arrow Historical Tours
EN language selector search
EN arrow Contact search

Visit Middle Head

With its scenic walking tracks, views across to North Head Sanctuary, boutique cafés and access to beaches for naturists, Middle Head is regarded as a place of tranquility.

Meanwhile, the precinct’s decommissioned military infrastructure, which dates back to the 1870s, is a source of fascination for history buffs. A network of scenic trails and roads link Middle Head to Balmoral Beach and other nearby attractions as well as the neighbouring precincts that makeup Headland Park – Georges Heights and Chowder Bay.

cost.svg
Cost

Free Admission

hour.svg
Hours

The precinct is open daily; however, walking tracks are only open from sunrise to sunset.

bus0.svg
Transport
  • Car
  • Bus
  • Ferry
  • Foot
location.svg
Location

Middle Head Road, Mosman, NSW 2088.

Google Maps

Plan Ahead

Getting Here arrow

By car: Drive along Middle Head Road, Mosman until the road intersects with Chowder Bay Road at the HMAS Penguin roundabout. Continue through the roundabout for parking facilities at Middle Head.

By bus: Sydney Buses operate buses to Middle Head on weekdays. The 244 service, which departs from Wynyard, stops along Middle Head Road and Chowder Bay Road.

By ferry: Sydney Buses operate the 238 services, which collects passengers who arrive by ferry at Taronga Zoo’s Athol Wharf from Circular Quay. Once aboard the 238 service, alight on Middle Head Road near Beaconsfield Road and walk 15 minutes to reach Middle Head.

By private boat: Vessels (including water taxis) can drop off visitors at Clifton Gardens Wharf, adjacent to Chowder Bay, and may anchor off the beach. To reach Middle Head by foot, head along Chowder Bay Road until it intersects with Middle Head Road.

For public transport information, including timetables, visit the Transport NSW website.

Disruptions arrow

There are currently no disruptions. Please check here for updates. 

Parking arrow

Paid and accessible parking is offered at the Middle Head Parking Area and the Clubhouse Parking Area, off Middle Head Road. Parking meters accept coins (Note: No change facilities available) and MasterCard or Visa (Note: Minimum transaction amount is $4). Hourly and daily rates apply, and there is a surcharge on the weekend (Note: parking rates and time limits are subject to change). Subject to sign-posted time limits, parking is free of charge for motorcycles and drivers with Mobility Scheme Permits.

Parking permits issued by Mosman Council and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service are not valid in Harbour Trust parking areas.

Fact sheet: Paid parking facilities – rates

Facilities and accessibility arrow

Public toilets, including an accessible toilet, are located near Middle Head Oval. Many areas of Middle Head are accessible to wheelchairs, mobility scooters and strollers; however, there are some uneven surfaces and bushwalking tracks include stairs and low to medium inclines.

Emergency and security arrow

The park is patrolled by rangers from 8am to 4pm and by security personnel from 4pm and 8am. In the event of an emergency, dial 000 or 112 if mobile reception is poor. To contact a ranger during an emergency, call 0432 750 714 (8am to 4pm). Alternatively, to contact a security officer, call 0433 631 572 (4 pm - 8 am).

Visitor Guidelines arrow

For your own safety, and to protect the park’s flora and fauna, please remain on the dedicated walking or bike tracks when exploring the bushland and observe the following rules, enforceable by our rangers:

Conditions of entry: Do not feed wildlife; keep dogs on a leash; do not litter, dump rubbish or leave dog waste; do not camp overnight; do not erect gazebos or marquees (without a permit); do not operate remote-controlled vehicles (including drones); do not smoke, light fires or use portable barbeques; remain on dedicated bush tracks; do not play amplified music (without a permit) or create excessive noise; do not undertake commercial activities (without a permit); do not hold private functions (without a permit); do not disturb plants, soil and rocks; do not ride bikes, skateboards or scooters on footpaths or walking tracks; do not climb walls, fortifications, sculptures or cliffs.

What to Do

Play a game of tennis

Located at 1110 Middle Head Road, at the boundary of historic Bungaree Farm, the grass court will make you feel like the king or queen of swing! Court hire is $22 per hour with a minimum booking of one hour. Online booking is essential.

Explore military relics

The decommissioned military infrastructure at Middle Head is a treasure trove for history buffs. Landmarks include defensive walls, artillery batteries, a lookout and the notorious Vietnam War-era ‘tiger cages’, where soldiers trained to resist torture.

Go for a swim

Enjoy the sun and take a dip at Cobblers Beach, a short distance from Middle Head Oval, or Obelisk Beach, accessible by Chowder Bay Road. Nudity is permitted at both beaches.

Eat and Drink

Burnt Orange

Housed in a former Clubhouse for Mosman Golf Club, a beautifully renovated building dating back to the 1920s, Burnt Orange is a boutique restaurant with stunning harbour views from its wrap-around verandah. In addition to serving breakfast, lunch and high tea, Burnet Orange is an event venue and retail store offering fashion, homewares and gifts.

Middle Head Café

Situated in coastal bushland at the tip of the Mosman peninsula, Middle Head Café is a pet- and family-friendly venue with sheltered decks. Gaze across the world’s best harbour as you enjoy a lazy breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea and watch as your kids play at the nearby Middle Head Oval.

Note: Middle Head Café will be closed from 22 July 2019 until 25 August 2019. 

Full-width_Georges-Heights_01.jpg

Nature

Middle Head is a precinct of Headland Park, which comprises pockets of woodland and heathland on the exposed upper slopes and ridges; littoral vine forest on the southern shady slopes; and sandstone cliffs and outcrops along the headland at Balmoral and Chowder Bay.

Teams of bush regenerators work regularly at Headland Park to conserve native flora including eucalyptus forest as well as scrub containing banksia, kunzea, hakea and an endangered subspecies of Acacia terminalis (Sunshine Wattle).

 

This vegetation provides a habitat for native animals including Long-nosed Bandicoots, Water Dragons, Blue-tongue Lizards, Ring-tailed Possums and Green Tree Snakes.

Local bird species including kookaburras, rainbow lorikeets, currawongs, pacific white face herons, and dollar birds. Additionally, Chowder Bay receives seasonal visits from penguins, seals and whales.

History

A place of enduring significance for the Borogegal People, Middle Head once played an important role in the defence of Sydney. Gun emplacements were built in response to the Napoleonic Wars, and during World War II, barracks were constructed to house soldiers. After the war ended, Middle Head housed a training facility (ASOPA) for Australians serving the developing world.

Image caption: Photo: Big gun practice at Middle Head, Circa 1884 to 1917, Sydney NSW, Bryna Bamberry, National Museum of Australia, 1986.0117.6223

Single-Column_photographic_postcard_of_big_gun_practice_in_middle_head_sydney_nsw_NMA.jpg