Meanwhile, the precinct’s decommissioned military infrastructure, which dates back to the 1870s, is a source of fascination for history buffs. A network of scenic trails and roads link Middle Head to Balmoral Beach and other nearby attractions as well as the neighbouring precincts that makeup Headland Park – Georges Heights and Chowder Bay.
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: Sydney Buses operate buses to Middle Head on weekdays. The 244 service, which departs from Wynyard, stops along Middle Head Road and Chowder Bay Road.
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.
There are currently no disruptions at Middle Head.
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 issued by Mosman Council and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service are not valid in Harbour Trust parking areas.
Public toilets, including an accessible toilet, are located near Middle Head Oval. 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.
The park is patrolled by rangers from 8am to 4pm and by security personnel from 4pm and 8am. 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 (8am to 4pm). Alternatively, to contact a security officer, call 0433 631 572 (4 pm - 8 am).
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 ride bikes, skateboards or scooters on footpaths or walking tracks; do not climb walls, fortifications, sculptures or cliffs.
As the situation unfolds, our priority is the health and safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers. Currently, Harbour Trust sites remain open to the public; however, we are monitoring the situation vigilantly.
The Middle Head Market runs every Wednesday from 8am to 2pm. It’s a chance to complete your grocery run, marvel at harbour views, purchase an artisan gift for someone special, and treat yourself to a coffee, ice cream or hot bite... or all three. Looking to keep the little ones entertained? You're in luck – there are pony rides!
Update (20/05/2020): The Harbour Trust Tennis Court at Middle Head is open for court hire (four players only) and private lessons (4 on court total). Everyone must practice social distancing (keeping 1.5 metres away from others). Based on the recommendation from Tennis Australia COVID-19 Community Tennis Guidelines, only 4 players can be on a court unless they are members of the same family.
Located at 1110 Middle Head Road, at the boundary of historic Bungaree Farm, the 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.
The decommissioned military infrastructure at Middle Head is a treasure trove for history buffs. Landmarks include defensive walls, artillery batteries, a lookout and the notorious Vietnam War-era ‘tiger cages’, where soldiers trained to resist torture.
Image caption: Big gun practice at Middle Head, Circa 1884 to 1917, Sydney NSW, Bryna Bamberry, National Museum of Australia, 1986.0117.6223
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.
Housed in a former Clubhouse for Mosman Golf Club, a beautifully renovated building dating back to the 1920s, Burnt Orange is a boutique restaurant with stunning harbour views from its wrap-around verandah. In addition to serving breakfast, lunch and high tea, Burnet Orange is an event venue and retail store offering fashion, homewares and gifts.
[Update (14/07/2020): Middle Head Café will be closed from 14 to 20 July. They will reopen on Tuesday 21 July.]
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.
Middle Head is a precinct of Headland Park, which comprises pockets of woodland and heathland on the exposed upper slopes and ridges; littoral vine forest on the southern shady slopes; and sandstone cliffs and outcrops along the headland at Balmoral and Chowder Bay.
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. Additionally, Chowder Bay receives seasonal visits from penguins, seals and whales.
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 caption: Photo: Big gun practice at Middle Head, Circa 1884 to 1917, Sydney NSW, Bryna Bamberry, National Museum of Australia, 1986.0117.6223