North Head Sanctuary
North Head Scenic Drive, Manly
Visitor Centre Hours:
10am - 4pm (closed Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Year's Day)
by car, bus or foot.
Right on Manly’s backdoor step are beautiful walks, breathtaking views, bike-riding paths, fascinating historical sites and a thriving hub of health and well-being professionals. A remarkable setting, North Head Sanctuary is home to the most delicate and precious system of flora and fauna, complete with hanging swamps. Its wild, island-like nature has made North Head Sanctuary a place for isolation, observation and contemplation. Rich in history and a special place for the Aboriginal people, the dramatic cliffs of North Head form a memorable entry to Sydney Harbour with superb views of the harbour from the cliff tops. The interconnectedness of so many elements make North Head such a special place.
For those who want to get away from it all, take some time out with a leisurely walk along the tracks through virtually untouched bushland. There’s over 10 kilometres of easy walking tracks to choose from. Keep an eye out for native birds and animals as you take in the stunning views of the city, harbour and ocean beyond.
The more exercise-minded can take a bike-ride from Manly up to North Head Sanctuary. Walking maps can be obtained from the Gatehouse Visitor Centre off North Head Scenic Drive, or from the North Head Sanctuary Room located on North Fort Road.
Ticks are known to live in coastal regions in NSW and are known in the North Head Sanctuary site, living amongst the bush and in the grass. Please pick up an information sheet from the Visitor Centre before entering the site if you have any concerns. For more information, go to www.health.nsw.gov.au
Walks, tours and history
If history is your thing, then North Head Sanctuary plays host to important military fortifications which were integral to Sydney’s defence in World War II and the Third Quarantine Cemetery where over 240 people were buried between 1881-1919.
If you want to dig deeper, take one of our guided tours. Bushland, Barracks and Batteries covers the military history and natural beauty of North Head Sanctuary and takes place the second Sunday of each month at 12:45pm, while the North Fort tour takes you through the World War II tunnels and gun emplacements and takes places every Sunday at 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:00pm and 2:00pm. For bookings, call (02) 8969 2100.
The Nursery Group is a part of the North Head Sanctuary Foundation, a group of volunteers, partnering with the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust to maintain and preserve the vision of the Sanctuary at North Head. Much of the Sanctuary is Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS), an endangered ecological community, which the nursery showcases throughout the Sanctuary. For more information, you can visit the North Head Sanctuary Foundation Room located on North Fort Road in front of the Nursery, open every weekend from 10:15am – 4pm. The North Head etc. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can discover more about the unique flora and fauna by taking a bushland walking tour with the Earthwatch Institute and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.
Peaceful yet accessible, with a unique natural environment,North Head Sanctuary has become a hub of research and education activity covering flora, fauna, hospitality, events, tourism, science and sport. The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust offers a range of hands-on environmental education programs and activities for schools and families. For more information, visit www.harbourtrust.gov.au/education or email email@example.com
Sustainability and Environment
Learn how North Head Sanctuary will be used to showcase energy and water saving technologies.
A hundred Boguls, native rats, have been released in 16 bushland locations from Mosman to Manly including North Head Sanctuary. The Boguls have been microchipped and will be radio tracked over the next 18 months to chart their movements. Work in Jervis Bay and Taronga Zoo suggest that Boguls are able to out-compete the black rat for territory and resources. The re-insatement of Boguls will increase the biodiversity of harbour bushland. Click here to find out more.