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Sydney Harbour National Park
New South Wales
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
The Gap bluff in the national park at South Head.
Sydney Harbour National Park is located in New South Wales
Sydney Harbour National Park
Sydney Harbour National Park
Nearest town or city Sydney
Coordinates 33°47′48″S 151°17′30″E / 33.79667°S 151.29167°E / -33.79667; 151.29167Coordinates: 33°47′48″S 151°17′30″E / 33.79667°S 151.29167°E / -33.79667; 151.29167
Established 4 April 1975 (1975-04-04)[1]
Area 3.92 km2 (1.5 sq mi)[1]
Managing authorities NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Website Sydney Harbour National Park
See also Protected areas of
New South Wales

The Sydney Harbour National Park is a protected national park comprising parts of Sydney Harbour, its foreshores and various islands. The 392-hectare (970-acre) national park lies within the Sydney metropolitan area and was created progressively, from 1975.[1]

The national park protects the landforms of Bradleys Head, Clark Island, Dobroyd Head, Fort Denison, Georges Head, Goat Island, Middle Head, Nielsen Park, Rodd Island, Shark Island, Sydney Heads including the Quarantine Station at North Head and The Gap bluff at South Head. The national park also protects the waterway between North Head and Dobroyd Head, defined as the North Sydney Harbour Aquatic Reserve. Parts of the national park lie outside the harbour and face the Tasman Sea.[2]

The national park is managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.


The national park is renown for its sheltered beaches, tranquil picnic spots, rich Aboriginal, colonial and military heritage, aquatic reserves and harbour islands.[3]

The Guringai Resting Places, at both Reef Beach and Quarantine Station, are Aboriginal reburial sites where ancestral remains have been returned to Country. Access to the Aboriginal burial sites is restricted at the request of the Aboriginal community.[4][5]

Military fortifications, at the Georges Head Battery, Fort Denison, and North and South Heads stretch back to the early years of the colony. At the Quarantine Station there are archaeological features and over a thousand engravings. Historic sites include Greycliffe House, erected at Shark Bay by the Wentworth family in neo-Gothic style during the 1850s; and the mast of the first HMAS Sydney at Bradleys Head. There is also a swimming beach at Nielsen Park, a restaurant and a cafe.[2]


The beach at Nielsen Park, Vaucluse, facing the national park.

Residential development has impacted a significant amount of the harbour foreshores over many years. Much of what remained was preserved partly due to the presence of military bases, and partly because of the work of conservationists. Early conservationists were responsible for stopping mining at Ashton Park in the 19th Century.[citation needed] Other places were saved because of people such as Neil Nielsen, who became the New South Wales Minister for Lands and a strong advocate of a public reserve around Sydney Harbour.[citation needed]

Nielsen was ahead of his time[clarification needed] when he used the phrase "national park" in regard to the harbour foreshores, but Sydney eventually caught up with him.[clarification needed] It was not possible to undo all the damage done in past decades, but there was still much that could be preserved, and the 1960s were a particularly active time in this regard. In 1965 the Government of New South Wales began buying land around the foreshores, and the National Trust suggested a national park in 1968. In the following year, the NSW Government announced a plan whereby it would buy Commonwealth land around the harbour. The Sydney Harbour National Park was finally gazetted in 1975, with Nielsen Park at Shark Bay being added in 1978. Extra land was transferred from Commonwealth to State Government control, and added to the national park in 1979; the historically important quarantine station at Manly was added in 1984.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Sydney Harbour National Park: Park management". Office of Environment and Heritage. Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Sydney Harbour National Park: Plan of management". NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (PDF brochure). Government of New South Wales. December 2012. ISBN 978-1-74293-815-8. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Sydney Harbour National Park". NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (PDF brochure). Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Atlas of Aboriginal Places: Guringai Resting Place: Reef Beach". Office of Environment and Heritage. Government of New South Wales. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Atlas of Aboriginal Places: Guringai Resting Place: Quarantine Station". Office of Environment and Heritage. Government of New South Wales. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_Harbour_National_Park — Please support Wikipedia.
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130 news items

The Guardian

The Guardian
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:21:45 -0700

Money raised from this ticketed event goes towards rejuvenating Sydney Harbour national park, in which it takes place. Sydney Skinny Ahhh - the feel of the harbour on the unclothed body! Photograph: Spencer Tunick/EPA. Naked canyoning. Combine a ...


Wed, 03 Dec 2014 13:22:30 -0800

The Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the ferry to Manly…every tourist to Sydney, Australia knows where to go, but Sydney happens to be home to the largest natural harbour in the world. It's in and amongst those large sites you'll find the smaller secrets ...


Mon, 01 Dec 2014 12:04:15 -0800

Some 970 acres of waterways, islands, shores, beaches, and historic sites make up the Sydney Harbour National Park, and there's no one better place to begin exploring it than Fort Denison, a tiny island which claims much less space than even one of ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 19:53:45 -0800

The shacks built between 1923 and 1963 are scattered on the edge of a cliff deep within the bushland of Sydney Harbour National Park. It is called Crater Cove and the area, resembling something from a frontier settlement, is one of Sydney's hidden gems.
Sydney Morning Herald
Mon, 23 Dec 2013 03:26:15 -0800

Milk Beach, Vaucluse At the base of Hermit Bay in Sydney Harbour National Park, this is small and isolated with breathtaking views and surrounded by historic Strickland House. Little Bay, Little Bay A favourite snorkel and swimspot for south-eastern ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:43:32 -0800

I'm curious what this would mean in practical terms. Foley states that present operations on the island would be 'respected', which seems to indicate that the island would continue to remain part of the Sydney Harbour National Park. Apart from the ...

The West Australian

The West Australian
Sun, 09 Nov 2014 13:33:45 -0800

... wife, Berangere, runs a walking equivalent to his driving tour, My Walking Detour, which involves a ferry trip from Circular Quay to Rose Bay and an exploration of the coves, tracks and bush along an 8.4km stretch of Sydney Harbour National Park.

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Thu, 29 May 2014 20:32:56 -0700

It is one of nature's most spectacular sights - and this year's annual whale migration promises to be particularly special. Just two weeks into the season, a succession of gigantic visitors have already entertained Sydney with their aquatic gymnastics.

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