Spring Cove - Quarantine Station

Collins Beach, Store Beach and Quarantine Beach

Three magnificent beaches lie on the protected western shore of North Head. This is now called Spring Cove and was known to the original inhabitants as Kayoo-may. The cove has the last significant beds of sea grass in Sydney Harbour and a small colony of Little Penguins nest on its shores.

This area was of particular significance to the Camaraigal Aborigines who used it for ceremonies, burials and gathered medicinal plants here.


Collins Beach

Collins Beach lies at the far northern end of the cove. A spring up in the hills behind feeds a creek that tumbles over a small waterfall onto the sand, hence the name "Spring Cove".

Access is from a walkway on the western side or you can walk in along a track through the bush on the eastern side. Many of course come by boat and on sunny weekends it can get very crowded.

Store Beach lies between Collins Beach to the north and Quarantine Beach to the south. It is really only accessible by boat though if you are prepared to put up with a challenging "rock hop" you can walk around from Collins.

On sunny weekends boats crowd out this anchorage and many stay over night. During the week it is much less crowded.

Store Beach

Restored buildings at the Quarantine Station


The Quarantine Station was established in the 1820's and was in operation for about 140 years. It has seen times of smallpox, bubonic plague and many other infectious diseases. There are decontamination areas a morgue a hospital and many buildings to accommodate passengers arriving from many different parts of the world. The last ship to be quarantined was the Nikki Maru in 1972. In 1974 it was used for emergency housing when Cyclone Tracey hit Darwin.

In 1979 it became part of Sydney Harbour National Park and in 1984 the Parks department moved into the buildings making it their headquarters. They run regular tours of the site.

The Quarantine Station and Cannae Point where a yellow flag was once raised to call ships in for quarantine.

back track
to North Head

walk on
to Cabbage Tree Bay


more on....

Friends of the Quarantine Station


Little Manly

The North Head Sanctuary Foundation

Harbour Trust

Little Penguins - NPWS

DIVE - Manly Gas Works



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