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What is the Sydney Harbour High Line?

In 1994 disused raised train lines in Paris were transformed into the Paris High Line, 4.7 km of landscaped walking and passive recreational area for the locals and tourists in Paris. Coulée_verte_René-Dumont

In 2009 New York city followed the Paris lead and converted 2.33 km of elevated lines into the New York City High line.

In 2016 the residents of Lavender Bay are proposing a long-term plan to convert, at the end of its useful life, the train line between Lavender Bay and Waverton station into the Sydney Harbour High Line (SHHL).

In June 2016 North Sydney’s Federal and State members of Parliament offered their full support to the creation of the SHHL.

Click on the thumbnails below for a large map, a concept drawing for the Luna Park end and a flyover of the proposed High Line route.

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Rail tracks, tunnels, bridges and a viaduct – and more...

Access to the SHHL will be easy – walk across the Harbour Bridge or take a train or ferry to Milsons Point.  Then walk down to the Harbour edge past North Sydney Pool and Luna Park.

The line leaves Luna Park following the existing tracks along the edge of Lavender Bay. This line, although now only used for train shunting and storage, was originally a bustling line where the north shore trains would terminate and access was gained to the harbour ferry before the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

During the 1800’s and early 1900’s Lavender Bay was a busy marine facility with shipwrights, slip ways and ferry services from the southern side of the harbour.

Specific features in this section are the sculptures by local resident, artist Peter Kingston, that are located in the garden areas adjoining the ‘Peter Kingston’ walkway on the boardwalk between Luna Park and the old Lavender Bay Ferry Wharf. To the right is the renowned Wendy’s Secret Garden that extends from the walking trail up the escarpment to Clark Park. Beside Wendy’s Garden is the original station masters house, Berowra.

Before entering the rail tunnel on the left hand side is the last remaining evidence of the slipways used by the shipwrights in Lavender Bay. The slipway was part of the Neptune Engineering works, manufacturers of the first diesel engines in Australia.

Ahead is 310 metres of tunnel with the layers of soot as evidence of the many years of steam train usage on this line. Above the tunnel lies the suburb of McMahons Point with its long history of marine-associated activity and interesting characters such as Billy Blue.

On the western side of McMahons Point the dimly lit tunnel ends and the walking trail opens to the views across Berrys Bay and access to Sawmillers Reserve on the eastern shore. Sawmillers Reserve is a tranquil place where the bushland meets the foreshore of Sydney Harbour.

Berrys Bay like many of the waterfront Coves around Sydney Harbour was home to several shipwrights, with only one remaining today. Shipbuilding, repair and supply facilities were crucial to the developing Sydney during the 1800s and early 1900s and the growth of Sydney was linked strongly with these facilities and other similar operations along the harbour foreshores.

After crossing the Munro Street bridge heading along Dunbarton Street , thence to the John Street and Victoria Street bridges, the SHHL walking trail finishes at Waverton Station. From there walkers may continue to the historical Coal Loader and Balls Head.

The SHHL is a social history mosaic of Sydney bookended by the Lavender Bay rail siding and Waverton Station, with vistas and detours. It is located in one of the most stunning locations in Sydney and the world. It contributes to making Sydney one of the best places to live work and play. It is the perfect place to cycle, walk, run or just stroll.

The Sydney Harbour High Line - What a destination