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Visit Middle Head / Gubbuh Gubbuh

Aerial image of Middle Head / Gubbuh Gubbuh in Headland Park.
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Cost

Free admission

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Hours
  • Precinct open daily
  • Walking tracks open sunrise to sunset
Further information
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Transport
  • Car
  • Bus
  • Ferry
Further information
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Location

Middle Head Road, Mosman, NSW 2088

Google Maps
Middle Head / Gubbuh Gubbuh is a precinct of Headland Park. Located within coastal bushland on the tip of the Mosman peninsula, the area boasts coastal walks with views across Middle Harbour to North Head Sanctuary in Manly.

Unwind at a boutique café or restaurant, get into the swing of things at a harbourside tennis court, take a dip at one of the nearby beaches and discover decommissioned military infrastructure set.

Plus, a network of scenic trails and roads link Middle Head to Balmoral Beach and other nearby attractions including neighbouring precincts that makeup Headland Park – Georges Heights and Chowder Bay / Gooree.

How to get here

Planning to visit? For a hassle-free experience, refer to the information below ahead of your trip.

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: The 111 bus service operates to the precincts of Headland Park. It runs between Chowder Bay and South Mosman Wharf every 30 minutes, seven days a week. To travel to the precincts of Headland Park from the CBD, board the 100 service (QVB to Taronga Zoo), alight at Mosman Junction and transfer to the 111 service to complete your journey.

For travel back to the city, board the 111 service at Headland Park, alight at Mosman Junction and transfer to the 100 service. It runs every ten minutes during the day and every 20 minutes during early morning and late night.

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

Please check NSW National Park and Wildlife Service (NPWS) alerts before you visit Middle Head / Gubbuh Gubbuh. NPWS closures may be put in place at short notice for operational or safety reasons.

 

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Paid and accessible parking

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

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

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Accessibility

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.

Public toilets

The Harbour Trust maintains public toilets, including an accessible toilet, at the Headland Park Artist Precinct (Read Place, at the corner of Middle Head Road and Best Avenue). The facilities are listed on the Department of Health’s National Public Toilet Map. Here is a direct link:

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Middle Head is patrolled by rangers from 7am to 4pm and by security personnel from 4pm and 7am. 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 (7am to 4pm). Alternatively, to contact a security officer, call 0433 631 572 (4pm to 7am).

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 climb walls, fortifications, sculptures or cliffs; do not ride or use skateboards, roller-skates, in line skates or similar equipment on Harbour Trust land. For further information, see: Sydney Harbour Federation Trust (SHFT) Regulations 2021

Eat and drink

Middle Head hosts a boutique restaurant and high tea venue as well as a pet- and family-friendly café.

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 located amongst the beautiful bushland at Middle Head. Breakfast, lunch and high tea are served on the wraparound balcony which has stunning harbour views. Burnt Orange is also an event venue which offers a range of possibilities for any celebration or corporate event.

 

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. The venue operates 7:30am to 3:30pm, Tuesday to Sunday, and is closed on Mondays. 

 

 

Featured activity

Gain first-hand insight into First Nations knowledge of our Country and its rich diverse food sources.

Bush Tucker Walking Tour

Cost: Free | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Sat 17 & Sun 18 June at 10:30am & 1:30pm

Bush to Bowl and the Harbour Trust are hosting a series of bush tucker walking tours at Georges Heights and Middle Head / Gubbuh Gubbuh. In this 1 hour bush tucker walk, led by a knowledgeable First Nations guide, you will get a deeper understanding of our connection to Country, First Nations customs and beliefs, as well as practices.

During your walk, your guide will be showing you different bush tucker plants that are used in First Nations daily practices. You will be allowed to touch and smell the plants for a sensory experience, while leisurely walking and learning more about the history of the area. 

All bookings to be made directly with Bush to Bowl. Submit a booking enquiry here.

 

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Things to do

Discover Middle head's natural beauty and military landmarks, and engage in exercise and leisure activities. Discover Middle head's natural beauty and military landmarks, and engage in exercise and leisure activities.

In Defence of Sydney (trial interactive walk)

The Harbour Trust has partnered with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to launch In Defence of Sydney, an interactive walk of Middle Head / Gubbuh Gubbuh. In Defence of Sydney is a 60-minute circuit walk spanning five stops. At each stop, visitors use their mobile device to scan a QR code to get an insight into the area’s military history. This is a trial project and feedback is invited from visitors who try the walk.

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Talking Object Tour

Key objects and landmarks have been awoken at Headland Park including Middle Head… and they’re eager to have a conversation with you! Look out for the clay-red "Hello" signs to kickstart a lively and informative conversation.

Play a game of tennis

Located at 1110 Middle Head Road, the Harbour Trust's 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.

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. Visitors to Middle Head can also walk to nearby Balmoral Beach, which offers a playground, water fountains and an enclosed swimming area.  

Discover nature

Middle Head features pockets of woodland and heathland on the upper slopes and ridges. Meanwhile, the shady southern slopes are characterised by littoral vine forests. The headland between Balmoral and Chowder Bay is defined by sandstone cliffs and rocky outcrop.

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.

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

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Helpful links

Learn more about our extraordinary places on Sydney Harbour.