North Head Sanctuary
BEAUTIFUL WALKS, BREATHTAKING VIEWS
DocumentsNorth Head Visitor Guide (4.1Mb)
Experience Sydney's sparkling harbour from a fresh perspective.
Discover North Head Sanctuary's indigenous, quarantine, and military past.
Walk amongst virtually untouched bushland.
Look out for many native plants, birds and animals.
Relax and enjoy the spectacular foreshore views over lunch, coffee, or a glass of wine at the cafe.
Take a moment to get away from it all.
Experiences at North Head Sanctuary
Walks and self-guided tours
North Head Sanctuary is a spectacular place to walk. The quite serenity of the headland is perfect for contemplating the city of four million people in the distance. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the bush tracks and observe the native wildlife. This walk also forms part of the Sydney Coastal walk.
If history is your thing, then North Head Sanctuary plays host to important military fortifications which were integral to Sydney’s defence in World War II and the Third Quarantine Cemetery where over 240 people were buried between 1881-1919.
If you want to dig deeper, take one of our guided tours.
Learn about the World War II tunnels and gun emplacements and hear how North Fort was instrumental in the defence of Sydney.
Every Sunday at 10:30am, 11:30am, 1pm and 2pm.
Third Quarantine Cemetery tour
Uncover the buried stories of the locals, soldiers, immigrants and dedicated nurses who succumbed to Sydney's epidemics of smallpox, plague and Spanish flu.
Second Saturday of the month at 11:30am
For more information please visit our website link and select "Tours".
The walking track at North Head Sanctuary offers a number of places to view the city through untouched bushland. The North Head Sanctuary track leads through to North Fort and then onto Fairfax Lookout in the Sydney Harbour National Park.
North Head Sanctuary offers many idyllic settings for picnics and Bella Vista Cafe is open weekdays from 9am - 4pm and weekends 8.30am - 4pm, serving breakfast, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.
Gabriella Freddo is your host, serving traditional home-style Italian food made only from the highest-quality ingredients. With its warm, welcoming ambience and spectacular natural setting, Bella Vista Cafe is a must-visit on your next North Head trip.
Nature and Wildlife
The bushland at North Head provides habitat for a wide range of native species. One of the largest remnant areas of the endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS) exists on North Head. This heath-like plant community thrives on the headland.
Also keep a look out for the many birds, including the New Holland Honeyeater, the white browned scrub-wren, rainbow lorikeets and the little wattle bird. If you are lucky, bandicoots and possums may also make an appearance.
Native Plant Nursery
Volunteers at the Native Plant Nursery are working to propagate plant species that are indigenous to North Head, particularly the endangered population of Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub. The nursery is open every weekend from 10am to 4pm.You too can get involved in saving North Head's precious native species by volunteering with the North Head Sanctuary Foundation.
Opening Hours and Entry
North Head Sanctuary is open every day during daylight hours.
The North Fort Visitor Centre is open daily from 10am-4pm, except Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Good Friday.
Entry is free.
How To Get Here..
From Manly follow Darley Road onto North Head Scenic Drive. Go through the stone archway and pass the Q Station roundabout. Continue for approximately 2kms and turn left into North Fort. Parking is available on site.
Sydney buses run to North Head daily. The 135 service from Manly Wharf leaves approximately every ½ hour. For further information and timetables check the Transport Infoline Website.
The walk from Manly wharf to the North Head Sanctuary takes approximately 45 minutes. Walking tracks link to the North Head Sanctuary from Shelley Beach and Collins Beach.
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