Balls Head Reserve | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Balls Head Reserve

Item details

Name of item: Balls Head Reserve
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Parks, Gardens and Trees
Category: Urban Park
Primary address: Balls Head Drive, Waverton, NSW 2060
Local govt. area: North Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Balls Head DriveWavertonNorth Sydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Balls Head is a prominent and steep rocky headland, clothed in semi-natural vegetation, much of which has re-grown from earlier clearing. The headland marks the edge of the deepest waters in Port Jackson. Remnants of paths, steps and railings constructed during the 1930s, together with caves and chambers dug by squatters, provide an evocative reminder of the Great Depression.

Heritage Inventory sheets are often not comprehensive, and should be regarded as a general guide only. Inventory sheets are based on information available, and often do not include information on landscape significance, interiors or the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are updated by Council as further information becomes available. An inventory sheet with little information may simply indicate that there has been no building work done to the item recently: it does not mean that items are not significant. Further research is always recommended as part of preparation of development proposals for heritage items, and is necessary in preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments and Conversation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.
Date significance updated: 05 Jun 12
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Physical description: Balls Head is a prominent rocky boot-shaped headland on the northern shore of the harbour west of the Bridge. Semi-natural vegetation clothes the headland, which has a rocky structure and small cliff faces the deepest part of Port Jackson is located immediately off Balls Head.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Current use: Public reserve
Former use: Public reserve


Historical notes: Land was part of the Wollstonecraft/Berry estate, and remained as such until handed to the governemnt in 1906 as payment for the establishment and maintenance of a hospital at Berry. The Balls Head Reserve and Berry Island were excised from the Berry Estate and dedicated as public reserves in October 1926. Balls Head was at that time cleared of all trees and a tree-planting programme was commenced in 1931.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria f)
This item is assessed as historically rare regionally. This item is assessed as aesthetically rare statewide. This item is assessed as scientifically rare regionally.
Integrity/Intactness: _
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan I104102 Aug 13   
Within a conservation area on an LEP     
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
North Sydney Heritage Study Review19931133Tony Brassil, Robert Irving, Chris Pratten, Conybeare MorrisonTB/CP June 1992 Yes

References, internet links & images


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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2181133

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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