North Head Sanctuary

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North Head Sanctuary sits on the northern entrance to Sydney Harbour,  high above Manly. There are walking tracks through  untouched bushland, and glorious views of the  harbour and city skyline. If you come to Manly by ferry, a 135 bus service departs every hour to North Fort.  Alternatively there are tracks from Shelley Beach and Collins Beach up to the headland. There is also a car park located at Bluefish Drive at the Barracks Precinct.  Entry is free and the entire area is well sign-posted.
 
Begin the walk from the car park, heading south past the parade ground and following the road left to Fairfax Walk. Follow the signs to the Hanging Swamp. It's a fantastic steel grid track suspended just above the water. Go left at the sign onto the cobblestoned Avenue of Honour, created as a memorial to local soldiers who died in World War 1. Proceed left down the camouflage painted road to Gun Emplacement 2, built to protect the entrance to Sydney during wartime.
 
Further along is Australia's Memorial Walk, in honour of those who have served and supported the defence of Australia.  At the entrance is the barrel from Gun Emplacement 2, and further along are five monuments erected to remember the major conflict periods in Australia's history. Soldiers have been remembered, with their names on paving bricks beautifully arranged around large stone  depictions of  their battalions' crests and the wars in which they served.  
 
Continuing further along the path is the Fairfax Lookout with its panoramic view of the harbour and city. Continue along the road from here to enjoy a drink and something to eat at Bella Vista Cafe.  From there,  walk back through North Fort to the car park at the Barracks Precinct.
 
This is an easy walk of about 5 kilometres. If you have the time there are many other places to visit on North Head.
 
For more information visit : North Head Sanctuary.  
 
Walk north on the new pathway next to Barrenjoey Road, with views of Barrenjoey Headland, Lion Island and the Central Coast across Pittwater.  Head east past Palm Beach golf course, then through Governor Philip Park to a grassed area overlooking the ocean. Much of the 'Home and Away' series is filmed at this location. Follow Ocean Road south past the public toilets and change rooms to the cafes on the right, for a drink and a bite  to eat in a relaxing setting. You can have a swim in the flagged areas of the beach or in the tidal pool and the south end of Ocean Road.
 
Go back to the intersection of Ocean Road and Palm Beach Road and walk up the hill past the many impressive  homes. At the top turn into Pacific Road and continue up the hill. The road veers to the left but instead go straight ahead around a white barrier. This is McKay Reserve. Follow the path as you walk past homes overlooking Pittwater. Continue along until there is another McKay Reserve sign. Follow the track as it winds down through the  bush. You will arrive at McKay Stairs which takes you down the steepest part of the walk and back to Barrenjoey Road. Go to your right to the ferry wharf and bus stop.