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 significance receiving over 500,000 local, domestic and international visitors each year. North Head is listed on the National Heritage List.

The North Head Scenic Area contains two of Sydney's iconic scenic lookouts, with views across Sydney Harbour spanning 180 degrees from the Pacific Ocean to the CBD.

This project is being funded through the NSW Government's Improving Access to National Parks (IANP) 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 opposite the North Fort Café to provide more passive viewing space and disabled parking spaces
  • the installation of pedestrian crossings and a pedestrian path from the North Fort Café to the Fairfax Lookout to improve access and pedestrian circulation
  • the installation of a new bus stop
  • changes to lookouts following geotechnical investigations
  • interpretation and signage.

The Fairfax walk and lookout remains closed due to damage from the bushfire in October 2020. This closure is in place to ensure visitor safety and allow vegetation to regenerate. The Quarantine Station, Collins Beach and Bluefish to Shelley Beach walking tracks remain open.

During 2020, National Parks and Wildlife Service undertook site investigation and analysis, detailed design development and approvals. In early 2021 the National Parks and Wildlife Service will be re-assessing geo-technical risk, undertaking site investigations and preparing detailed designs for the improvements.

We’re planning to release concept designs for community feedback in February 2021.

Construction is scheduled to take place from mid-2021.

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.

National Parks and Wildlife Service will carry out rigorous environmental assessment of the proposed works with input from relevant specialists, in accordance with NSW planning legislation. 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:

North Head upgrade – register of interest

For further information on the project, or we’ve missed anything, please send us your question and the project team will provide updates.
Register of interest

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