North Head, in Sydney Harbour National Park, is a diverse site with significant cultural and environmental values, usually receiving over 500,000 local, domestic and international visitors each year. North Head is listed on the National Heritage List.
This project is being delivered as part of the largest visitor infrastructure program in national park history and aligns with the outcomes for North Head outlined in the Sydney Harbour National Park Plan of Management (2012).
New turf and plantings North Head Scenic Area
We have created 1,200 square metres of new turfed recreation space for visitors to sit and enjoy views across North Head and Sydney harbour. The new turf has responded well to the recent warmer weather, and we have removed the temporary fencing so visitors can enjoy the new spaces.
We have retained the low metal fencing along the edge of the vegetation – this has been designed to exclude rabbits and promote growth in these areas. We ask that visitors kindly remain on the turf areas and not enter the embankment areas.
New lookouts for North Head
New lookouts have been designed to replace the original Fairfax lookouts. These were closed due to the geotechnical risk associated with the unstable nature of the sandstone cliff faces.
We worked with local architects CHROFI and Aboriginal consultancy Bangawarra to design lookouts that address geotechnical risk, maintain visitor safety, maximise viewing space, and use materials that can withstand the harsh environment whilst responding to Country and the character of the surrounding landscape.
Work on the new lookouts commenced in July 2022. Works have progressed well despite delays due to high winds and rain. The structural concreting is nearing completion, and new sandstone seating has been installed at Burragula. The remaining works include the installation of seating, fixtures, balustrades, stairs and paving. We expect the lookouts to be completed in March 2023.
Replacement of the damaged track fencing damaged in the October 2020 bushfire is also underway. Works include the removal of damaged posts and the installation of a new fence to ensure the safety of visitors along the Fairfax track.
The Fairfax track and the new lookouts will be fully accessible once complete and disabled parking is provided at the entrance to the track.
The concept plans for the lookouts are available for download on the right-hand side of this page.
Access to the North Head
The Fairfax Walk and the North Head Scenic Drive loop will remain closed to pedestrians while the lookouts are being constructed.
Below are details of changes to access while the lookouts are under construction:
- visitors can drive and park at the North Fort
- Fairfax track will remain closed to pedestrians until the new lookouts are reopened (expected in March 2023)
- the loop road has reopened
- Car park 1 and Car park 2 have reopened
- the bus stop at North Fort has reopened.
These closures will not affect the Q-Station, Bella Vista Café and North Head Sanctuary (managed by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust).