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Grotto Point Aboriginal engraving site

Important information

Alerts for Sydney Harbour National Park: closed areas, fire bans


Updated: 01/11/2014 12:01 AM

"I’m thrilled to be able to show my children these age-old rock engravings made by the Aboriginal people who have lived here for many thousands of years."

Sydney Harbour National Park is home to several known rock engravings made by the region’s Aboriginal inhabitants. Fascinating, well-preserved and etched into the Sydney basin sandstone, these images include humans, marine and land animals and more.

Grotto Point at Dobroyd Head is one of the best places to see these rock engravings up close. Look carefully along the side of the trail to see a giant kangaroo, boomerangs, a whale and several small fish. The site features timber enclosures protecting the engravings and you can learn all about them from the informative signs.

For more of a taste of the park’s rich Aboriginal past, look for axe-grinding grooves around the harbour foreshores and along creek lines.


Getting there

Getting there:

Grotto Point Aboriginal Engraving site is located near Grotto Point and Washaway Beach in the Dobroyd Head precinct of Sydney Harbour National Park.

  • To get to Dobroyd Head, cross The Spit Bridge and turn right onto Sydney Road. Turn right into Woodland Street North, then left into Bareena Drive, which becomes Dobroyd Head Scenic Drive.
  • The closest access point is from the carpark at the end of Cutler Road, Balgowlah Heights. The site is approximately 100m downhill from the carpark.
  • You can also access the site from Arabanoo lookout at Dobroyd Head, which is the main parking area for this section of the park.
  • If coming by foot, take the Manly Scenic Walkway (Spit to Manly Walk) to reach Dobroyd Head. The site is approximately 3.8km east of The Spit Bridge and 5.7km west of Manly.

Get driving directions


Vehicle access:

Sealed road - 2WD vehicles - All weather


Parking is available a short walk from the site, along Dobroyd Head Scenic Drive that surrounds Tania Park or at Cutler Road, Balgowlah Heights. Please check local signage for parking restrictions.

Important info


  • Carpark
  • Trackhead/access point

You should know:

  • It’s a good idea to put sunscreen on before you set out and remember to take a hat
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to whale watch from nearby Arabanoo lookout at Dobroyd Head
  • Toilet facilities are located at Tania Park, adjacent to Arabanoo lookout
  • It can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking might be limited

Wheelchair access:


Assistance may be required to access this area

  • Designated disabled parking is available at Dobroyd Head

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- Alerts

Sydney Harbour National Park

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
Gap Bluff Headland walking track closure
The National Parks and Wildlife Service is upgrading the Gap Bluff Headland walking track and viewing platforms in Sydney Harbour National Park from 7 October 2014 to 28 November 2014. The area will be closed for safety reasons during this time. It is anticipated that the work may be completed in early November but progress is dependant upon the weather conditions.
 Previously completed stages of the upgrade included the construction of two viewing platforms and interconnecting walking tracks. The final stage of construction will provide further upgrades to two additional viewing areas and associated walking track.
For further information please contact the local NPWS office on 9337 5511.
The Nielsen Park shark net has been re-installed - Nielsen Park
The Nielsen Park shark net has been re-installed following annual winter maintenance.

fire bans

A total fire ban applies in the park. (Ends Saturday 1 November)
A total fire ban has been declared by the Commissioner of the Rural Fire Service which includes this park. The total fire ban applies on Saturday 1 November for the entire 24 hour period. Total fire ban rules apply. This ban may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible.
Find out more information about fire bans in parks and reserves including your responsibilities:

Debroyd Scenic Drive, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: David Finnegan