Strickland Estate Nielsen Park Master Plan

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is developing a master plan to provide a 20-year vision and approach for visitor use and park management as a single integrated estate.

Aerial view of a 19th century home, Strickland House, surrounded by gardens and located on the foreshore in Sydney Harbour National Park Sydney Harbour is universally acknowledged as a place of extraordinary natural beauty. Sydney Harbour National Park, including the Strickland Estate, Nielsen Park and the Hermitage Foreshore precincts, are an integral part of the harbour's foreshore setting.

The draft master plan has been prepared to protect, conserve, and promote the spectacular natural, cultural and historic heritage of Strickland Estate, Nielsen Park and Hermitage Foreshore Track, Sydney Harbour National Park and build a valued legacy for future generations.


The draft master plan identifies and outlines:

  • the vision and guiding principles for the joint site
  • visitor experiences including day use, activities and events
  • landscaping and interpretation concepts
  • public access and circulation
  • vehicular and traffic management
  • park management aspects including essential services
  • proposed uses for buildings.

As a place of significant cultural and heritage value, it is especially important that we hear from the community to assist us in delivering a well-considered master plan for this unique and iconic site.

With the 2018 transfer of Strickland Estate to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service the estate became part of the Sydney Harbour National Park, creating an exciting opportunity to strategically plan for the 2 parks along with the adjacent Hermitage Foreshore, as a single integrated estate.

The master plan is being delivered in the following stages:

  • pre-design – to complete initial investigations, consultation with the community and analysis of the information gathered (late 2021 to first quarter 2022)
  • design of the draft master plan – and the draft master plan was on exhibition from Thursday 22 December 2022 to Wednesday 15 February 2023.

Feedback received during the exhibition period is being considered and will be used to refine master plan design concepts. The final master plan publication is anticipated in mid 2024.

Our national parks are managed to protect their unique values and provide for sustainable visitor use and enjoyment. This includes providing visitor experiences and site uses, where appropriate, that draw on the historic, cultural and natural values of these unique national park precincts as an integrated estate.

The master plan is 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.

Strickland Estate and Nielsen Park are some of the most popular precincts in Sydney Harbour National Park, attracting up to 500,000 people each year. The entire site strongly focuses on protection and conservation, reflecting the area's topographic, geological, and environmental context and historical phasing from aboriginal occupation by the Birrabirragal and Gadigal Clans to post European settlement and to the current day.

The precincts, along with the Hermitage Foreshore, provide access to harbourside walking tracks, beaches, cafes, accommodation, and state-significant heritage listed buildings, many of which lay dormant and inaccessible. Identifying appropriate adaptive reuse for these buildings will enhance and broaden the visitor experience and heighten the buildings' appreciation and longevity.

We understand the value and popularity of places such as Nielsen Park and Strickland Estate to the community and people who care about the sites' rich natural, cultural and heritage values.

The master plan represents a significant opportunity for us to engage with the immediate and broader community to create a shared vision in planning for Strickland Estate, Nielsen Park and the Hermitage Foreshore as interconnected precincts.

Identifying appropriate experiences and uses across the Strickland Estate precinct, now that it is part of the national park, is a key focus of the plan. As is enabling coordinated planning of future visitation, use and experiences that meets the needs of National Parks and Wildlife Service and the community now and into the future.

Community engagement has been designed to occur at key stages of the project:

  • Master plan pre-design – from 17 June to 18 July 2022 the community was invited to participate in an initial online survey, contribute to an interactive map of the area and attend a community workshop that was held on 28 June 2022. These aimed to capture the views and ideas of visitors, community and stakeholders. The information gathered during this consultation period will inform the design and development of the draft master plan.
  • Design of the draft master plan – from Thursday 22 December 2022 to Wednesday 15 February 2023, the community was invited to participate in an online survey, contribute to the interactive map of the area and attend the community drop-in session which was on Sunday 5 February 2023. The information gathered during this stage will inform the final master plan.

A Stakeholder Reference Group, representing the interests of a broad range of stakeholder groups, organisations and land managers, has also been established to act as a key consultative body throughout the master plan project.

Information and updates

Visitors and the community will be kept informed of the progress of this project through regular updates on this webpage and via emails. Complete the online form below to register your interest in updates for Strickland Estate Nielsen Park Master Plan.

The information you provide in this form will only be used for the purpose for which it was collected. By submitting, you consent to storage, use, and disclosure of your personal information in accordance with our privacy policy. You can request access and amendment of your personal information.

Register your interest