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North Head

Sydney Harbour National Park

Overview

North Head, Manly, offers scenic views, scuba diving, drift dives, walking and picnicking only a ferry ride from Circular Quay.

Type
Lookouts
Where
Sydney Harbour National Park
Accessibility
Medium
Price
Free
Entry fees

A vehicle entry fee of $4 per day applies at North Head carparks.

Opening times

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

  • Open 6am – 8pm daily.
Hire this venue

North Head is available for events and function hire.

Please note
  • 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.

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.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Tours and events at this location

  • Coastal whale walk, Manly and North Head, Sydney. Photo: EcoTreasures.

    Manly coastal whale walk

    Spot whales, dolphins and other wildlife on this 4-hour guided tour around Manly and North Head, in Sydney Harbour National Park. Keep your binoculars close on this guided coastal walk with EcoTreasures, the magnificent humpback whales won’t be far from sight.

  • Sunset Tour, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: David Finnegan/OEH

    Sunset tour

    As the sun sets, prepare to see Sydney come alive

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Google Trekker

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Google Trekker, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Conservation program:

Fort Denison heritage collection project

Fort Denison is home to a wealth of historic heritage. The Fort Denison heritage collection project invited volunteers to locate, identify, document, conserve, interpret and make accessible the heritage collections in Sydney Harbour National Park. This allowed NPWS to engage with the community and ensure our collections are protected.

 Fort Denison, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

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Park info

  • in Sydney Harbour National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
  • Sydney Harbour National Park is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

  • Vehicle entry fees:

    Bradleys Head carpark: $7 per vehicle per day. North Head carpark: $4 per vehicle per day. There are pay and display machines that accept cards and coins - no change given.   

    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.

    Other fees:

    Landing fee or tour fee applies to visit Sydney Harbour Islands. Fort Denison can only be visited on a tour. To visit Shark, Clark or Rodd islands, you'll need to book and pay landing fees beforehand. To arrange, please contact 13000 PARKS (13000 72757).

    Buy an annual pass.
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See more visitor info
North Head hero, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: David Finnegan