Sydney’s Northern Tip
Explore | beach | lighthouse | national park | Sydney Northern Beaches | New South Wales

Sydney’s Northern Tip

A small walk with very big views

by Susie Baber  |  19 March 2022

Barrenjoey Lighthouse | 3km return | moderate

The current lighthouse is the third light station to stand on this spot. Its predecessors were two wooden towers, with oil burning lamps, on either side of the headland. Designed by James Barnett and built in 1881 from sandstone quarried on site, this lighthouse was manned by a series of keepers until its automation in 1932.

Starting from the entrance to Governor Phillip Park walk north through the parking area. There are no toilets or water at the top of the headland so make use of the facilities near the end of the park if you need to. When you reach the end of the carpark head left towards the Pittwater side (not the ocean beach) and continue along the sand. This narrow stretch is Station Beach and just before you get to the end you will see a sign pointing to the right up the hill.

About 100m up the hill you can choose to follow the access trail for 800m or turn up Smugglers Track, 400m of steep stairs offering a steeper and shorter trek up to the lighthouse. We chose to go up the road and back down the steps. Smugglers track was named for the customs officers who built the track, he used it to monitor smugglers bringing contraband into Broken Bay around 1850. Coming back down this way offers fabulous views over Palm Beach and Pittwater. Looking west you can see West Head in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and to the east the Pacific Ocean stretches out to the horizon.

Head back along Station Beach and through the carpark back the way you came and then continue south along Palm Beach and Ocean Road until you get to the shops – you have earned yourself a treat!

Tours of the lighthouse are offered on Sunday afternoons when the weather permits. Find out more here

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