North Head

© Michael Hains/AWC
North Head Logo Horizontal Cmyk 1000x132

AWC works in partnership with the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust to deliver a suite of science projects within the North Head Sanctuary. The Sanctuary, comprising 74 hectares of land held by the Trust, is managed in an integrated manner with the adjoining Sydney Harbour National Park. Together, the Sanctuary and the National Park protect most of North Head, representing one of the most important sites for biodiversity conservation within the Sydney Basin.

Quick Facts

  • Size/Area: 73 ha
  • Bioregion: Sydney Basin
  • Mammals: Inventory underway
  • Birds: Inventory underway
  • Reptiles: Inventory underway
  • Amphibians: Inventory underway
  • Threatened Wildlife: Inventory underway
  • Plants: Inventory underway
  • Threatened Plants: Inventory underway

Our work at this Sanctuary

© Wayne Lawler/AWC
© Wayne Lawler/AWC
© Brad Leue/AWC
© Wayne Lawler/AWC
© Wayne Lawler/AWC

The Sanctuary

North Head is a sandstone headland on the northern side of Sydney Harbour, connected to the mainland only by a sand spit. It is an outlying remnant of the Hornsby Plateau, and supports a diverse range of habitats. North Head Sanctuary is located on the highest part of the peninsula and encompasses shrub, open banksia heath, and sections of fern and wetland vegetation communities.

North Head Sanctuary is located on Sydney Harbour Federation Trust land and was historically used by the Australian Defence Force prior to and during World War II, and the School of Artillery up until 1998, before it was opened to the public in 2007.

In October 2020 a hazard reduction burn jumped containment lines and destroyed a substantial section of our project area. AWC ecologists have since been on the ground rescuing wildlife, creating shelters and assessing the impact to the headland. Learn more.

Threats To Wildlife © Joey Clarke/AWC

Threats to Wildlife

Wildlife in the Sydney region is under threat from loss of habitat, predation by feral cats and foxes, and changed fire regimes. Thanks to its isolation and historical uses, the habitats on North Head remain relatively intact, so the headland represents the ideal opportunity to preserve and restore a functioning ecosystem in the region. AWC has been working to improve the habitat on North Head, and has already reintroduced several species that were locally extinct, with more to come.

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