Fairfax Walk
Guringai Country

20 min to 30 min
30 min to 45 min

760 m
circuit

↑ 56 m
↓ -56 m

Smooth & flat
This walk provides some of the best views in Sydney. This pleasant stroll and wheelchair-accessible walk starts from the car park at the end of the North Head Scenic Drive, and follows the asphalt footpath as it loops around the tip of North Head. Enjoy views of the entrance to Sydney Harbour, the coastal cliff line and a historic gun emplacement. The stunning lookouts provide great views all year round and a popular vantage point for whale watchers. The whales pass by twice annually, heading north in June and July, and again when they return to the Antarctic in August and October. Let us begin by acknowledging the Guringai people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
view from top of south pacific lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
old gun emplacement bunker. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
looking out of bunker. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2017.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-33.8212526,151.2997178)
Mode Bus Car (Parking fees apply in the area.)
DirectionsFrom Sydney Road
  • Turn on to Whistler Street then drive for 520 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Darley Road and drive for another 1.9 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto North Head Scenic Drive and drive for another 1.4 km
  • Turn left and drive for another 120 m
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the North Head Scenic Drive car park, this walk follows the 'Fairfax walking track' sign across the pedestrian crossing and up the small ramp. The walk leads past the 'Welcome to North Head' information sign, then between the timber bollards to the intersection marked with the metal 'Fairfax walking track' sign.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Find the car park at the start.
After another 8 m turn left.
Then find the "Parking Accessible" (on your left).
Parking Accessible
Parking Accessible

There are about 50 car parking bays. Two are marked mobility parking bays nearest to the start of the walk. The mobility parking area is asphalt, 4m wide and 6m deep.
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There are about 50 car parking bays. Two are marked mobility parking bays nearest to the start of the walk. The mobility parking area is asphalt, 4m wide and 6m deep.

After another 6 m come to the "Pinch Point".
Pinch Point
Pinch Point

Timber bollard and gutter ramp pinch points at the start of the walk. The gap between the bollards are 1.2m, and the ramp is 1.27m wide.
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Timber bollard and gutter ramp pinch points at the start of the walk. The gap between the bollards are 1.2m, and the ramp is 1.27m wide.

After another 7 m find the "Seat" (on your right).
Seat
Seat

A timber slat bench seat, 44cm high, 44cm deep and 1.8m wide with no arm or backrest.
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A timber slat bench seat, 44cm high, 44cm deep and 1.8m wide with no arm or backrest.

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to South Pacific (Eastern) Lookout. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 120 m veer right.
After another 135 m find the "Old Gun Emplacement" (on your left).
Old Gun Emplacement
Old Gun Emplacement

This small concrete building was used as a gunning placement and bunker for those who would keep watch over Sydney Harbour during World War Two. It was built in the 1920s (prior to the war), one of several new fortifications built at the time, the first since federation. Access to the building is via an 82cm wide entry, up two (5cm and 15cm) steps and into a 2.4x2.1m room.
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This small concrete building was used as a gunning placement and bunker for those who would keep watch over Sydney Harbour during World War Two. It was built in the 1920s (prior to the war), one of several new fortifications built at the time, the first since federation. Access to the building is via an 82cm wide entry, up two (5cm and 15cm) steps and into a 2.4x2.1m room.

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to North Head (Southern) Lookout. To start this optional side trip continue straight here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 40 m turn right.
After another 140 m continue straight.
After another 65 m find the "Seat" (35 m on your left).
Seat
Seat

A timber slat bench seat, 47cm high, 30cm deep and 2m wide with a 39cm high backrest.
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A timber slat bench seat, 47cm high, 30cm deep and 2m wide with a 39cm high backrest.

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Fairfax Lookout. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip error >360 when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
Continue straight.
After another 110 m continue straight.
After another 140 m come to "Seat".
Seat
Seat

A timber slat bench seat, 47cm high, 45cm deep and 1.8m wide with no arm or backrest.
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A timber slat bench seat, 47cm high, 45cm deep and 1.8m wide with no arm or backrest.

Turn left.
After another 10 m come to the end.

An optional side trip to South Pacific (Eastern) Lookout.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 15 m come to "South Pacific (Eastern) Lookout".
South Pacific (Eastern) Lookout
South Pacific (Eastern) Lookout

From this lookout, you can enjoy great views north along the coastal cliff line and as far as the horizon across the South Pacific Ocean. With a fenced cliff edge and a nice seat, this is a great spot to sit and soak up the views. In 2017 part of this lookout was closed and fenced off due to cliff instability, you can still enjoy the view from behind the fence
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From this lookout, you can enjoy great views north along the coastal cliff line and as far as the horizon across the South Pacific Ocean. With a fenced cliff edge and a nice seat, this is a great spot to sit and soak up the views. In 2017 part of this lookout was closed and fenced off due to cliff instability, you can still enjoy the view from behind the fence

The end.
A viewpoint.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 15 m to the main route.

An optional side trip to North Head (Southern) Lookout.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After 10 m find the "South Pacific (Eastern) Lookout" (195 m on your left).
South Pacific (Eastern) Lookout
South Pacific (Eastern) Lookout

From this lookout, you can enjoy great views north along the coastal cliff line and as far as the horizon across the South Pacific Ocean. With a fenced cliff edge and a nice seat, this is a great spot to sit and soak up the views. In 2017 part of this lookout was closed and fenced off due to cliff instability, you can still enjoy the view from behind the fence
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From this lookout, you can enjoy great views north along the coastal cliff line and as far as the horizon across the South Pacific Ocean. With a fenced cliff edge and a nice seat, this is a great spot to sit and soak up the views. In 2017 part of this lookout was closed and fenced off due to cliff instability, you can still enjoy the view from behind the fence

Continue another 15 m to find Fairfax Lookout at the end.
"North Head (Southern) Lookout".
North Head (Southern) Lookout
North Head (Southern) Lookout

This lookout is on the southern edge of North Head and provides a great view that spans from Sydney city in the distance (to the south), around the South Pacific Ocean (to the east). You will notice a large white pole with a green light, which helps ships navigate and avoid the headland as they sail into Sydney Harbour. The lookout has a 1.18m high fence/railing around the edge. In 2017 part of this lookout was closed and fenced off due to cliff instability, you can still enjoy the view from behind the fence.
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This lookout is on the southern edge of North Head and provides a great view that spans from Sydney city in the distance (to the south), around the South Pacific Ocean (to the east). You will notice a large white pole with a green light, which helps ships navigate and avoid the headland as they sail into Sydney Harbour. The lookout has a 1.18m high fence/railing around the edge. In 2017 part of this lookout was closed and fenced off due to cliff instability, you can still enjoy the view from behind the fence.

"Fairfax Lookout".
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 25 m to the main route.

An optional side trip to Fairfax Lookout.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 20 m continue straight.
After another 10 m veer right.
After another 20 m find the "Seat" (6 m on your left).
Seat
Seat

A timber slat bench seat, 47cm high, 30cm deep and 2m wide with a 39cm high backrest.
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A timber slat bench seat, 47cm high, 30cm deep and 2m wide with a 39cm high backrest.

After another 10 m come to the end.
"Fairfax Lookout".
Fairfax Lookout
Fairfax Lookout

Fairfax Lookout is a great vantage point to enjoy the entrance to Sydney Harbour, the majestic cliff line and the city skyline in the distance. It is a great reminder of how much bushland there is in the great city. This is a good vantage point for whale watching when the Humpback and Southern Right whales migrate along the coast. The whales usually head north in June-July to a warmer climate for breeding and return to the food-rich Antarctic waters in August-October, where they remain for the summer. There is a seat at the upper and lower viewing areas. The lookout has a 1.2m high metal fence along the edge. A small section of the lower lookout was closed in 2017 due to cliff instability.
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Fairfax Lookout is a great vantage point to enjoy the entrance to Sydney Harbour, the majestic cliff line and the city skyline in the distance. It is a great reminder of how much bushland there is in the great city. This is a good vantage point for whale watching when the Humpback and Southern Right whales migrate along the coast. The whales usually head north in June-July to a warmer climate for breeding and return to the food-rich Antarctic waters in August-October, where they remain for the summer. There is a seat at the upper and lower viewing areas. The lookout has a 1.2m high metal fence along the edge. A small section of the lower lookout was closed in 2017 due to cliff instability.

"Seat".
Seat
Seat

A timber slat bench seat, 48cm high, 30cm deep and 2m wide with a 41cm high backrest.
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A timber slat bench seat, 48cm high, 30cm deep and 2m wide with a 41cm high backrest.

A viewpoint.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 60 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Fairfax Walk


Grading
Class 1/6
Smooth & flat
Length 760 m
Time 20 min to 30 min
Quality of track Smooth and hardened path (1/6)
Gradient Flat, no steps (1/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (1/6)
Infrastructure Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (1/6)
Experience Required No experience required (1/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Naturally Accessible
Slope summary:
Gentle slopes, no steps.

Surface summary:
2.4m wide asphalt footpath the whole way around.

Some facilities on route
Seat: There are 4 on route, on average they are 190 m apart with the largest gap of 540 m.


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