Honeysuckle, Newcastle

Since the early 1990s, we've led Honeysuckle's urban renewal — transforming over 50 hectares of former industrial land into a centre for entertainment, tourism, employment and recreation on the edge of Newcastle Harbour. 

As the master developer for Honeysuckle, HCCDC has managed the staged transformation and divestment of the waterfront land — and the area has so far seen more than $1 billion in private investment, and generated an estimated $3 billion in economic activity.

The renewed land that once blocked the harbour from the people of Newcastle, now supports a diverse mix of employment, residential, tourism and recreation uses, and provides superior public domain and waterfront promenade for the community.

Honeysuckle waterfront, Newcastle

Shaping Newcastle's premier waterfront destination

Honeysuckle HQ artist's impression

The final Honeysuckle lands to be transformed

Honeysuckle promenade works

Status updates on current and upcoming works

An ongoing urban transformation story

Honeysuckle is celebrated as one of the most successful urban renewal programs in NSW.

We've constructed new seawalls, upgraded Honeysuckle Drive, naturalised the Cottage Creek waterway and reopened Honeysuckle promenade. We've also preserved features of the sites industrial heritage, and delivered new public spaces, picnic areas and a children's playground.

Over the coming years, we will continue to deliver new public domain and infrastructure to ensure Honeysuckle continues to thrive – and we are working to identify an experienced development partner to transform the final parcels of land, known as Honeysuckle HQ, into a mixed-use destination that will anchor the city's enviable waterfront to the new CBD.


Key projects

Expand the tabs below to learn more about the works we've delivered, and how the Honeysuckle urban renewal project continues to shape Newcastle's premier waterfront destination.

Honeysuckle waterfront, Newcastle
Honeysuckle waterfront, Newcastle
Public domain and promenade

Our $55 million investment into foreshore infrastructure and public domain works will see Honeysuckle thrive for future generations.

This includes seawall works, landscaping of waterfront green spaces, planting over 150 trees, and creating attractive promenades that stretch from the Wickham Marina through Honeysuckle, and along the foreshore connecting to Nobbys Beach and Bathers Way.

Cottage Creek, Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle waterfront, Newcastle

The Honeysuckle Foreshore Public Domain Plan (PDF, 6.6 MB) provides a framework for the delivery of high quality public domain in Honeysuckle and supports the broader renewal of Newcastle city centre.

Honeysuckle Park

Honeysuckle Park's completion marked a significant milestone in the delivery of new public domain and the continued revitalisation of the Honeysuckle waterfront.

The park includes sandstone seating at the harbour's edge, shelters with picnic seating, covered barbecue facilities and a Maritime inspired play area.

Honeysuckle Park, Newcastle
Honeysuckle Park, Newcastle

Native trees including banksia, tuckeroos and pines line Honeysuckle's new pedestrian links, making it easier to move from the waterfront to the Honeysuckle Light Rail stop.

Construction of this park is an important step in completing the public connection from Wickham Marina, through Honeysuckle along the foreshore to Bathers Way.

Road infrastructure

We have delivered $12 million in road infrastructure upgrades to Honeysuckle Drive to improve ease of use, accessibility and safety. 

Upgrades include a wider and re-aligned Honeysuckle Drive, improved merging lanes, new footpaths and cycleways on both sides of the road.

Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle
Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle

An integral part of the Honeysuckle Drive works is the architecturally designed Cottage Creek Bridge, which replaces the old concrete structure with a new, multi-functional bridge in its place. Spanning 30 metres, the new bridge supports heavy vehicle traffic up to double semi-trailers. 

The upgrades have improved the flow of traffic, made safety a priority for both recreational and commuting cyclists, as well as now offering some stunning visual streetscape upgrades for commuters to enjoy.

Seawall infrastructure

HCCDC maintains 3 km of seawall along the Honeysuckle promenade. 

To date we have recycled 8,000 tonnes of processed concrete from the old wharves into new seawalls. In 2020 we completed rebuilding the 75-year-old harbour seawalls at Lee 5 and Throsby in preparation for Honeysuckle's new public domain. 

Honeysuckle seawall works
Honeysuckle seawall works

This part of Newcastle's waterfront has a rich and colourful history, and ongoing maintenance will ensure that the harbour can continue to be accessed and enjoyed by the public for years to come.

Heritage restoration and re-use

Lee Wharf A, now known as The Wharf, is an iconic and much loved waterfront heritage building in the centre of Honeysuckle. It was built in 1910 in the Federation style and was used for wool storage, as a cargo port, and place of immigration after World War 2.

We completed major restoration and structural repairs to the building in early 2020, including reinstating its harbourside deck, and completing significant stabilisation and seawall repairs.

The Wharf building in Honeysuckle
The Wharf building in Honeysuckle

An exciting new life for The Wharf

The Wharf's restoration has unlocked opportunities for an exciting new use for the key harbourside location, and planning is underway for its transformation into a new destination venue 'Hope at Honeysuckle', led by Hope Estate.

View the Honeysuckle works page for progress updates, and to learn more about Hope at Honeysuckle.

Learn more

Private sector investment

Through the Honeysuckle urban renewal program, the NSW Government has paved the way for private sector investment to deliver new homes, jobs and economic activity.

Projects include the University of Newcastle's Honeysuckle City Campus, and a variety of mixed-use developments providing new housing, commercial, retail and hospitality offerings. View the Honeysuckle works page for more information about these projects.

Learn more

Useful links

Honeysuckle's history

For most of the 20th Century, the Honeysuckle area was dominated by railway workshops, wool stores, cargo sheds and warehouses, both active and dormant. 

The industrial heritage of the land left it contaminated, derelict and blocked off from the people of Newcastle; and by the late 1980s it was recognised that there had been a gradual and sustained period of decline in the number of people living and working in Newcastle. 

In the early 1990s, the plan was initiated to remediate and repurpose seven precincts, spanning four kilometres of waterfront land — and since then we have led Honeysuckle's renewal and ongoing transformation. 

Pictured below: Former industrial land in Honeysuckle, 1992.

Honeysuckle railway workshops, before renewal 1992
Honeysuckle waterfront, before renewal 1992

Formed by the State Government in 1992 and initially funded with $100 million from the Commonwealth/State Building Better Cities program, the Honeysuckle Development Corporation set about working in partnership with the local community to transform the 50 hectares of surplus government land.

At the heart of one of the biggest urban renewal projects in Australia was the task of opening up Newcastle Harbour to the community. 

By creating quality residential, commercial and recreational waterfront areas, Honeysuckle's urban renewal has unlocked lifestyle, economic and environmental benefits for the city, receiving urban design awards and international recognition along the way.