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Bushwalking track notes, photographs, maps and more for Gap Bluff Lookout are found in each of the tabs below
Gap Bluff Lookout
Time: 30 mins Walking time
Includes the time for the return leg
Please allow extra time to rest and to explore
0.8 km N of Watsons Bay
Length: 0.9 km Walk Length
As this is a return style walk, the 0.9 km includes the return leg of this walk (ie back to the start)
Sydney Harbour National Park
Climb: 43 m Total Climbing
This walk has a total cumulative climb of 43 m, this is the total of the elevation gains made in each of the walks uphill sections
There is car access and parking near the start and end of this walk There is a bus stop within 2km of the start and end of this walk There is a ferry stop near the start and end of this walk
Style: Return
Track: Hard

This walk explores the coastal cliffs near The Gap on Sydney's South Head. The main focal point for this walk is the view from the rocky bluff. The cliff makes for very spectacular scenery and the views extend from North Head along the coast, and even peer across the harbour to the city. This walk starts from Watsons Bay and follows a well used footpath all the way. There is much history in the area and the couple of side trips described in this walk open up some more places to explore. (open in app)


There are closures in Sydney Harbour National Park
Today's Fire rating
LOW MODERATE (No fire ban)
  Bushwalking track notes photographs, maps and camping spots for Gap Bluff Lookout

Map of Walk

Location

                Sponsor of Gap Bluff Lookout bushwalking tracknotes
Map of Gap Bluff Lookout
Problem loading PDF Try here
Map Controls - Show Contours | Hide Path | Hide Distances | Hide Names
Map Scale 500 meters
Watsons Bay Wharf
The bottom of the Gap steps
The Gap
The Gap Bluff Centre Int
The Gap Bluff Centre Int
The Gap Bluff Lookout
Old carpark Int
Starting point for this hiking track: Watsons Bay Wharf

Base maps are used under licence and is © Department of lands   Panorama Avenue Bathurst 2795   www.lands.nsw.gov.au

Maps that cover the walk area (please always carry maps of the area)

Print a map and track notes here
 Sydney Heads 1:25 000 Map Series NSW-91302N 
 Sydney 1:100 000 Map Series 9130 

Photo Gallery

 
Watsons Bay Wharf
 
Watsons Bay Wharf +
 
Watsons Bay Wharf shop
 
Watsons Bay Wharf shop +
 
Roberson Park
 
Roberson Park +

 
The Gap Steps
 
The Gap Steps +
 
Bus stop at base of Gap Steps
 
Bus stop at base of Gap Steps +
 
The Gap viewing area
 
The Gap viewing area +

 
The Gap
 
The Gap +
 
Sea Cliff at The Gap
 
Sea Cliff at The Gap +
 
Foot path beside the Gap
 
Foot path beside the Gap +

 
Track intersection
 
Track intersection +
 
The Gap Bluff centre
 
The Gap Bluff centre +
 
Path beside The Gap
 
Path beside The Gap +

 
Steps leading up the The Gap Bluff
 
Steps leading up the The Gap Bluff +
 
Wildflower in Bloom
 
Wildflower in Bloom +
 
Looking up to The Gap Bluff
 
Looking up to The Gap Bluff +

 
Banksia
 
Banksia +
 
Just below the Gap Bluff
 
Just below the Gap Bluff +
 
Looking across the Gap
 
Looking across the Gap +

 
Steps just below the Bluff
 
Steps just below the Bluff +
 
City view from the Gap Bluff
 
City view from the Gap Bluff +
 
Looking to North Head from the Gap Bluff
 
Looking to North Head from the Gap Bluff +

Terrain


Please note: This is a 'return' style walk and therefore these graphs only show the terrain for the first half of the walk (until the turn around point.)

Cross sectional view of the Gap Bluff Lookout bushwalking track

Cross Section of the Gap Bluff Lookout bushwalking track



Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Gap Bluff Lookout bushwalking track

Summary of the gradients over the the lenght of the Gap Bluff Lookout bushwalking track

Overview of this walks Grading - Based on the AS 2156.1 - 2001
These details are new. This new feature still requires more testing and refining. Please use the 'Walker Feedback' for report specific issues. Please e-mail Matt if you have any general comments. Hope you find it helpful.

Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
Length 890m
Time 30 mins
.


Grade 4/6

Track: Hard
AS 2156.1 Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)
Signs Clearly signposted (1/6)
Experience Required No experience required (1/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
Infrastructure Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (1/6)
*This summary of grading information is new and still in testing

Some more detail of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining the grading looking at sections of the walk.
Gradient
250m of this walk is flat with no steps and another 100m has gentle hills with occasional steps. The remaining (90m) is very steep.

Quality of track
Around 350m of this walk follows a smooth and hardened path, whilst the remaining 90m follows a clear and well formed track or trail.

Signs
This whole walk, 440m is clearly signposted.

Experience Required
This whole walk, 440m requires no previous bushwalking experience.

Weather
This whole walk, 440m is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).

Infrastructure
This whole walk, 440m is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).

Track Notes


Since this is a 'return' style walk once you have had enough of the walk, turn around and retrace your steps back to the start.
Catch the ferry to Watsons Bay
Public transport (ferry) available to this Bushwalk You can phone 131500 (the transport info line) for upto date running time info
Use these links to plan your Ferry (and train) trip to the end of this walk.

Plan your trip from --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|
Catch the bus to Watsons Bay Wharf
Public transport (bus) available to this Bushwalk You can phone 131500 (the transport info line) for up to date running times.
Use these links to plan your Bus (and train) trip to the end of this walk.
(Links currently not working sorry)
Plan your trip from --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|
Drive to Watsons Bay Wharf
You can drive or ride to this start of this Bushwalk There is free parking available.
You can drive or ride to the start of this walk
Use these links to plan your trip to the start of this walk.
Plan your trip from --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|

Watsons Bay Alt = 2 m
Watsons Bay is a popular spot to enjoy the harbour, Robertson Park and some fish and chips. Doyles offers a formal dining restaurant[1] and the more relaxed fish and chip shop[2] on the ferry wharf[3]. Robertson Park is a large open grassy park with some natural shade[4], a rotunda[5], toilets[6][7], children's play equipment[8], garbage bins[9] and picnic tables[10]. More info

(0 km) Watsons Bay Wharf to The bottom of the Gap steps
Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - footpath
Length = 233 m Time = 5 mins
Climb = 17 m Descent = 0 m
From Watsons Bay Wharf[11], this walk heads diagonally across the turning circle at the end of Military Rd[12] and into 'Robertson Park'[13]. 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[14]. Here the walk goes up the ramp[15] and crosses Military Rd using the crossing[16], coming to the base of the steps (that lead to The Gap)[17].

(0.23 km) The bottom of the Gap steps to The Gap
Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - footpath
Length = 18 m Time =
Climb = 0 m Descent = -2 m
Continue straight: From the bottom of the Gap steps[18], this walk heads up the steps (or ramp[19]). About halfway up the steps, there is an emergency phone for contacting the police or Lifeline[20], then at the top there is a fenced section of footpath (lookout) and ocean views from The Gap[21].

The Gap Alt = 20 m
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[22]. The tall cliffs are enhanced by the rock platform and the pounding ocean far below[23]. Sadly, this site is not only known for the natural wonder, but also for the many deaths that occur here each year[24][25]. Security cameras[26] and an emergency phone[27] 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. More info

(0.25 km) The Gap to The Gap Bluff Centre Int
Walk: Easy - footpath
Length = 100 m Time = 3 mins
Climb = 13 m Descent = 0 m
Turn left: From The Gap[28], this walk heads up the hill along the path, keeping the fence and water views to your right. The path leads past the 'Sydney Harbour National Park - Gap Bluff' sign[29] and more great views of The Gap. The path comes to a three-way intersection in a small clearing, marked with a few signs including 'The Gap timeline'[30].

(0.35 km) The Gap Bluff Centre Int to The Gap Bluff Centre (Officers Mess)
Optional sidetrip: Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - footpath
Length = 93 m Time = 2 mins
Climb = 3 m Descent = -8 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads towards the large white building along the narrow, flat path[31], away from the ocean views. The path soon leads to a car park[32], where the walk turns left[33], around to the front of The Gap Bluff Centre (Officers' Mess) building[34].
(Retrace your steps back to the main track, then turn left to continue along this walk.)

The Gap Bluff Centre (Officers Mess) Alt = 30 m
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[35], the curved building has since been extended. The building is surrounded by a car parking area and an exotic garden.

(0.35 km) The Gap Bluff Centre Int to The Gap Bluff Lookout
Track: Hard - footpath
Length = 92 m Time = 2 mins
Climb = 10 m Descent = -1 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk heads up the path then steps[36], following the fence and keeping the water views to your right. The path leads past several information signs on local plant life[37][38][39][40] and some lovely wildflowers[41]. The walk continues up the many steps[42] to a rocky clearing[43] near the top. Here the walk tends left and takes the steps through the cleft in the rock to find another rocky clearing and lookout with great panoramic views at the top of Gap Bluff[44].

The Gap Bluff Lookout Alt = 40 m
The Gap Bluff Lookout sits high on the rocky hill overlooking the South Pacific Ocean. On the left is a view to North Head[45] and to your right, looking south down the coast, there are great views over The Gap[46]. There are also distant views over the harbour to the city[47]. 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[48]. This is a great place to visit and well worth climbing the steps for the view.

(0.44 km) The Gap Bluff Lookout to Gun Emplacement Lookout
Optional sidetrip: Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - footpath
Length = 152 m Time = 4 mins
Climb = 10 m Descent = -16 m
Turn left: From the Gap Bluff Lookout, this walk follows the footpath away from the gap[49] and into the heath[50], keeping the ocean to your right. This path soon leads to a three-way intersection (at an old car park undergoing regeneration[51][52]) marked with a 'Banksia integrifolia - coast banksia' information sign[53].
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk heads uphill along the sealed footpath, away from the face of the 'Banksia integrifolia - coast banksia' information sign[54]. Soon the path passes a lookout on your right[55] and comes to a old gun emplacement marked with a 'The gunnery range' sign[56] and a short track to a fenced lookout with another sign[57].

Gun Emplacement Lookout Alt = 37 m
Once home to several gun emplacements, this is now a peaceful, fenced lookout[58]. There are information signs[59][60] explaining some history, and also some remaining sections of the fortifications[61][62] to explore.

Catch the ferry from Watsons Bay
Public transport (ferry) available from this Bushwalk You can phone 131500 (the transport info line) for upto date running time info
Use these links to plan your Ferry (and train) trip from the end of this walk.

Plan your trip to --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|
Catch the bus from Watsons Bay Wharf
Public transport (bus) available from this Bushwalk You can phone 131500 (the transport info line) for up to date running times.
Use these links to plan your Bus (and train) trip from the end of this walk.
(Links currently not working sorry)
Plan your trip to --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|
Drive from Watsons Bay Wharf
You can drive or ride from this end of this Bushwalk There is free parking available.
You can drive or ride from the end of this walk
Use these links to plan your trip from the end of this walk.
Plan your trip to --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|

Getting there

Plan your trip to the start of the walk and back from the end of the walk

Public Transport links currently not working, sorry
Public Transport Timetables

To the start of the walk

From
Castle Hill
Chatswood
Dural
Epping
Gosford
Hornsby
Katoomba
Manly
Parramatta
Penrith
Strathfield
Sutherland
Sydney
From the end of the walk

To
Castle Hill
Chatswood
Dural
Epping
Gosford
Hornsby
Katoomba
Manly
Parramatta
Penrith
Strathfield
Sutherland
Sydney

Driving Directions
To the start of the walk

Drive from:
From the end of the walk

Drive to:


Near by



Nearest know Outdoor Stores near the start of this walk
Store Address Phone Distance (straight line)
Outdoor Equipment 60 Spring St , Bondi Junction (02) 9389 8122 6.3 km
Kellys Camping & Outdoors 826 Pittwater Rd , Dee Why (02) 9972 0061 9.7 km
Inski 46 York St , Sydney (02) 9233 3200 7.6 km
Mitchells Adventure 81 York St , Sydney (02) 9299 6321 7.6 km
Venus Repair Workshop Suite 36a 104 Bathurst St , Sydney (02) 9267 0706 7.7 km


A list of the nearest UHF CB repeaters I found to Gap Bluff Lookout.
Channel Call sign
(more info)
Site Distance and dir from Gap Bluff Lookout
Click to re-center search
5 SYD05 Sydney Adventist Hospital 185 Fox Valley Rd WAHROONGA
Emergency use only
21 km (to the NW)
1 SYD01 12/14 Ormonde Parade HURSTVILLE 22 km (to the SW)
6 VMB7 CB Repeater Site 16 Alan Rd BEROWRA HEIGHTS 29 km (to the NNW)
7 SYD07 7 Glamorgan St BLACKTOWN 35 km (to the W)
8 MDC08 Gencom Site Lot 6 Wakefield Close KARIONG 45 km (to the N)

Weather and Park info

Fire Danger
This walk passes Greater Sydney Region fire area which currently has a LOW MODERATE rating and No fire ban in place.
(Tomorrow the Fire Danger Rating is LOW MODERATE, No fire ban.) (Downloaded 2 years ago)
Please Note: Each park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.

Weather and Climate
Weather and Climate summary detailed weather and climate information here
°C (feels like °)
km/h from the
% humidity     (as at )
A graph displaying the average daily temperature range for the year

Sydney Harbour National Park Link to official closures and fire bans page
One of Sydney's most diverse parks, Sydney Harbour National Park is formed from 11 pockets of harbour islands and shoreline. Highlights include coastal walks and swimming, breath-taking viewpoints, tours of colonial buildings and Aboriginal cave art.
Region: Sydney & Surrounds
Park fees Camping Facilities
Current Park Closure information for Sydney Harbour National Park
Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM
Closed areas: Park closure sunset to sunrise for pest management
Pest management activities are taking place between sunset and sunrise at the following selected sites within Sydney Harbour National Park. Please abide by all park signage. Closed areas are:​
  • Middle Head
  • North Head
  • Quarantine Station
Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact Bobbin Head Information Centre (02) 9472 8949 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.

Closed areas: Shark Island upcoming closures
Shark Island in Sydney Harbour will be closed to public access due to essential wharf repairs on the following dates:
16 to 17 September 2015
24 to 27 September 2015.

Other incidents: Sydney Harbour National Park accommodation
Constables, Green Point and Steele Point Cottages are no longer available for accomodation bookings. New options are being considered for the conservation, management and use of these buildings.

Closed areas: Collins Flat Beach unavailable for venue hire
Collins Flat Beach is currently unavailable for venue hire due to the impact of high visitation on the critical habitat found at this location. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact NPWS Mosman office on (02) 9960 6266 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.


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