Back to previous page
Print

Hornby Lighthouse

Sydney Harbour National Park

Overview

The historic Hornby Lighthouse is near Watsons Bay in Sydney Harbour National Park. Walk the easy track to the lighthouse for magical views and great whale watching.

Type
Historic buildings/places
Where
Sydney Harbour National Park
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
Please note
  • Please supervise children at all times due to rocky ledges, uneven pathways and surrounding harbour.
  • Toilet facilities are located along the South Head heritage trail near Lady Bay Beach. Please be aware that Lady Bay Beach is a nude bathing beach.
  • A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters

Hornby Lighthouse stands tall at South Head, near Watsons Bay in Sydney Harbour National Park. The iconic red and white striped tower is surrounded by magnificent views: Sydney Harbour to the west, Middle Head and North Head to the north, and the expansive Pacific Ocean to the east. It’s a great spot for whale watching in winter.

The lighthouse was built in 1858 following the wrecking of the Dunbar at the foot of South Head. Designed by colonial architect Alexander Dawson, Hornby Lighthouse was the third lighthouse to be built in NSW.

Hornby Lighthouse is accessible via the South Head heritage trail – an easy walk that leaves from Camp Cove at Watsons Bay, taking you past historic gun emplacements before reaching Hornby Lighthouse.

Take a virtual tour of Hornby Lighthouse on Google Street View.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Promotional:

Google Street View Trekker

Using Google Street View Trekker, we've captured imagery across a range of NSW national parks and attractions. Get a bird's eye view of these incredible landscapes before setting off on your own adventure.

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

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.
    • Vaucluse
      (02) 9337 5511
      Contact hours: 9am-5pm Monday to Friday
    • Greycliffe House, Nielsen Park, Vaucluse NSW
    • Fax: (02) 9337 1303
    More
    • Mosman
      (02) 9960 6266
      Contact hours: 9am-4.30pm Monday to Friday
    • Governors Road, Middle Head, Mosman NSW
    • Fax: (02) 9960 3965
    More
See more visitor info
Hornby lighthouse and South Head. Photo: David Finnegan