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Former Marine Biological Station



  • Station is currently closed to the public.
  • Periodically opens for special public tours
  • Camp Cove is open to the public daily
  • Car
  • Bus
  • Foot

Pacific Street, Watsons Bay, NSW 2030


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Located in Birrabirragal Country, the Former Marine Biological Station at Camp Cove was built in 1881, making it one of the first buildings established in Watson’s Bay.

Although this delightful sandstone cottage is closed to the public, it can be viewed from the beach at Camp Cove and by those undertaking Sydney’s Great Coastal Walk.

Plan ahead

Getting here arrow

By car: The beach at Camp Cove can be accessed via Pacific Street in Watsons Bay. Limited parking is available in the surrounding streets.

By bus: Sydney Buses operate the 324 service, which links Circular Quay to Military Road, Watsons Bay, daily. Alight at the final bus stop and walk 10 minutes via Cliff and Pacific streets to reach Camp Cove.

By ferry: Sydney Ferries run between Circular Quay and Watsons Bay daily. Once you disembark at Watsons Bay, walk for approximately 10 minutes via Cliff and Pacific streets to reach Camp Cove.

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

Parking arrow

Limited parking is available on the streets surrounding the Marine Biological Station. Check signage for any fees or time limits.

Facilities and accessibility arrow

There is no wheelchair access to the former Marine Biological Station, which is closed to the public; however, the nearby park and beach at Camp Cove are open daily. Toilet facilities are located at Green Point Reserve at the southern end of Camp Cove. Although most areas of Camp Cove are wheelchair accessible, there are some uneven and steep surfaces. Further, there are stairs linking Green Point Reserve to the beach.

Emergency and security arrow

In the event of an emergency, dial 000 or 112 if mobile reception is poor. Rangers patrol the grounds of the Marine Biological Station approximately once a fortnight.

Visitor guidelines arrow

Please note: the Former Marine Biological Station is a private residence.

For your own safety, and to protect this historic site, please observe the following rules, enforceable by our rangers:

Prohibited: do not erect gazebos or marquees (without a permit); do not operate remote-controlled vehicles (including drones); do not play amplified music (without a permit); and do not undertake commercial activities (without a permit).

What to do

The Great Coastal Walk

Feeling ambitious? Then why not embark on Sydney’s Great Coastal Walk, a massive 100km pilgrimage from Barrenjoey Lighthouse in the North to Cronulla in the South? When you reach Camp Cove at Watsons Bay, take a breather and admire the colonial architecture of the former Marine Biological Station.



Like Sydney Hotel and Katoomba’s Carrington Hotel, the Marine Biological Station was designed by colonial architect John Kirkpatrick. Built in 1881 as a place for Russian scientist Nikolai Nikoleavich de Miklouho-Maclay to study local marine life, the station was later acquired by the Australian Army to house officers. Today, it is leased as a private residence.

Image Caption: The Former Marine Biological Station at Camp Cove, State library of NSW, FL1228185