North Head, gateway to Sydney Harbour is home to many firsts in Australia. One of the first areas recorded by Captain in 1770, place of first contact between the indigenous people and Europeans, first (and most intact) Quarantine Station, first Catholic Seminary.
An island only 6,000 years ago, it boasts the last ancient sand dunes in Sydney Harbour. Home to hanging swamps on the top of the Hawkesbury Sandstone, provides the clear marine waters which foster the largest seagrass beds in Sydney Harbour; habitat for the 600 marine species which abound. The first paintings of marine life were done at North Head at about the time Darwin sailed through 'the heads'.
Sydney's largest area of the Endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub thrives on the Aeolian Pleistocene sand dunes providing habitat for over 90 species of birds, plus mammals, reptiles and endangered species.
North Head's Little Penguin and Longnosed Bandicoots were the first common species in the world to be listed as a threatened colony in Manly.
The North Head Sewage Treatment Plant is surrounded by National Park and the largest area of bushland in Sydney Harbour, a large area of Threatened Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub borders the plant and a Threatened Population of Long-nosed Bandicoots is found in the grounds.