St Helens is a town of approximately 1,449 people situated in the Break O'Day Council in the north-east coast of Tasmania. The town is an entryway to Bay of Fires (Larapuna) with its world renowned coastline, world class mountain bike trails and recreational fishing. The town covers an area of 4.6 square kilometres and has a density of 315 residents per square kilometre (compared to Hobart which covers an area of 1,695.5 square kilometres and has a density of 130 people per square kilometre). The town centre of St Helens contains shops, a supermarket complex, travellers accommodation, food and drink premises, child care centre, schools and library.
When assessed spatially, St Helens’ walkability was rated low suggesting that walkability is limited throughout the area. However, the spatial map findings were not necessarily reflective of the findings from the town audits (including the town wide and program and policy assessments as well as the segment audits) or community workshop.
St Helens has key assets recognised by community members as supporting walkability including the surrounding beaches and natural reserves.
Most of the key facilities are in walking distance for residents located north of the Georges Bay bridge. Access is limited for those located further to the north or south of the main town area.
The lack of safe pedestrian crossings to facilitate access along Cecilia Street in the main town area and limited connectivity across Cecilia Street were key priorities.