
  • FRP minimesh
  • Stainless steel
  • Treated hardwood pile

Working in and around the lagoon called for careful safety planning. Limited access opportunities to the site also required unconventional methodologies, which in turn presented unconventional risks. The piling process, in particular, was especially difficult, but was executed without problem or incident.


From the designs and material selection to the construction methodology itself, preserving the lagoon’s natural habitat was critical at every stage. To ensure this happened, Fleetwood liaised constantly with the landscape architects and Council’s own environmental officers.


Narrabeen Lagoon is a high profile, high traffic, high significance natural asset on Sydney’s northern beaches. From dawn to dusk, 365 days a year, it’s a place where the local community comes together to meet, relax, exercise and play.


Prior to Fleetwood’s appointment and commencing works, ASPECT Studios had conducted extensive community consultation.


By reinvigorating a much-loved local nature trail, Stage 1 captured the imagination of the Narrabeen community. It significantly enhanced access to the lagoon for families and visitors, making it safe and easy to get explore more of their pristine natural local surroundings.



Award Name Location Year
The Minister For Planning & Infrastructure - Sydney Greenspace Award Narrabeen Lagoon Stage 1 2011