Tathra Wharf Restoration

Restoration of the Tathra Wharf sub-structure, structure and building.

Project Summary/background

The Tathra Wharf was constructed in 1862 and as one of the few remaining coastal deep water wharves of the coastal shipping era is listed on the NSW State Heritage Register. The wharf sustained significant damage during the 2016 east coast low event, which necessitated $500,000 of urgent repair works. As part of these works a structural inspection, by a marine structural engineer and divers, was undertaken of the supporting sub-structure. This assessment identified that a significant proportion of the sub-structure (piles) and structure (girders and decking) of the wharf had deteriorated to such a degree that major restoration work was urgently required.  Detailed condition assessments were subsequently undertaken.

Under the NSW Government’s COVID-19 stimulus program via Crown Lands, Bega Valley Shire Council was awarded $7.1 million (excluding GST) to contribute towards the wharf restoration, upgrade of the Tathra Wharf and Headland precinct.

The project will be completed in two separate portions:

  • the restoration of the wharf structure and building, including the replacement of piles, girders and decking, consistent with Heritage NSW requirements; and
  • the development of a precinct plan for the Tathra Headland to improve the traffic, cycle and pedestrian circulation, connectivity and wayfinding at wharf and headland.


Tathra Wharf is an iconic structure situated in a prominent position on Tathra Headland. Today the wharf remains an important piece of infrastructure for the local economy, in particular as a tourist attraction as well as a fishing and recreational asset.  

The purpose of this project is to undertake major restoration works to the wharf and building to address the deterioration and structural deficiencies identified in the detailed condition assessments, to ensure the long- term preservation of this important asset.

The project objectives are to:

  • restore the wharf sub-structure (piles) and structure (girders and decking) in accordance with heritage requirements
  • restore the wharf building in accordance with heritage requirements
  • improve safety and accessibility

The key benefits of the project are:

  • preservation of this important community, economic and heritage asset; and
  • improvement in the safety and accessibility of the wharf.


Bega Valley Shire Council has received $7.1 million (excluding GST) grant funding from the NSW Government’s Stimulus Package to support regional economies to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.  A major portion of this funding will be put towards the wharf restoration project.

Connection to Council's Community Strategic Plan and Delivery Program

This project is identified in the Community Strategic Plan under:

  • Goal 1: We are co-operative, caring and enjoy a culturally rich community life.
    • Strategy 2: Respect and promote our cultural heritage and support cultural diversity.
      • Progress Measures - Infrastructure Milestones - Tathra Wharf Structure

The project is identified in the Delivery Program 2017-2022 under:

  • 5.10.11 Manage the delivery of major transport infrastructure
    • Deliver the upgrade of Tathra Wharf

Wharf Structure Restoration Works

The scope of works for the Tathra Wharf Restoration Project is based on a detailed condition assessment of the structure by marine engineers and divers, and consultation with Heritage NSW. The works will essentially be ‘like-for-like’ and include repair or replacement of:

  • piles, structural timbers and decking
  • concrete boots, footings and pads
  • cross bracing and fixings
  • handrails, toe rails and kerbing
  • stockyards and stockrace
  • ladders, lighting and ancillary items.

Work Stages and Program

Image showing the work stages of the wharf.The works will be undertaken in six stages:

  • Pink: Stage 1: October 2022 – January 2023
  • Green: Stage 2: February 2023 – June 2023
  • Blue: Stage 3: July 2023 – August 2023
  • Dark blue: Stage 4: September 2023 – October 2023
  • Yellow: Stage 5: November 2023 – December 2023
  • Purple: Stage 6: January 2024 – May 2024

Vehicle and pedestrian access arrangements will be constrained during the works, however public access to the Wharf Café, museum and part of the wharf deck will be maintained throughout the duration of the works. Your cooperation and understanding are appreciated.

The scope of works also recognises the importance of the marine ecology beneath the wharf and includes minimisation measures (e.g. seahorse relocation) and mitigation measures (e.g. marine growth preservation and promotion of recolonisation).

The scope of the Tathra Wharf cargo building restoration works will be subject to available funding and Heritage NSW approval and is proposed to include weatherproofing, minor structural works and services upgrades.

Who can I speak to:

David Buckley
Bega Valley Shire Council
Phone: (02) 6499 2222
Email: dbuckley@begavalley.nsw.gov.au


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