NPWS South Head Heritage Trail

NPWS South Head Heritage Trail

NPWS South Head Heritage Trail
4.5
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Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles146 reviews
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leuveen
United Kingdom1,291 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
A short walk with great views - I proffered North Head walk, as this one was more crowded and the military base is somewhat off-putting, but it's still a lovely walk woth beautiful scenery.
Written 28 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AndyJohn74
Sans Souci, Australia3,432 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Solo
This current heritage trail goes from the north end of Camp Cove Beach up to the lighthouse and back to the same start point. It is a lovely walk passing a number of sites relating to the defence of this port over the last two centuries.
Written 11 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael-4551
Caloundra, Australia5,458 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Solo
Visited on Friday 26th May. I did the walk starting at the ferry terminal to South Head and back to The Gap. It's an easy walk, all paved with a few steps and handrails.
Written 23 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan C
Melbourne, Australia871 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Solo
After the Gap Lookout Park you can head towards South Head via Cliff or Cove streets to walk the South Head Heritage loop trail to visit Camp Cove Beach, Lady Bay Beach, South Head, Hornby Lighthouse and the lighthouse cottages. There is a historical canon. Green Point Reserve is also worth visiting with the First Landing Obelisk and gun emplacements before you return the same way to Watsons Bay. These views are not as spectacular as the Gap Lookout Park but there are good views of North Head and the pretty accessible beaches are worthwhile.
Written 1 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pete S
Melbourne, Australia35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
Boys and girls interested in the military will be skipping and climbing about … if you see the big White House above the Watson’s Bay hotel that was the former Army officers mess… our bar and a few rooms were upstairs and our dining area is the large area at the ground floor. The entire area was used as a personnel and discharge unit (2MDPD) after the Vietnam war. It ceased being used as a mess about 1984. Great memories, a great location for natural fauna and fabulous views over Sydney harbour, the Gap cliffs and The Tasman Sea. And if there’s a yacht race or large ship entering or going there’s no better vantage point
Written 5 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

blackeldo
Kiama, Australia2,204 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
Most who take the Heritage Trail do so accidentally because it is the only way to reach SOUTH HEAD**, a popular tourist destination with great views (and some history).
A bit of that history is down to Sydney’s early times so there’s your heritage connection, but a lot is more modern history – see South Head is probably the best spot to watch the annual Sydney-Hobart racing fleet leave the harbour each Boxing Day. And in any given year I’d say 90% of visitor’s do so for that reason. On Boxing Day every vantage inch is taken whereas other times see relatively few people.

STARTING POINT: bit tricky because there are 2 starting boards - the first at the nor-east end of CAMP COVE BEACH*(650m to South Head views) the other maybe 450m in at the eastern end of the track above LADY BAY*+ (nude). The former seems most common online.
<150m past the 2nd board the trail spits into a 750m loop – take this because the far south has good WW2 gun emplacement remains+best open ocean views. Nearby are top views of HORNBY LIGHTHOUSE+,NORTH HEAD*+, MANLY*+, and SYDNEY HARBOUR*+
HERITAGE-WISE when you leave CAMP COVE you will soon pass some 1890s cannon installed when Sydney was paranoid re invasion. At South Head itself the afore-mentioned HORNBY LIGHTHOUSE is 3rd oldest in NSW [1858] and still operational. The restored LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS’ COTTAGE is nearby. There are also some WW2 gun foundations.
TOURIST WISE are great harbour views along the way +. Once there you have 360s of THE PACIFIC, NORTH HEAD, MANLY and SYDNEY HARBOUR.

TIPS
– the trail is well paved and relatively flat with only a few stairs: a stroller-couple last visit did fine.
-rest rooms just short of LADY BAY and at the CAMP COVE start which also has a kiosk nearby.
- ACCESS: most scenic: ferry to WATSONS BAY* (tourist central) and then 5min walk to CAMP COVE (stay left) – cheapest/fastest: train to EDGECLIFF Interchange, then WATSONS BAY BUS (#324, 325)
Parking near start is very tight on nice days
- if keen for a swim, LADY BAY aint much of a beach (it ‘s clothing optional: plenty of textiles visit/ nobody cares) but CAMP COVE is pretty good
- good whale-watching in season
--TA reviewers’ photos are well worth checking

SUM UP: true history types may be disappointed in the walk. Not if they’re also interested in great views.
For true heritage buffs I’d say Sydney’s ROCKS* area is more significant. For other visitors this is a good one. There is more info on TA’s dedicated SOUTH HEAD* page.

*TA has a reader review page
+ see my pix
Written 8 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Teresa C
Metro Manila, Philippines1,563 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2021
For a sunny afternoon stroll and a peek at history, this is a pleasant, easy walk. Choose to walk the trail or along the beach. Lovely!
Written 6 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JElliot32
New South Wales, Australia3,830 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021
The trail is a 'loop track' that starts and ends at Watsons Bay. It is an easy and rewarding walk, with fab views of the harbour and ocean plus access to a couple of delightful beaches, including Camp Cove. Unfortunately the native vegetation along the trail is not always in good shape, with significant infestations of weeds like lantana, morning glory and cobbler's pegs. It was clear that there had been some plantings of native species but I still got the impression the weeds were winning the battle.
I understand most of the parcel of land along the trail was transferred from the HMAS Watson navy base to the NSW Dept of National Parks. Not sure if the National Parks were compensated to help with the restoration of the area, including weed removal, though I suspect not. I would urge the NSW government to provide additional funding to National Parks to let them complete this project. Then, it will be a truly outstanding advertisement for Sydney Harbour.
Written 25 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KBizzle
4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Short & sweet heritage loop! Stunning scenic beaches with harbour views for the whole family to enjoy. Highly recommend.
Written 19 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian T
London, UK6,782 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
There are lots of wonderful walks a visitor to Sydney can do, to get some unique glimpses of the numerous things which make this city special. There’s a walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge; there’s a lovely walk from Circular Key to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and around the Domain. The cliff walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach will also reward you with beautiful vistas.

My favourite walk, and one we do on every visit to Sydney, is the South Head Heritage Trail. It’s not a long walk by any means, no more than a couple of kilometres all up, but it is packed with variety, history, skyline views, some unique flora, stunning beach and harbour views, and (if you are in Sydney at the right time of the year) perhaps a whale or two.

We usually start at Watson’s Bay. You can get a ferry there, or a bus from central Sydney. The bus drops you off on Military Road in Watson’s Bay, so we usually walk the short distance to the Gap lookout. It’s a sheer rocky ocean cliff, with the waves lashing and crashing against it.

We usually walk Cliff Road to beautiful Camp Cove; there’s a small kiosk here, and toilet facilities (albeit not very clean). There are also toilet and changing room facilities a bit further on. You’ll pass an old cannon in the rocks, installed in the 1890s . All along this part of the walk there are vantage points from where you’ll get wonderful views of the Sydney skyline. It’s a great spot for watching the sunset, as you are facing due west. Continue on past the tiny Lady Jane Beach... or pop down to the beach if you fancy removing your clothes, as nude bathing is permitted. The path will take you by a beautifully restored cottage; it was the lighthouse keeper’s cottage, built just after the lighthouse in the 1850s. You then continue to the tip of the peninsula, dominated by the curious candy-striped red and white lighthouse, the Hornby Lighthouse. It was built in 1856, and the third lighthouse to be built in the new colony. You’ll get stunning views of the entrance to Sydney Harbour, and across to North Head. There’s some old military installations here to explore; it’s also a perfect spot just to sit and be still and to appreciate your wonderful surroundings.

The path meanders a little though some native Australia flora. You may spot Banksia, Grevillea and Bottlebrush in full bloom. It’s a gentle walk, some of it on a wooden boardwalk. There are steps so it may not be suitable for those with mobility issues.
Written 2 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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NPWS South Head Heritage Trail - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about NPWS South Head Heritage Trail



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