The Gap Bluff and Green Point Circuit

45 min to 1 h

2.3 km
circuit

↑ 74 m
↓ -74 m

Hard track
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. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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Watsons Bay Wharf. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Near Watsons Bay Wharf. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Robertson Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
The Gap Steps. | Photo by admin, 2010.
The Gap viewing area. | Photo by admin, 2010.
The Gap. | Photo by admin, 2010.
The Gap. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Welcome to Sydney Harbour National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Path beside The Gap. | Photo by admin, 2010.
The Gap. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Steps leading up to The Gap Bluff. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Steps below The Gap Bluff. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Banksia. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Looking south across The Gap. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Steps just below the Bluff. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Looking across The Gap. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Looking to North Head from the Gap Bluff. | Photo by admin, 2010.
City view from the Gap Bluff. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Track near the Gap Bluff. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Gun Emplacement Lookout. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Path east of The Armoury. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Path leading beside The Armoury. | Photo by admin, 2010.
The Armoury. | Photo by admin, 2010.
View from in front of The Armoury. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Following the old road north of The Armoury. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Near the HMAS Watson entrance. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Intersection at the HMAS Watson entrance. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Cliff St. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Entrance at nothern end of Camp Cove Beach. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Camp Cove Beach. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Historic Gun near Camp Cove. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Looking south along Camp Cove. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Kiosk at Camp Cove. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Steps at the southern end of Camp Cove. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Camp Cove. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Green Point Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Green (Laings) Point. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Monument at Greens (Laings) Point. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Infromation sign at Greens (Laings) Point. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Foundations for winch building at Laings Point. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Anti-motor torpedo boat defensive battery entrance. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Rock pool on Green (Laings) Point. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Green Point. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Steps on the southern side of Green (Laings) Point. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Int of Victoria and Pacific Sts. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Footpath beside Cove St. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Path beside Watsons Bay Beach. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Boats at Watsons Bay. | Photo by admin, 2010.
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 At the intersection of Marine Parade & Military Road (-33.8433589,151.2818667)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.) Ferry
DirectionsFrom Cahill Expressway, M1, Sydney.
  • Turn on to William Street Exit then drive for 195 m
  • Continue onto Palmer Street and drive for another 215 m
  • Turn left onto William Street and drive for another 6.5 km
  • Turn right onto Towns Road and drive for another 570 m
  • Turn left onto Old South Head Road and drive for another 1 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Old South Head Road and drive for another 1.7 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Robertson Place and drive for another 130 m
  • Turn slight left onto Military Road and drive for another 285 m
  • Turn left onto Military Road and drive for another 110 m
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From Watsons Bay Wharf, this walk heads diagonally across the turning circle at the end of Military Rd and into 'Robertson Park'. The walk follows the path diagonally across the open park and tends a little left (straight ahead) at the four-way intersection beside the rotunda. Here the walk goes up the ramp and crosses Military Rd using the crossing, coming to the base of the steps (that lead to The Gap).
Continue straight: From the bottom of the Gap steps, this walk heads up the steps (or ramp). About halfway up the steps, there is an emergency phone for contacting the police or Lifeline, then at the top there is a fenced section of footpath (lookout) and ocean views from The Gap.....
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Marine Parade & Military Road Start (a footpath).
After 35 m pass a seat (on your left).
Then pass the water tap (10 m on your right).
After another 200 m pass the playground (20 m on your left).
Continue straight.
After another 20 m continue straight.
Then pass the toilet (25 m on your left).
After another 40 m turn right.
After another 15 m continue straight.
After another 9 m continue straight.
After another 15 m pass the "Nautica" (10 m on your right).
After another 10 m turn right.
After another 8 m pass the water tap (8 m on your left).
Then head up the steps (about 8 m long)
After another 8 m come to the viewpoint (8 m on your right).
Turn left.
After another 20 m find the "The Gap" (6 m on your right).
The Gap
The Gap

The Gap is one of Sydney's most famous ocean cliff lookouts. The view from the track beside the stretch of cliff is simply stunning. The tall cliffs are enhanced by the rock platform and the pounding ocean far below. Sadly, this site is not only known for the natural wonder, but also for the many deaths that occur here each year. Security cameras and an emergency phone have been installed, to help assist people considering suicide. On the unlikely event that you see someone in distress, please call the police on 000 and lifeline on 131 114, or use the nearby emergency phone.
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The Gap is one of Sydney's most famous ocean cliff lookouts. The view from the track beside the stretch of cliff is simply stunning. The tall cliffs are enhanced by the rock platform and the pounding ocean far below. Sadly, this site is not only known for the natural wonder, but also for the many deaths that occur here each year. Security cameras and an emergency phone have been installed, to help assist people considering suicide. On the unlikely event that you see someone in distress, please call the police on 000 and lifeline on 131 114, or use the nearby emergency phone.

After another 65 m continue straight.
After another 8 m come to the viewpoint (5 m on your right).
After another 25 m find the "The Gap Bluff Centre (Officers Mess)" (about 60 m ahead).
The Gap Bluff Centre (Officers Mess)
The Gap Bluff Centre (Officers Mess)

The Gap Bluff Centre, once know as the Officers' Mess, is a large white building just north-east of The Gap on South Head. This building was once part of the South Head School of Artillery. Now part of Sydney Harbour National Park, this building is hired out for functions and conferences. Built in 1936, the curved building has since been extended. The building is surrounded by a car parking area and an exotic garden.
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The Gap Bluff Centre, once know as the Officers' Mess, is a large white building just north-east of The Gap on South Head. This building was once part of the South Head School of Artillery. Now part of Sydney Harbour National Park, this building is hired out for functions and conferences. Built in 1936, the curved building has since been extended. The building is surrounded by a car parking area and an exotic garden.

Turn right.
After another 75 m continue straight.
After another 9 m come to the viewpoint (10 m on your right).
Then head up the steps (about 10 m long)
After another 30 m find the "The Gap Bluff Lookout" (on your left).
The Gap Bluff Lookout
The Gap Bluff Lookout

The Gap Bluff Lookout sits high on the rocky hill overlooking the South Pacific Ocean. On the left is a view to North Head and to your right, looking south down the coast, there are great views over The Gap. There are also distant views over the harbour to the city. This site is significant to the traditional owners, the Birrabirragal people, who once occupied the area - although not at this site, there are some rock engraving still remaining. This is a great place to visit and well worth climbing the steps for the view.
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The Gap Bluff Lookout sits high on the rocky hill overlooking the South Pacific Ocean. On the left is a view to North Head and to your right, looking south down the coast, there are great views over The Gap. There are also distant views over the harbour to the city. This site is significant to the traditional owners, the Birrabirragal people, who once occupied the area - although not at this site, there are some rock engraving still remaining. This is a great place to visit and well worth climbing the steps for the view.

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Gun Emplacement Lookout. To start this optional side trip veer right here. On returning from this side trip error >360 when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 90 m continue straight.
After another 225 m find the "The Armoury" (10 m on your left).
The Armoury
The Armoury

The Armoury was a store building built in 1938, to keep defence supplier secure. Since then, it has undergone several changes and is now a popular function centre. The building is at the back of a large grassy clearing that hosts some great harbour views, popular for wedding parties. There is also a public toilet block and several other historic buildings in the area, including the larger Officer's Mess to the south-east.
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The Armoury was a store building built in 1938, to keep defence supplier secure. Since then, it has undergone several changes and is now a popular function centre. The building is at the back of a large grassy clearing that hosts some great harbour views, popular for wedding parties. There is also a public toilet block and several other historic buildings in the area, including the larger Officer's Mess to the south-east.

After another 2 m turn right, to head along Gap Bluff Road.
After another 60 m pass the toilet (20 m on your right).
Continue straight, to head along Gap Bluff Road.
After another 40 m come to the viewpoint (30 m on your left).
After another 180 m veer left.
After another 15 m continue straight.
After another 65 m turn right, to head along Cliff Street.
After another 55 m (at the intersection of Cliff Street & Victoria Street) continue straight (a service road).
After another 45 m veer left.
After another 15 m pass the "Camp Cove Kiosk" (on your right).

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Then pass the toilet (30 m on your right).
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Cannon. To start this optional side trip continue straight here. On returning from this side trip veer left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
Turn left.
After another 15 m pass the water tap (25 m on your right).
After another 7 m find the "Camp Cove" (20 m on your right).
Camp Cove
Camp Cove

Camp Cove is home to a lovely, yellow sand, north-east facing beach. The cove is on the protected side of South Head and is a popular spot for swimming and relaxing on the beach. At the northern end of the beach is a kiosk, toilet block and an entrance to Sydney Harbour National Park. The cove was an important location to the Cadigal (Gadigal) people who gathered fresh water, shellfish, launched their canoes and buried some of their people nearby. This cove is also believed to be the first landing place for Europeans in 1788. The name Camp Cove was given during that landing and appears on the earliest maps of Sydney Harbour.
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Camp Cove is home to a lovely, yellow sand, north-east facing beach. The cove is on the protected side of South Head and is a popular spot for swimming and relaxing on the beach. At the northern end of the beach is a kiosk, toilet block and an entrance to Sydney Harbour National Park. The cove was an important location to the Cadigal (Gadigal) people who gathered fresh water, shellfish, launched their canoes and buried some of their people nearby. This cove is also believed to be the first landing place for Europeans in 1788. The name Camp Cove was given during that landing and appears on the earliest maps of Sydney Harbour.

After another 200 m veer right.
After another 15 m head up the 14 wooden steps (about 10 m long)
After another 15 m continue straight.
After another 8 m veer right.
After another 10 m continue straight.
After another 10 m find the "Green Point Park" (15 m on your left).
Green Point Park
Green Point Park

Also know as Laings Point, Green Point is a headland on the inside of South Head. The park (at the end of Pacific St) is inside the National Park and is on sloped ground. There is a toilet, great water views, an open grassy area, bench seats and a monument. The monument reminds visitors that Cove Beach (just below) was the first landing place for Governor Philip in 1788. The park is a pleasant place to rest and is sometimes hired for weddings. A cottage at the top can also be hired from NPWS to make a weekend of your adventures.
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Also know as Laings Point, Green Point is a headland on the inside of South Head. The park (at the end of Pacific St) is inside the National Park and is on sloped ground. There is a toilet, great water views, an open grassy area, bench seats and a monument. The monument reminds visitors that Cove Beach (just below) was the first landing place for Governor Philip in 1788. The park is a pleasant place to rest and is sometimes hired for weddings. A cottage at the top can also be hired from NPWS to make a weekend of your adventures.

After another 8 m pass the toilet (15 m on your left).
Continue straight.
After another 80 m find the "Green (Laings) Point" (5 m on your right).
Green (Laings) Point
Green (Laings) Point

Green (Laings) Point is an open grassland reserve with extensive harbour views. Then western tip of the point is still home to many relics, reminding visitors that this area played a significant role in the 1480m anti-submarine net that spanned the harbour entrance, built in 1942. The other end of the net attached to Georges Head. Midway through construction, in May 1942, was when the three Japanese midget submarines entered and attacked vessels in the harbour . From this headland, there are still some preserved parts of the net's construction, including the winch house foundations, the anti-motor torpedo boat defensive battery entrance and another battery. There is also a information sign with more details about the history of the area.
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Green (Laings) Point is an open grassland reserve with extensive harbour views. Then western tip of the point is still home to many relics, reminding visitors that this area played a significant role in the 1480m anti-submarine net that spanned the harbour entrance, built in 1942. The other end of the net attached to Georges Head. Midway through construction, in May 1942, was when the three Japanese midget submarines entered and attacked vessels in the harbour . From this headland, there are still some preserved parts of the net's construction, including the winch house foundations, the anti-motor torpedo boat defensive battery entrance and another battery. There is also a information sign with more details about the history of the area.

After another 120 m turn right, to head along Pacific Street.
After another 60 m pass the "Marine Research Station Park" (on your left).
After another 65 m pass the "Victoria Wharf Reserve" (5 m on your right).
At the intersection of Pacific Street & Victoria Street continue straight, to head along Pacific Street.
After another 50 m (at the intersection of Pacific Street & Camp Street) veer left, to head along Pacific Street.
After another 150 m (at the intersection of Cove Street & Pacific Street) turn right, to head along Cove Street.
After another 55 m (at the intersection of Short Street & Cove Street) veer right (a footpath).
After another 180 m pass the "Doyles on the Beach" (on your left).
After another 60 m come to "Watsons Bay".
Watsons Bay
Watsons Bay

Watsons Bay is a popular spot to enjoy the harbour, Robertson Park and some fish and chips. Doyles offers a formal dining restaurant and the more relaxed fish and chip shop on the ferry wharf. Robertson Park is a large open grassy park with some natural shade, a rotunda, toilets, children's play equipment, garbage bins and picnic tables.
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Watsons Bay is a popular spot to enjoy the harbour, Robertson Park and some fish and chips. Doyles offers a formal dining restaurant and the more relaxed fish and chip shop on the ferry wharf. Robertson Park is a large open grassy park with some natural shade, a rotunda, toilets, children's play equipment, garbage bins and picnic tables.

Continue another 0 m to find at the intersection of Marine Parade & Military Road at the end.

An optional side trip to Gun Emplacement Lookout.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 30 m veer right.
After another 30 m come to "Gun Emplacement Lookout".
Gun Emplacement Lookout
Gun Emplacement Lookout

Once home to several gun emplacements, this is now a peaceful, fenced lookout. There are information signs explaining some history, and also some remaining sections of the fortifications to explore.
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Once home to several gun emplacements, this is now a peaceful, fenced lookout. There are information signs explaining some history, and also some remaining sections of the fortifications to explore.

The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 55 m to the main route.

An optional side trip to Cannon.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 35 m head up the steps (about 5 m long)
At the intersection of South Head Lighthouse Walk & South Head Heritage Trail continue straight, to head along South Head Heritage Trail (a footpath).
After another 6 m pass the toilet (5 m on your right).
After another 35 m pass the shelter (45 m on your left).
After another 10 m continue straight, to head along South Head Heritage Trail.
After another 55 m come to the end.
"Cannon".
Cannon
Cannon

This cannon was placed here prior to 1890, along with the rest of this gun emplacement and rifle walls. The emplacement was designed to protect a military jetty and boat shed from the threat of an invasion. The 'Cobblestone Road' beside the cannon was built during the late 1870s or early 1880s and extends from the jetty in Camp Cove up to Hornby Road above. The road was build to carry supplies and ordnance from Camp Cove to the various military installations on south head.
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This cannon was placed here prior to 1890, along with the rest of this gun emplacement and rifle walls. The emplacement was designed to protect a military jetty and boat shed from the threat of an invasion. The 'Cobblestone Road' beside the cannon was built during the late 1870s or early 1880s and extends from the jetty in Camp Cove up to Hornby Road above. The road was build to carry supplies and ordnance from Camp Cove to the various military installations on south head.

About 20 m past the end is "Camp Cove Beach Lookout".
About 30 m past the end is a seat.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 145 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

The Gap Bluff and Green Point Circuit


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 2.3 km
Time 45 min to 1 h
Quality of track Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
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)

Some facilities on route
Shelter: There is one 1.3 km (plus an extra 80 m along side route) from the start.

Toilet: There are 4 on route, on average they are 470 m apart with the largest gap of 790 m.

Seat: There are 2 on route, on average they are 940 m apart with the largest gap of 1.5 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Seat
35 m[seat]
Toilet
160 m[toilet]
Toilet
870 m[toilet]
Shelter
1.3 km + 80 m[shelter]
Seat
1.3 km + 230 m[seat]
Toilet
1.3 km[toilet]
Toilet
1.6 km[toilet]
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