Culture and heritage

Heritage of NSW


Quarantine stations were set up in Australia in the early 19th century. They were intended to reduce the risk of disease arriving in the colony, both through European immigrants (both free and convict) and merchant ships.

There was always a close link between quarantine and the ebb and flow of sea-borne immigration. Two main factors influenced quarantine policies:

  • changes in immigration policy and practice in Australia from the 1830s onwards
  • trade policy, in which the government tried to minimise any disruption of the increasingly commercially-sensitive shipping industry.

North Head Quarantine Station is part of Sydney Harbour National Park. The development of this place and its surrounding landscape traces the quarantine practices in Australia - from the earliest days of European settlement up to the station's closure in 1984. Its 156 years of use offer a multi-layered social history that continues to form part of the stories of arrival in Australia.

North Head Quarantine Station
Find out more about this historic icon of Sydney Harbour.

Page last updated: 26 February 2011