Barrenjoey Headland Circuit

1 h to 1 h 30 min

2.1 km
circuit

↑ 108 m
↓ -108 m

Hard track
Starting from the car park near Station Beach, Palm Beach, this walk takes you on a circuit on Barrenjoey Headland, visiting the same-titled lighthouse and the grave of George Mulhall along the way. A fantastic walk for those wanting a scenic journey on Sydney's northern beaches, this track features views of the central coast, Palm Beach, Broken Bay, Hawkesbury River and the South Pacific Ocean along with historic remnants of old lighthouses. Migrating whales can be observed northward from May till July and southward from August till October. There are newly constructed toilets and drinking fountains as well. Keep in mind that Council parking fees apply at the car park. Also, there are no bins so please take your rubbish with you. As this walk is in a national park; pets, drones and amplified music is not allowed. 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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Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
track leading away from beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
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 (-33.5855032,151.3254795)
Mode Bus Car (Parking fees apply in the area.)
DirectionsFrom Beach Road
  • Turn on to then drive for 840 m
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
This walk starts from the car park at Station Beach (on the Pittwater side of the Palm Beach promontory, past the Palm Beach Golf Course and the boathouse wharf) At the northernmost end of the car park, this walk passes the 'Barrenjoey Head Aquatic Reserve' sign, heading north along Station Beach (keeping Pittwater to the left). The walk passes two distinct tracks on the right before coming to an intersection with a less-defined track, also on the right (and a 'This way to Lighthouse' sign), just before a small house. After turning right here, you’ll come to a four-way intersection in about a hundred metres. Stay on the same track to continue along Barrenjoey Headland Circuit (clockwise).....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
There is a toilet (about 145 m back from the start).
There is a car park (about 8 m back from the start).
After another 165 m continue straight.
After another 160 m continue straight.
After another 155 m (at the intersection of Smugglers Track & Barrenjoey Lighthouse Track) continue straight, to head along Barrenjoey Lighthouse Track.
Then pass the sign (on your right).
After another 570 m come to the viewpoint.
After another 150 m head through/around the gate.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. Side trip along the eastern track on Barrenjoey Headland 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 35 m (at the intersection of Smugglers Track & Barrenjoey Lighthouse Track) turn sharp right, to head along Smugglers Track.
After another 50 m pass the toilet (15 m on your left).
After another 6 m find the "Barrenjoey Lighthouse" (25 m on your left).
Barrenjoey Lighthouse
Barrenjoey Lighthouse

The Barrenjoey Lighthouse was the third light constructed on this headland, completed in 1881. Designed by James Barnet, the NSW Colonial Architect, and built for a cost of $13,695 plus $2,210 for the lamp, the light is at an elevation of 113m and can be seen to a distance of 19 nautical miles (35 km) out to sea. There are tours from 11am to 3pm for $5 on Sundays featuring volunteer guides, excluding major public holidays and bad weather conditions.
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The Barrenjoey Lighthouse was the third light constructed on this headland, completed in 1881. Designed by James Barnet, the NSW Colonial Architect, and built for a cost of $13,695 plus $2,210 for the lamp, the light is at an elevation of 113m and can be seen to a distance of 19 nautical miles (35 km) out to sea. There are tours from 11am to 3pm for $5 on Sundays featuring volunteer guides, excluding major public holidays and bad weather conditions.

After another 8 m pass the water tap (20 m on your left).
Then head down the steps (about 155 m long)
After another 75 m head down the steps (about 30 m long)
After another 45 m head down the steps (about 65 m long)
At the intersection of Barrenjoey Lighthouse Track & Smugglers Track turn left (a walking track).
After another 155 m continue straight.
After another 160 m continue straight.
After another 155 m come to the end.

Side trip along the eastern track on Barrenjoey Headland
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Barrenjoey Lighthouse Track & Smugglers Track Start (a walking track).
Find the Barrenjoey Lighthouse at the start.
Barrenjoey Lighthouse
Barrenjoey Lighthouse

The Barrenjoey Lighthouse was the third light constructed on this headland, completed in 1881. Designed by James Barnet, the NSW Colonial Architect, and built for a cost of $13,695 plus $2,210 for the lamp, the light is at an elevation of 113m and can be seen to a distance of 19 nautical miles (35 km) out to sea. There are tours from 11am to 3pm for $5 on Sundays featuring volunteer guides, excluding major public holidays and bad weather conditions.
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The Barrenjoey Lighthouse was the third light constructed on this headland, completed in 1881. Designed by James Barnet, the NSW Colonial Architect, and built for a cost of $13,695 plus $2,210 for the lamp, the light is at an elevation of 113m and can be seen to a distance of 19 nautical miles (35 km) out to sea. There are tours from 11am to 3pm for $5 on Sundays featuring volunteer guides, excluding major public holidays and bad weather conditions.

Find the Gledhill Lookout at the start.
Find the Grave Of George Mulhall at the start.
Grave Of George Mulhall
Grave Of George Mulhall

George Mulhall was the first principal lighthouse keeper of Barrenjoey headland, working in the permanent lighthouse from 1881 until he died from a stroke after being ill for 3 days. Although, Jervis Sparks states that he was "was struck down by a tremendous bolt of lightning" causing his death in June 1885. His son, George Mulhall Jr, was actually struck by lightning which burned his arm. .
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George Mulhall was the first principal lighthouse keeper of Barrenjoey headland, working in the permanent lighthouse from 1881 until he died from a stroke after being ill for 3 days. Although, Jervis Sparks states that he was "was struck down by a tremendous bolt of lightning" causing his death in June 1885. His son, George Mulhall Jr, was actually struck by lightning which burned his arm. .

After another 7 m find the "Site of the First Barrenjoey Lighthouses" (6 m on your right).
Site of the First Barrenjoey Lighthouses
Site of the First Barrenjoey Lighthouses

In 1868, two wooden lighthouses, known as the Stewart Towers, were built at either end of the headland to guide ships in to port. These were later replaced by the current tower in 1881. Stewart Towers were tended by George Mulhall Snr and Jnr, the first principle keepers of the current lighthouse.
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In 1868, two wooden lighthouses, known as the Stewart Towers, were built at either end of the headland to guide ships in to port. These were later replaced by the current tower in 1881. Stewart Towers were tended by George Mulhall Snr and Jnr, the first principle keepers of the current lighthouse.

After another 205 m come to a viewpoint.
The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 260 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Barrenjoey Headland Circuit


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 2.1 km
Time 1 h to 1 h 30 min
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There are 2 on route, on average they are 760 m apart with the largest gap of 1.3 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
-144 m[toilet]
Toilet
1.3 km[toilet]
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