Walking track progress
The walking track construction has commenced in Georges Head. Despite a comparatively dry August and September, some sections remain waterlogged, producing ankle-deep mud.
The section of track between the 1801 Battery through to the Belvedere will be completed in early 2023, while the section between the 1801 Battery and Inner Middle Head is unlikely to be completed until June 2023.
Track work from the 1801 Battery towards the Obelisk Beach gun emplacement and observation tower has been completed. Visitors will be led over the roof of the emplacement, which provides a great view across the harbour. A safety balustrade was installed earlier in 2022. The new trackwork continues from this location, through the bushland and behind the back of Obelisk Beach, where it will meet up with existing tracks and carparks to Chowder Bay Road and along the coastline to Georges Head.
One of the key features of the new walking track was a bridge to take visitors over the old defensive ditch. However, recent detailed geotechnical investigations found issues with the proposed location. Unfortunately, this means the bridge will need to be redesigned and relocated to ensure safe installation.
Storytelling and interpretation
A significant component of this project is the interpretation of the history of Middle Head and Georges Head.
An Interpretation Plan was prepared in 2020, identifying stories and developing interpretative concepts. These ideas have been reviewed, and a detailed design for the physical signs and devices has been developed. The interpretive devices include a mix of signage and steel cut devices with historic photographs, plans, quotes and descriptions of the harbour defence operations and those who experienced living and working here.
National Parks and Wildlife Service has consulted with the Royal Australian Artillery Historic Company, the Mosman Historical Society and Mosman Headland Preservation Group, who have reviewed and provided additional information and advice. The Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council have also informed and reviewed the interpretation related to Aboriginal culture and history. We extend our sincere thanks to these organisations for their assistance.
The final package of interpretive devices will be fabricated in 2023. New standard park signage, including information and directional signs, will be finalised. This component is expected to be completed in 2023.