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Recent works amplify site history and visitor experience

Medical Officers Cottage (Building 20) at Cockatoo Island
Throughout 2021, the Harbour Trust continued to carry out works, including repairs, to amplify the heritage values of key landmarks and ensure our destinations on Sydney Harbour remain safe, accessible, and enjoyable for the public.

Recent works to enhance the visitor experience, improve the general amenity of our beloved sites, and reveal their layered history are detailed below:

Cockatoo Island

At Cockatoo Island, the Camber Wharf, which neighbours the Marina Café & Bar, underwent major upgrade works which included new pylons as well as a fresh timber boardwalk, ideal for public use and events.  The Northern Apron boardwalk, adjacent to the campground, underwent a similar revamp earlier this year. Meanwhile, the nearby Fitzroy Dock Caisson, which dates to 1932 and is a distinctive feature of Cockatoo Island’s industrial terrain, was subject to conservation works to preserve its heritage aesthetic.

Although they are not accessible to the public, the pumping chambers for the Sutherland Dock – located beneath the island’s coal-fired Powerhouse – were drained of excess water to safeguard the historic facility from damage. Completed in 1918, the Powerhouse once served all the power needs of the dockyard and much of its original equipment is still in situ, including two centrifugal hydraulic pumps.

Significantly, conservation works to the Clerk of Petty Sessions building on the upper island resulted in the building’s convict era façade and stone flagging being revealed and conserved. The sandstone cottage was originally built in 1845 with an open western verandah. An eastern verandah was added in the 1860s and brick extensions were added to the west in the 1890s. We are very proud to reintroduce this elegant slice of colonial architecture into the public domain so it can be appreciated by visitors for generations to come.

North Head Sanctuary, Manly

At North Head Sanctuary, works were undertaken to restore and preserve an important military landmark; namely, the Observation Post at North Fort.  The Observation Post, together with North Fort’s underground Plotting Room and gun emplacements, played a critical role in Sydney’s coastal defences during World War II.  The works restored the Post’s concrete frame, which will enable our skilled volunteer restoration workers to add windows to the former Defence structure, which is set within coastal bushland.

At North Fort Memorial Lawn, North Head Sanctuary, works were undertaken to remove the decaying timber retaining wall and replace it with a landscaped garden bed with a crushed sandstone boundary. This tapered garden features local indigenous plantings of Dianella caerulea (Blue Flax Lily), Actinotus helianthi (Flannel Flower), Westringia fruticosa (Coastal Rosemary), Lomandra longifolia (Spiny Mat Rush), Banksia integrifolia (Coastal Banksia), Acacia suaveolens (Sweet-scented Wattle) and various grasses and ferns.

Other capital works

At Middle Head and Georges Heights in Headland Park, maintenance and landscape works have been undertaken to improve the usability of public walking tracks, rejuvenate garden beds, and enhance the area’s natural bush aesthetic near tenancies. Maintenance works at Woolwich have included roof repairs as well as repairs and upgrades to maritime facilities, including the Woolwich Barge Ramp and Woolwich Pontoon.


Helpful links

Learn more about Sub Base Platypus, including the site's history and our visitor experience...