North Head Scenic Area upgrade

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is improving visitor access at North Head, Sydney Harbour National Park.

North Head, in Sydney Harbour National Park, is a diverse site with significant cultural and environmental values receiving over 500,000 local, domestic and international visitors each year. North Head is listed on the National Heritage List.

This project is funded through the NSW Government's Improving Access to National Parks program to enable the renewal, improvement and enhancement of park visitor facilities, safety and infrastructure. North Head was identified as part of this program, with the project aligning with the outcomes for North Head outlined in the Sydney Harbour National Park Plan of Management (2012).

What's happening at the North Head Scenic Area?

The North Head Scenic Area upgrade will enhance the visitor experience and improve visitor access and safety through:

  • the reconfiguration of car parks to provide more accessible parking spaces and overflow parking
  • extended landscaped space for visitors to enjoy views across the harbour
  • the installation of pedestrian crossings and a pedestrian path to improve safety, access and pedestrian circulation
  • the installation of a new bus stop to the east of the Bella Vista Café
  • improvements to the entry of the Fairfax Walking Track (currently closed).

We welcome your feedback on these concepts. You can submit your comments via the online form below. Comments close 17 May 2021.

Download the plans and sketches for more information

Concept plans (32MB)

Submissions may be made using the online form below.

During 2020, National Parks and Wildlife Service undertook site investigation and analysis, detailed design development and approvals.

Concept plans (32MB) for the upgrade of the North Head Scenic Area have been released in April 2021 for community feedback (submissions close on 17 May 2021).

We are planning to start construction works in spring 2021, subject to necessary approvals. Works are anticipated to be staged over 2 years during 2021 and 2022.

We will work towards maintaining safe access for visitors during this time. Details regarding the construction schedule and access will be made available from this webpage as this project progresses.

Further assessments on the lookouts and safety are currently being undertaken.

We will keep stakeholders and visitors informed of this project as it develops. Updates will be available on this project webpage.

You can also opt in to receive newsletters about the North Head Scenic Area upgrade directly to your inbox. Anyone can sign up to receive these emails by registering your details below.

We will carefully manage the project to ensure no impacts upon threatened vegetation or fauna species. This includes Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub Threatened Ecological Community, bandicoots and other small mammals. Rigorous environmental assessment of the proposed works with input from relevant specialists, in accordance with NSW planning legislation has been carried out to inform this project. These proposed works align with the outcomes for North Head outlined in the Sydney Harbour National Park Plan of Management (2012).

We aim to provide enriching and memorable experiences in the park, improve access to the park for all and contribute to the goal of easy and safe transport to and within the park.

On 17 October 2020 a planned hazard reduction burn at North Head spotted over containment lines. This was driven by strong winds that arrived earlier than previously predicted. NPWS is currently working with partners and experts including Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC), Taronga Zoo, Sydney University, Australian Registry for Wildlife Health and Northern Beaches Council to implement the fire recovery program.

The fire recovery is being managed by the NPWS Sydney North team and is separate to the upgrade works. If you would like to sign up to receive updates specifically regarding the fire recovery, please email:

In 2020, NPWS engaged a geotechnical engineer to assess the clifftop areas. This assessment concluded that the lookout presents an unacceptable risk to visitors from a rock-fall, like the 2016 cliff edge collapse. The image below shows the proximity of the 2016 rock fall to the existing lookout.

NPWS will be designing a new replacement lookout that will be safe, accessible and still provide North Head's iconic views. Please do not enter the closed lookout area.

The Fairfax Lookout is in proximity to the 2016 rock fall and has been closed for visitors safety.

The walking track will be reopened once fire-damaged fencing has been replaced. The temporary fencing is in place to ensure your safety and to allow the vegetation to regenerate. Approximately 1 kilometre of fencing was damaged around the Fairfax walking track in the fire. We are working to remove this material and the area will remain fenced off until walking track works are completed. Please do not enter the closed areas.

Your comments

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