History Meets the Harbour on North Head


Sprawled across the hillside on the very edge of Sydney Harbour, the historic Quarantine Station is not only an impressive National Park site, but preserves an incredible history behind its transformation into Q Station.

Arriving at Q Station, it is the amazing harbour views which first take your breath away, but the many stories woven into the fabric of these buildings, is also a major draw. The best way to learn about this spiritual place is with a tour of the 30 hectares site with one of the knowledgeable guides.

As Australia’s longest continuously operating quarantine station from the 1830s to 1984, the station was for many, the beginning of a new life in Australia after making the arduous and lengthy journey from their homelands.

Ships suspected of carrying people infected with contagious disease such as Spanish Influenza, Smallpox or Bubonic Plague were quarantined, so these deadly diseases did not reach the general population in Sydney. Ultimately it was a success story for the growing Sydney population, however it left an indelible mark on those who were quarantined; personal tales of love and loss alongside themes of cultural and social change, medical history and process.

Q Station’s Visitor Centre is located on Quarantine Wharf, beside the sheltered Quarantine beach. A 15 minute downhill walk from the entrance on North Head Scenic Drive, or a footstep away if arriving by Manly Fast Ferry’s Ecohopper service. This is the starting point for both history and ghost tours of the site.

The 45 minute Quarantine Wander history tour costs $18 per adult and runs at 11am every day, with a 2 hour history tour running at 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

As the sun goes down and darkness descends over the buildings, the burial ground and empty pathways, the time comes to encounter the ghosts of Q Station. The many haunted buildings have stories to tell; tales of restless spirits who still linger today. Join a guide on a lantern lit tour as you meander through heritage buildings.

The Ghostly Encounters tour (for those aged 15 years and over) runs every night and costs $49 per adult for the 2.5 hour experience mid-week. The 2 hour family orientated Ghost tracker tour runs Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year and will run every night of the upcoming school holidays April 13th-28th at 6pm. A family ticket costs $125 for 2 children (aged 8-14 years) and 2 adults.

All tours should be pre-booked through Q Stations website www.qstation.com.au