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North Head

“Sunset from North Head is on my list of ways to impress my overseas visitors. They simply can’t believe how beautiful it is.”

The heath-covered clifftops at North Head reveal unending ocean views and a spectacular panorama of the harbour and Sydney skyline. Situated on the northern-most edge of the harbour within sight of Hornby Lighthouse on South Head, it’s a relaxing ferry ride from Circular Quay. One of those things to do when visiting Sydney, it’s near to Manly, and a great day trip for locals and tourists alike.

If you’re feeling adventurous, North Head has some of Sydney's best boat diving sites and is especially popular for drift dives. Explore the remains of historic shipwrecks and perhaps glimpse common sea dragons and the rarer red Indian fish in the sheltered harbour waters. If your exploration is on foot, try the easy Fairfax walk.

The ghost tour of historic Quarantine Station is a must-do. If you’re feeling like a special treat, stay the night at Q Station, where you can enjoy a long lazy lunch on the terrace.

North Head is also a great spot to enjoy the famous Sydney fireworks on New Years Eve. Far from the hectic city crowds, North Head is a fantastic place to count down the new year in style.

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Getting there

Getting there:

By car:

North Head is located on North Head Scenic Drive, off Darley Road in Manly. The site is five minutes drive from Manly and 30 minutes drive from the city.

By ferry:

Catch a ferry from Circular Quay wharf to Manly wharf. From there, take the 135 bus to North Head Q Station.

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Vehicle access:

Sealed road - 2WD vehicles - All weather

Important info

Facilities:

  • Cafe/kiosk
  • Carpark
  • Lookout
  • Picnic tables
  • Flush toilets
  • Trackhead/access point
  • Venue

You should know:

  • The ‘pay and display’ machines accept cards as well as cash
  • It’s a good idea to put sunscreen on before you set out and remember to take a hat and some water
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch or whale watch
  • Strong rips and currents may be present in the water – take care in the water and please supervise children at all times.
  • It can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking might be limited.
  • A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters
  • Please see the OEH website for information on venue hire

Wheelchair access:

Medium

Assistance may be required to access this area.

Opening hours:

North Head (beyond the roundabout turnoff for Q Station) is:

  • open 6am – 8pm (Monday – Sunday)

Contacts:

National Parks Contact Centre, Phone: (02) 9253 0880 within Sydney, or 13000 Parks for the cost of a local call within Australia (mobiles excluded)
Mosman, Phone: 02 9960 6266

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North Head hero, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: David Finnegan