Work has started at North Head on an ambitious plan to rebuild the lookouts and reconfigure the main car parks.
The original Fairfax lookouts have been closed for several years due to their position on the edge of unstable sandstone cliffs. The new ones will be set back from the edge and stylishly redesigned to increase viewing and seating area and will better fit the surrounding landscape.
To connect with Country, the name of Burragula has been suggested for the southern lookout. The word acknowledges the long-nosed bandicoot and its association with burragula (sunset), the time of the day when it is most often observed. The view from this lookout is the magnificent vista of Sydney Harbour and the distant CBD. Artists’ impressions below
Yiningma, meaning a cliff edge, has been suggested for the northern lookout. From here visitors can look back at the sheer cliff face, as well as out to the horizon over the ocean. This lookout also features blocky sandstone, stone pavers and smooth curves, knitting it into the surrounding landscape. Artist's impression below.
National Parks and Wildlife Service, which is responsible for the site, worked with local architects CHROFI and Aboriginal consultancy Bangawarra to generate the designs. The Fairfax track and the new lookouts will be fully accessible and disabled parking will be provided at the track entrance.
Work is also planned for the carparks near Bella Vista Cafe. They will be reduced in size to provide space for visitors to sit and enjoy the harbour view. More accessible parking spaces will be provided, as well as pedestrian crossings and a pedestrian path. Artist's impression below
Work on the carparks and track should be completed by early next year, with construction of the new lookouts to follow. At the moment the loop at the end of is closed, but adequate parking is still available. And Bella Vista cafe, which is outside the construction zone, is still beautiful and still open for business. More information here.
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor & Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.