1 hr 15 mins
(0km) Watsons Bay Wharf → Int of Cove and Short Sts
(0.24km) Int of Cove and Short Sts → Camp Cove Beach
Veer left: From the near the sandstone pillars at the HMAS Watson entrance, this walk follows the ‘Access to Camp Cove Beach and South Head Heritage Trail’ sign downhill along Cliff Street. The road soon leads to the signposted ‘Camp Cove car park’ at the intersection with Victoria St.
Continue straight: From the signposted ‘Camp Cove Car Park, this walk follows the ‘No Through Road’ sign to the end of ‘Cliff St’. The footpath leads past a ‘Camp Cove timeline’ information sign then, at the end of the road, turns left, coming to the front of the kiosk at the northern end of Camp Cove Beach.
(0.59km) Camp Cove Beach → Cannon
(0.71km) Cannon → Lady Bay Beach Int
(1km) Lady Bay Beach Int → Lady Bay Beach
Lady Bay Beach
(1km) Lady Bay Beach Int → Lady Bay Lookout
Lady Bay Lookout
(1.15km) Circuit intersection → Lightkeepers Cottage
(1.32km) Lightkeepers Cottage → Hornby Lighthouse
(1.41km) Hornby Lighthouse → Circuit Intersection
Continue straight: From the Gun Emplacements and ‘Fortifications 1854’ sign, this walk heads uphill along the footpath, away from the lighthouse. The path passes the second fortification then an overgrown third fortification as the path bends to the right . The path then heads down and crosses the old road, following the path down the hill and soon comes to timber boardwalk, a four-way intersection and a large ‘South Head Heritage Trail’ sign on your right. Now Turn right to rejoin the main walk .
Maps for the Watsons Bay to Hornby Lighthouse walkYou can download the PDF for this walk to print a map.
These maps below cover the walk and the wider area around the walk, they are worth carrying for safety reasons.
|Sydney Heads||1:25 000 Map Series||91302N SYDNEY HEADS||NSW-91302N|
|Sydney||1:100 000 Map Series||9130 SYDNEY||9130|
Overview of this walks grade – based on the AS 2156.1 – 2001
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
|Time||1 hr 15 mins|
|AS 2156.1||Gradient||Gentle hills with occasional steps (2/6)|
|Quality of track||Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)|
|Signs||Clearly signposted (1/6)|
|Experience Required||No experience required (1/6)|
|Weather||Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)|
|Infrastructure||Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (1/6)|
Some more details of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining grading looking at sections of the walk
Around 890m of this walk has gentle hills with occasional steps, whilst the remaining 520m is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
Around 1.4km of this walk follows a smooth and hardened path, whilst the remaining 55m follows a clear and well formed track or trail.
This whole walk, 1.4km is clearly signposted.
This whole walk, 1.4km requires no previous bushwalking experience.
This whole walk, 1.4km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
This whole walk, 1.4km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).
Spend some time relaxing and exploring Camp Cove – the first landing place for Europeans in Australia. On this walk, you will head across the northern end of Camp Cove Beach, up some steps to follow an old sandstone cobbled road. This road leads to a great vantage point, with views over the Sydney Harbour to the city. This spot is also host to a large (disused) gun, that once defended these shores. Plenty of history and beauty.
Total climbing: 14m
358 m Return
This walk leads to a popular nudist (clothing optional) beach on Sydney Harbour’s South Head. The walk follows the clear footpath / old roads past several significant historic and beautiful sites before climbing down a set of steps to find the beach. The beach is protected from the main surf on the inside of the headland and provides a great view across the harbour to Middle Head.
Total climbing: 38m
992 m Return
This walk explores the tip of Sydney Harbour’s South Head. On this walk, you will visit several historic and scenic places, following a footpath most of the way. You will start at Camp Cove, the first landing place for Europeans in Australia, and also visit a number of gun emplacements, designed to protect the shores from the threat of invasion. Also enjoy the panoramic ocean and harbour views from the cliff line at Hornby Lighthouse. A wonderful walk for those wanting to explore wide open views and get a glimpse of history.
Total climbing: 64m
1.7 km Circuit
This circuit walk explores the great sea cliffs of The Bluff on the ocean side of South Head, before heading to the scenic and historic Camp Cove and Green Point on Sydney Harbour. During this walk, you will visit several historic military defense systems for the harbour, as well as enjoying some of the natural beauty of the region. For much of the year, especially in spring, you will see some lovely coastal wildflowers as well.
Total climbing: 84m
2.5 km Circuit
On this walk, you will explore historically significant and majestic sections on the tip of Sydney Harbour’s South Head. Explore the confronting sea cliffs at The Gap, visit the first landing place for Europeans in Australia and climb through some of Sydney Harbour’s military defense systems. You will also enjoy great views from Hornby Lighthouse and there are a few chances to grab a drink or a bight to eat along the way.
Total climbing: 144m
4.1 km Circuit
1 hr 45 mins
Other Nearby walks
This walk explores the coastal cliffs near The Gap on Sydney’s South Head. The main focal point for this walk is the view from the rocky bluff. The cliff makes for very spectacular scenery and the views extend from North Head along the coast, and even peer across the harbour to the city. This walk starts from Watsons Bay and follows a well used footpath all the way. There is much history in the area and the couple of side trips described in this walk open up some more places to explore.
Total climbing: 43m
886 m Return
On this walk, you will circumnavigate Green Point (also known as Laings Point), on Sydney Harbour’s South Head. The point is surrounded in history and great harbour views. Starting from the end of Pacific St, you will head through some open parkland and a short side trip leads to Camp Cove, the first landing place for Europeans in Australia. The walk then continues around the grassy headland to visit the eastern anchor point of Sydney’s anti-submarine net. A short and enjoyable walk.
Total climbing: 10m
243 m Circuit
The Hermitage Foreshore Walk is a wonderful way to explore Sydney Harbour from the perspective of South Head. This walk starts from Nielsen Park and follows a well maintained track along the narrow strip of harbour-side bushland to Bayview Hill Rd. Along the way, you will visit some secluded beaches and visit the historic Strickland House. A great walk exploring the history and natural beauty while enjoying a new perspective of the city.
Total climbing: 123m
2.2 km One way
On this short walk, you will follow the footpaths through Nielsen Park, visiting some of the historic buildings. Walking past the beautiful Shark Bay, you may be temped to take a dip or at least stop and enjoy the blue water and sandstone boulders. Climbing up the stairs, you will then be able to explore the historic Steele Point Gun Emplacement and Greycliffe House before wandering back down to Shark Bay where you can grab a drink from the kiosk.
Total climbing: 25m
896 m Return
This walk explores the bushy interior section of Nielsen Park. On this walk, you will visit historic Greycliffe House and the Steele Point Gun Emplacement. The walk climbs over the Mount Trefle summit. At just over 40m above sea level, I suspect most walkers will not consider it much of a mountain, but an enjoyable walk all the same. Most of this walk follows concrete and sealed paths, and there are some great harbour views on the second half of this walk.
Total climbing: 58m
1.7 km Circuit
On this walk, you will stroll along the shore of Sydney Harbour, discovering many great views and the secluded Milk Beach before visiting the grand Strickland and Greycliffe Houses. This is a great way to explore the natural beauty, as well as some stately gardens, at the northern end of the Hermitage Foreshore Walk. Allow extra time to simply roam around the yards and enjoy the views from the many vantage points along the way.
Total climbing: 104m
2.5 km Circuit
With much to offer, this walk is a great way to explore the history, water, views and bushland of Nielsen Park. This walk first leads past Shark Bay – a great place for a swim – with the chance to enjoy the views and grab a bite to eat from the cafe. Then, it’s up some steps to visit the historic gun emplacement and onto Greycliffe House. Then you head up through the bush over ‘Mt Trefle’ and take a short walk along Vaucluse Rd, bringing you back into Nielsen Park.
Total climbing: 54m
1.8 km Circuit
On this short walk, you will follow a series of footpaths to Shark Bay and head up some sandstone steps to the great views of Shakespheres Point. Since you are up on this headland, it is worth doing a loop around before heading back down to the main area of Nielsen Park. Make a day of it by staying for a swim and a bite to eat.
Total climbing: 24m
661 m Circuit
This loop walk is the shortest way to access the views from Chowder Head. The optional side trip leads to an informal lookout on an unfenced rock platform. A great spot to enjoy the sailing boats on Sydney Harbour. In spring, this walk is particularly spectacular with a wide range of wildflowers on display.
Total climbing: 36m
548 m Circuit
Chowder Bay to Georges Heights Lookout is a fantastic walk to burn off a coffee from the Bacino Bar. The walk passes the Bacino Bar and enjoys the view from an old gun emplacement at George Heights Lookout. The sandstone seats and shaded grassy areas make this a perfect walk for a picnic too.
Total climbing: 60m
842 m Return
Starting from Vaucluse Rd, you will head down past the stately Strickland House to the small but lovely Milk Beach on Sydney Harbour. There are several interesting buildings in the Strickland House complex as well as some interesting open exotic gardens to explore. From behind Strickland House, you will then turn right and head along a short section of the Hermitage Foreshore Walk down to Milk Beach, where you will find more great harbour and city views.
Total climbing: 31m
706 m Return
The walk from Chowder Bay to Middle Head is an interesting one, passing Georges Head Lookout and its views over South Head, and then going up to the WW1 hospital. The track continues with an exploration of the whole of Middle Head, including forts, a nudist beach (a sidetrip option) and stunning views over the harbour. The walk returns via Chowder Bay Rd which offers a few fortifications hidden in the bush.
Total climbing: 215m
5.1 km Circuit
2 hrs 30 mins
Fire DangerEach park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.
Weather ForestThis walk starts in the Metropolitan weather district always check the formal BOM forecast or pdf before starting your walk.
Park Information & Alerts
Short URL = http://wild.tl/wbthl
There are other downloads I am still working on.
You will probably need to login to access these — still all free.
* KML (google earth file)
* GPX (GPS file)
Special Maps/ brochures
* A3 topo maps
* PDF with Lands Topo map base
* PDF with arial image (and map overlay)
I wanted to get the main site live first, this extra stuff will come in time.