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Places to visit

Owing to their natural beauty, heritage buildings and layered histories, the Harbour Trust's visitor destinations are a rich source of exploration and discovery.

Our sites include North Head Sanctuary in Manly, Sub Base Platypus in North Sydney, Headland Park in Mosman, Cockatoo Island on Sydney Harbour, Woolwich Dock and Parklands, and the home of Australia’s oldest lighthouse – Macquarie Lightstation in Vaucluse.

Collectively, they represent an opportunity for visitors, including families, adventure-seekers and history buffs, to enjoy diverse experiences against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour. Learn about each destination, below, and plan your next trip. 

 

Cockatoo Island

Known in the Dharug language as Wareamah, meaning ‘women’s land’, Cockatoo Island is a former convict penal establishment and naval shipyard in the heart of Sydney Harbour...

Cockatoo Island – Visitor overview

Cockatoo Island is a source of intrigue and inspiration for visitors owing to its heritage buildings, distinctive terrain and panoramic views. Popular attractions include heritage and campground accommodation, waterfront cafés and picnic spots, guided history and paranormal tours, and exciting seasonal events.

Have your say – Draft Concept Vision

Informed by what the community has told us they value about Cockatoo Island, the Harbour Trust has released a Draft Concept Plan for this beloved destination. Read the document and complete the online survey to have your say. Consultation closes 5pm on 11 June 2021.

Image: An artist's impression of the Draft Concept Vision

Headland Park

Located on the Mosman peninsula, Headland Park comprises three precincts linked by a network of scenic trails: Georges Heights, Middle Head and Chowder Bay...

Georges Heights

A short drive from Mosman Village, Georges Heights is a popular destination owing to its café culture, artistic community and stunning coastal bushland. A major drawcard is Georges Head Lookout, which features heritage gun emplacements dating back to the 1870s, tranquil greenspace and a panoramic view of Sydney Harbour. 

Chowder Bay

A stunning waterfront retreat on the Mosman shoreline, Chowder Bay is a popular destination for families. Boasting charming restaurants and cafes, it is situated along the scenic coastal walk between Taronga Zoo and Balmoral. Hit the beach at nearby Clifton Gardens and look out for visiting penguins, seals and whales. 

Middle Head

Located on the tip of the Mosman peninsula, Middle Head boasts scenic coastal walks and views across Middle Harbour to North Head in Manly. Visitors can 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 heritage military infrastructure.

Macquarie Lightstation

Located along the scenic cliff walk at Vaucluse in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, Macquarie Lightstation is the site of Australia’s first lighthouse...

Completed in 1818, Macquarie Lighthouse was designed by convict architect Francis Greenway for Lachlan Macquarie, the Governor of NSW. Owing to crumbling foundations, it was reconstructed in the 1880s. Flanked by head keeper’s residence and assistant keeper’s quarters, the iconic tower can be explored as part of the Harbour Trust’s Macquarie Lighthouse Tour.   

Aerial Macquarie Lighthouse Vaucluse Sydney Harbour 650X550

Marine Biological Station

Located in Birrabirragal Country at Camp Cove, the former Marine Biological Station is one of Watsons Bay's original buildings....

Like Sydney Hotel and Katoomba’s Carrington Hotel, the heritage-listed sandstone cottage was designed by prominent colonial architect John Kirkpatrick. Today, the charming building is a private residence. Although it is currently closed to the public, it can be viewed by visitors to Camp Cove Beach, including people undertaking Sydney’s Great Coastal Walk.

Camp Cove Watsons Bay Sydney Harbour 650X550

North Head Sanctuary

A nature refuge, bordered by dramatic cliffs, North Head Sanctuary, Manly, is located on the peninsula at the northern entrance to Sydney Harbour...

North Head Sanctuary – Visitor overview

As you explore the park’s coastal bushland, via dedicated walking and bike tracks, you’ll discover diverse flora and fauna, military fortifications from World War II and signs of the nation’s early quarantine practices. Were it not for the unspoiled harbour views, it would be hard to believe you are only 11km from Sydney’s CBD.

Image credit: Mark Merton (photographer)

Have your say – Draft Concept (NEW)

Informed by community aspirations for North Head Sanctuary, the Harbour Trust has released a Draft Concept for this treasured public destination. Read the document and complete the online survey to have your say. Consultation closes 5pm on 11 June 2021.

Image: An artist's impression of a proposed accessible path network and native garden

Sub Base Platypus

Formerly a torpedo factory, submarine base and gasworks, Sub Base Platypus is an emerging community and work hub...

Sub Base Platypus – Visitor overview

Located on the Sydney Harbour foreshore at North Sydney, Sub Base Platypus features a shaded barbeque area with seating, a maritime-themed playground, sweeping views of Neutral Bay, and a scenic over-water walkway to neighbouring Kesterton Park. 

[Image: Diramu Aboriginal Dance and Didgeridoo at Sub Base Platypus Community Open Day 2018]

 

Torpedo Factory Renewal Project – UPDATE (3 June 2021)

The Harbour Trust is delivering the next stage of renewal works at Sub Base Platypus; namely, the creation of additional parkland through the adaptation and interpretation of the Torpedo Factory. Opportunities for the community to learn more include a design exhibition and drop-in sessions.

Image: An artist's impression of the Torpedo Factory Renewal Project

Woolwich Dock and Parkland

Located on the Sydney Harbour foreshore at Hunters Hill, Woolwich Dock and Parklands is a maritime precinct steeped in history...

The heritage-listed sandstone dry dock is flanked by two waterfront parklands – Goat and Horse Paddocks – making the precinct a great place for a picnic and outdoor exercise. A major drawcard is its breathtaking harbour view, which encompasses Cockatoo Island, immediately opposite Horse Paddock.  

Woolwich Dock Hunters Hill Sydney Harbour 650X550