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Clerk of Petty Sessions Cottage, Cockatoo Island.

Major works underway to improve the amenity of Harbour Trust destinations

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The Harbour Trust continues to carry out significant works to enhance the amenity of its extraordinary places on Sydney Harbour and ensure they remain safe, accessible and enjoyable.

These works include the refurbishment of historic buildings, repairs to marine structures and enhancements to a major public passageway. These undertakings are part of a broader program of repairs and maintenance, which will continue into early 2024.

Remember: Before visiting any of our destinations, check the relevant visitor webpage for disruptions that may impact your experience. Read on to learn about key works currently underway.

Works at Cockatoo Island / Wareamah

At Cockatoo Island / Wareamah, the Harbour Trust is taking steps to reopen Tunnel 1 (also known as the ‘Straight Tunnel’), which has been closed for structural review since June 2020. Specifically, shipping containers will be inserted into the tunnel, lining it, so that visitors have a safe passageway between the waterfront campground on the northern apron and the Docks Precinct on the southern apron. Once installed, the containers will also be used as a shelter for visitors and staff during emergencies or inclement weather. The Harbour Trust anticipates Tunnel 1 will reopen to the public in early August 2023. The containers will remain in place until more permanent steps can be taken to repair the inner lining of the tunnel.

Meanwhile, on the upper island, the Harbour Trust is undertaking conservation works on two historic buildings to enable their future use as short-term heritage accommodation. Buildings 9 and 20 date to the island’s turbulent convict era (1839-1869) and both were constructed by prisoners, using sandstone quarried on site. Building 20 (c. 1845-50) was a cottage for the clerk of petty sessions while Building 9 (c. 1857-57) served as quarters for the free overseer. It is anticipated the conservation works will be complete by mid-November 2023.

The Harbour Trust is also repairing additional buildings on the lower island, to prevent further degradation of their heritage value. Namely, the Powerhouse and the adjoining Rectifier Room (buildings 57 and 58), the General Offices (building 123) and the Naval Store (building 124). These works will be completed by December 2023.

See disruptions

Works at North Head Sanctuary, Manly

At North Head Sanctuary in Manly, the Harbour Trust is refurbishing Building 17, also known as the artillery Gym, for new uses. Historically, this building was a recreational facility for gunners stationed with the Army School of Artillery, which operated at North Head from 1946 to 1998. It is anticipated the works will be complete by October 2023.

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Works at Chowder Bay / Gooree, Mosman

At Chowder Bay / Gooree in Mosman, the Harbour Trust is performing structural repairs on the wharf and slipway, with the aim of reopening both structures to the public by January 2024. Further, major work is underway to stabilise a section of cliff near the Chowder Bay Road roundabout in the wake of a landslip caused by a major weather event in February 2022. It is anticipated this work will be completed by mid-November 2023.

See disruptions


Helpful links

Learn more about the Harbour Trust and our visitor destinations.