Point Cartwright Reserve La Balsa Park Master Plan

Council has prepared a master plan to guide the future use and management of this coastal area for all the community to enjoy.

The Point Cartwright Reserve and La Balsa Park Master Plan balances the needs of our community and the environment and represents a vision for the future (from now until year 2041).

The plan outlines improvements to pathway networks, upgraded picnic furniture and playgrounds, more shade and landscaping, realigned parking, and viewing platforms. 

Key features of the plan include:   

  • Enhanced community safety – ensuring a safer public realm for all to enjoy
  • Enhanced environmental protection – for areas of significant habitat and sites of significant cultural heritage value identified by our First Nations People.
  • Enhanced accessibility and recreational opportunities – improved pathway network (wider paths, improved surfaces, improved alignment).
  • Improved facilities – upgraded park furniture, equipment, improved barbeque and shelters.
  • More shade – for pathways, furniture, playground, picnic areas.
  • Playground improvements – including interpretive/educational elements and increased play value.
  • More interpretive and educational elements – for nature based passive recreation and cultural heritage appreciation
  • Sustainable pet access – by retaining pet access in the reserve and park (on-leash) without time restrictions and prohibiting pet access to areas of the reserve and park of profound environmental significance. *Note these changes are subject to the local law amendment process and will be subject to a separate community engagement process later this year.


Point Cartwright Reserve and La Balsa Park are much loved and used areas with significant environmental, recreational and cultural heritage values.

People use the reserve and park for a variety of recreational experiences including nature trails, the beach, pet walking, boating, cycling, paragliding, picnics, playgrounds, snorkelling, surfing, fishing, diving, and enjoying the views and open space.

Data collected from visitation counts show that up to 3700 people can visit the reserve in a single day, 20 per cent accompanied at least one dog, and considering that more than 500,000 people are expected to call the Sunshine Coast home by 2041 – a long-term plan is needed to guide the safety, sustainability and liveability of the area.

The master plan considerations included:

This is one of many projects council is delivering in-line with the environment and liveability strategy, which provides long-term direction to guide growth and shape the future of our healthy, smart and creative region.

Community engagement

The master plan has been extensively shaped by community feedback since 2021. Together we have ensured we can all continue to enjoy this beautiful area. 

For more detailed information about the community engagement undertaken for the plan, please visit Council’s Have Your Say web page Point Cartwright Reserve and La Balsa Park Master Plan.

Where to form here

Council assessed the community’s feedback on the draft master plan alongside the values, vision and design principles for the area to prepare a final master plan.

This final master plan was endorsed at Council’s Ordinary Meeting on August 24, 2023. 

From here, Council will seek funding and grant opportunities to implement the master plan in stages, over the coming years, as funding becomes available.

Sustainable pet access

At its Ordinary Meeting on 21 September 2023, Council agreed to commence a local law-making process, which proposes changes to animal management at Point Cartwright.

Under the proposed changes dogs will be allowed on-leash at Half Moon Bay, open-spaced areas of Point Cartwright Reserve, Buddina Beach and La Balsa Park. Dogs will be prohibited from the northern beach onto and around the rocky foreshore, the dunes along Buddina Beach and sections of Point Cartwright Reserve.

We appreciate that many of our community members have contributed feedback during the master planning process.  As these animal management arrangements need to be implemented via amendments to Council’s local laws, the community is invited to provide feedback on the proposed amendments. 

Community engagement is now open. Please visit Council’s Have Your Say website to provide feedback to ensure your views are captured: https://haveyoursay.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/proposed-amendments-local-laws-pt-cartwright

Following the consultation process, Council will consider all feedback and decide to make, or not make, the proposed amendments at a future Ordinary Meeting.

The community can register to receive updates by providing contact details here.


For more information, please contact council’s project officer at [email protected] or on (07) 5475 7272.