South Head master plan

National Parks and Wildlife Service is reviewing feedback received during the exhibition of the draft South Head Master Plan, which closed on 30 May 2022

The master plan considers South Head, Gap Bluff and Green Point precincts of Sydney Harbour National Park (Watsons Bay), receiving over half a million visitors each year. The area has a rich cultural landscape that forms an essential part of the story of Sydney. A story that encompasses Aboriginal culture and place; a story that includes the ideas of journey and arrival for Europeans; and a story of protection and defence.

What is a master plan?

A master plan is a non-statutory document that outlines a vision to guide how an area may change over time. It is important to note that our draft master plan is conceptual. We have sought community input to refine our vision and inform the design of the master plan submitted for approval.

Why is the South Head Master Plan being prepared?

The draft South Head Master Plan draws on the outcomes of the Sydney Harbour Plan of Management 2012 and the South Head Conservation Management Plan 2008. The master plan will create a vision and identify uses for existing buildings, upgrade of visitor facilities, walking tracks (including the Sydney Harbour Scenic Walk), interpretation, wayfinding, and public safety to enhance the experience for visitors and the natural, cultural and historic heritage of the precinct.

We have engaged a project team that have been working to develop the master plan. The team comprises TKD Architects, Context, and PlanCom Consulting. The team have sought input from the community and other stakeholders to draft the master plan.

The master plan documents the changes we need to make to South Head, Gap Bluff and Green Point precincts to achieve our plan of management outcomes and support visitation for the next 20 years.

Map showing the location and extent of the master plan (in red outline).

From mid 2021 to early 2022 focus has been on initial investigations, community consultation (including a survey and 2 workshops) and analysis of the information.

The draft South Head Master Plan was recently on exhibition from Tuesday 26 April 2022 to Monday 30 May 2022.

The South Head Master Plan is expected to be finalised in mid-2022, following consideration of feedback received during exhibition of the draft master plan.

The South Head Master Plan implementation is expected to be delivered in stages, over the next couple of years.

The draft master plan proposes a revitalised vision for visitor experience and interpretation of the site that draws on the historic, cultural and natural values of this unique national park. Consideration of these values were strongly supported by the community during consultation for the master plan designs.

The master plan has been underpinned by the guiding principles identified in the Sydney Harbour National Park Plan of Management (2012), which include:

  • conserve natural and cultural heritage
  • manage sustainably
  • improve accessibility
  • welcome all visitors
  • improve transport linkages
  • conserve for the future
  • partnerships and collaborations

The final master plan and its delivery will be consistent with the Sydney Harbour National Park Plan of Management. Construction will be subject to rigorous environmental and heritage approvals before commencing. This includes consideration under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the NSW Heritage Act 1977 and the Commonwealth Environmental Planning and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The South Head Master Plan Community Consultation Summary provides detail on how the community was informed and involved during the master plan design phase and how this input was used in the draft master plan.

Feedback was invited on the draft South Head Master Plan. This feedback will be considered by the project team and the Stakeholder Reference Group in finalising the South Head Master Plan.

Feedback received during the exhibition of the draft South Head Master Plan will be summarised and provided along with a copy of the final South Head Master Plan.

Information and updates

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