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Gap Park

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Gap Road, Watsons Bay

Gap Park is located on a coastal escarpment on Sydney Harbour's South Head. It has spectacular views of both the harbour and the sea. There are a series of basic paths amidst windswept native coastal vegetation that traverse the cliff tops. The area is one of Sydney's most popular tourist destinations. It attracts international and national tour groups, independent visitors, and local residents who use the park for walking, harbour and ocean viewing, bird watching, whale watching and spectating major harbour events. Additionally the park supports a rich history containing early fortifications, shipwreck relicts, and disused gun placements from past wars.


Bus and ferry services at available to Watsons Bay


  • Historic fortifications
  • Panoramic views of Sydney Harbour and the ocean
  • Park benches
  • Coastal walk
  • Public toilets available in nearby Robertson Park
  • Two emergency telephones

Things to do


The gap is a zone of weakness in the cliff face and the erosion and collapse of the overhanging strata that will allow the ingress of the sea through there in time. Discover the history of Gap Park (PDF).


A general need for a site upgrade, and a desire to improve public safety led to Woollahra Municipal Council commissioning the Gap Park Masterplan in early 2007. The Masterplan project has been a collaborative partnership between Woollahra Council, the NSW Police, the Black Dog Institute and Lifeline, with funding from the Australian Government and Woollahra Council itself.

The Gap Park Masterplan addressed various self harm minimisation strategies that we have recently completed including:

  • A purpose built fence in the suicide hotspot locations, being the main Gap Park entry and Jacobs Ladder. The fence is curved, difficult to scale from the pedestrian side and easy to climb back over from the cliff side. This fence is the first of its kind.
  • Two telephone help points, one at Jacob's Ladder and the other at the main entry to the Park. They operate on a push button, handset free pedestal, and provide contact with either the Police (000) or Lifeline.
  • Installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) equipment, including 22 operational cameras at hotspot locations for full cliff coverage. CCTV acts as a deterrent and assists emergency services in responding to potential and actual self harm incidents in a faster and more effective way.
  • Installation of signage including way finding and support messaging which indicates the location of emergency telephones and messages of hope.
  • Landscape works including path works, lighting and seating to improve the usability and safety of the site at all times, providing better visibility at night and enhancing the CCTV coverage.

These measures work together as a comprehensive approach to self harm minimisation. The additional works as per this application will further enhance the scheme. The works to date have been acknowledged by suicide prevention experts as an example of best practice. As a part of the current works we have recently completed a Case Study on the Gap Park Self Harm Minimisation Masterplan produced in March 2012 by the University of Melbourne. The case study has been developed to provide a practical example of multi-stakeholder collaboration to implement such an intervention. It is hoped that this document may assist local authorities in other suicide hotspots to respond to similar situations.

This project has been possible due to funding opportunities from the Federal and State Government and Council Funding. A variety of stakeholders have been involved in the current works ranging from mental health experts, emergency services and the community. These stakeholders have shown a commitment from early on and we will continue to consult with them in future planning.

Gap Park Masterplan was adopted in 2008.


Dogs are prohibited at all times.

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