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Sydney Harbour National Park

Important information

Alerts for Sydney Harbour National Park: closed areas, upcoming closed areas

Details

Updated: 02/09/2014 12:39 PM

“There are so many places to walk, swim, tour and sightsee in Sydney Harbour National Park. You'll be almost overwhelmed by the options - right in the heart of Sydney.”

Sydney Harbour National Park protects a number of islands and foreshore areas around one of the world's most famous harbours.  The park is home to superb swimming spots, bushwalking tracks and picnic areas, which offer a huge range of activities that will have you coming back again and again.

See native wildlife living in rare pockets of bushland once common around Sydney, or take a fascinating walk to explore the park's cultural history. You'll see everything from convict-built buildings and military fortifications to Aboriginal sites and a heritage lighthouse. And with the harbour's staggering coastline creating an endless natural lookout, the park's jaw-dropping views simply have to be seen to be believed.

If you're at one of the park's lookouts from June to November, be sure to keep an eye out for whales on their annual migration. To find the perfect whale watching vantage point and to enjoy the annual whale migration, plan your next coastal adventure on the Wild About Whales website.

Highlights
 

Why you should visit

There are many reasons to visit Sydney Harbour Park. Here are a few to begin with:

Diverse landscapes
Immerse yourself in nature at Sydney Harbour National Park. Exploring its varied scenery, you’ll find everything from sandstone cliffs and rocky foreshores to quiet beaches and bushland. Stand beneath gigantic Sydney red gums and Port Jackson figs or absorb the sheer size of the harbour from a headland lookout.

An island paradise
The park protects five historic harbour islands. Discover the rich convict and maritime heritage of Goat Island, along with stunning views from all angles. Why not picnic at Rodd or Shark Island? Set aside for public enjoyment as early as 1879, both offer picnic areas, beaches and paths for you to explore. Head to Clark Island for an Aboriginal cultural experience and enjoy the city lights as you dine on Fort Denison.

A world of history
A number of places in the park have strong links to Sydney’s history. You'll find buildings constructed using convict labour, maritime and military fortifications, and the Quarantine Station which once housed new boat arrivals to Sydney, protecting Sydneysiders from infectious disease. You'll also find many Aboriginal sites like rock engravings and middens – examples of an ancient and enduring cultural heritage and a record of the Eora peoples’ connection to Country.

Harbourside recreation
The park’s exceptional landscapes are the perfect setting for fishing, swimming, scuba diving and soaking up the views. Sydney Harbour National Park is beloved by landscape photographers, so why not bring your camera and take a few shots? There are enough picnic spots, walking tracks and heritage sites to keep you coming back again and again.

Native birds and animals
You’ll probably spot at least one of the park’s 150 bird species on your visit, like a white-bellied sea eagle or a new-holand honeyeater. If you’re near Manly, you may be lucky enough to glimpse an endangered little penguins as it is the state’s only known mainland colony. If you happen to see unusual webbed footprints on a beach or shoreline, they may well belong to a native water rat looking for seafood in shallow water close to the shoreline.

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Alerts

closed areas

Constables, Green Point and Steele Point Cottages currently unavailable for booking. (Ends Tuesday 30 December)

New options are being considered for the conservation, management and use of these buildings. It’s expected that an announcement about this process will be made later in 2014.
Locations affected: Constables Cottage, Green Point Cottage, Steele Point Cottage

upcoming closed areas

Closed areas: Office closures at Middle Head and Vaucluse (Wednesday 3 September)The MIddle Head Office, Mosman and Vaucluse Office, Nielsen Park  will be closed on Wednesday 3 September 2014. The Bobbin Head Information Centre may be able to assist with queries on 9472 8949. In an emergency please phone 000.
We apologise for any inconvenience.

Getting there

 Car

Get directions to key locations in Sydney Harbour National Park:

Get driving directions

Go

 Opening times

Sydney Harbour National Park is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

 Fees

Vehicle entry fees

In this park, vehicle entry fees are as follows:

  • Bradleys Head carpark: $7 per vehicle per day. The carpark has coin-operated 'pay and display' machines - please bring correct coins.
  • North Head carpark: $3 per vehicle per day. The carpark has coin-operated 'pay and display' machines - please bring correct coins.
  • Chowder Bay carpark: Monday-Friday: $3 per hour, to a maximum of $16 per day. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: $4 per hour, to a maximum of $20 per day. If you hold an NPWS All Parks or Multi Parks Pass, you can park free for up to four hours per calendar day - additional time can be purchased using the ticket machines in the carpark.

Other fees

If you'd like to visit any of the Sydney Harbour Islands, you'll need to pay a landing fee or tour fee.

  • Fort Denison can only be visited on a tour from Cadmans Cottage Information Centre
  • To visit Shark, Clark or Rodd islands, you'll need to book and pay landing fees beforehand
Contact the Sydney Harbour National Park visitor centre for more details.

 Close to

Sydney Harbour National Park is in the heart of Sydney with precincts that are close to Manly, Mosman, Vaucluse, Watsons Bay and Seaforth.

 Public transport

Get public transport information for key locations in Sydney Harbour National Park:

 Bike

Check out the Bicycle Info website for more information about visiting Sydney Harbour National Park by bike.

Weather and climate

 Visiting through the seasons

Sydney Harbour National Park offers exceptional experiences all year round. You’re sure to find a walk, tour, activity or attraction to appeal, regardless of season.

 Temperature

Summer

  • The average temperature ranges between 20° C and 25° C
  • The area's highest recorded temperature is 45.3° C (1939)

Winter

  • The average temperature ranges between 7° C and 16° C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature is 2.1° C (1932)

 Rainfall

  • The wettest month on average is March, the driest is July
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 99.4 mm in one day

Safety

Vaucluse

Phone: 02 9337 5511
Street address: Greycliffe House, Nielsen Park, Vaucluse NSW
Opening hours: 9:00-5:00pm, Monday-Friday


Mosman

Phone: 02 9960 6266
Street address: Governors Road, Middle Head, Mosman NSW
Opening hours: 9:00am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday

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Hornby lighthouse and South Head. Photo: David Finnegan