Middle Head Fort

If you enjoy photographing old buildings, love old textures and enjoy wondering around tunnels, bunkers and ruins, then you will have a ball at Middle Head Fort.  Irrespective of the old fort, the location is just spectacular.  Perched directly across from North Head and South Head, Middle Head gives you gorgeous birds eye views up and down Sydney Harbour and out to sea.

Special Photographic Features or Notes

There are a number of different parts to Middle Head that are worth exploring.  I have highlighted the main areas in the map below.

The old gun emplacements at the North and South end of Middle head are worth exploring if you have time, but if you are strapped for time I recommend you focus your time on the main fort and the old Gun emplacements.

The Main Fort

There are a number of rooms that you can venture around freely (and a few more if you test the trap doors and really explore).

The photo above gives you some idea of the glorious textures that surround you when you shoot in this old fort.

A shot taken of my son on the steps of one of the rooms.

Some Interesting Rocks

If you explore the cliff to the North of the main fort, you will find a fishermans track down to the rocks below (some chain to help you down some of the steeper parts)…. This track is not for the faint hearted or for those who don’t have full mobility.  However if you do explore the rocks on the Northern cliff, you will find some very interesting textures and views down close to the water.

The Cool Tunnels

If you keep walking around the the cliff heading North West, you will follow a track to an old gun emplacement.  Keep your eyes peeled to the right hand side of the track and you will see some stone stairs taking you down into some bunker tunnels.  There are some very cool lighting effects in here as the sun shines through the overhead vents.If it has been raining heavily just beware, some of these tunnels can be filled with water (as my son found out when he stepped off the bottom step into 30cm of water).

Night Photography

Middle head fort should be suitable for night photography as there are no lights illuminating the fort, so if you are into star trails or night cloudscapes etc. you might be able to get some interesting shots, although I haven’t shot there at night myself.

Special Equipment

There is really no special equipment that you need to shoot this location.

Best Time of The Day

I have only shot this location during the middle of the day, however because of the interiors, you an shoot any time of the day and still walk away with some interesting shots.

Tidal Information


Wind Information

While the fort is up on the top of a cliff, most of the areas that you explore are in tunnels and bunkers which keeps you out of any wind.

Getting there

Click Here to see the location marked on Google Maps

To get to Middle Head Fort, From Spit Junction in Mosman, take Military Rd towards Toronga Zoo, but when you get to the big round about near the zoo, veer left on to Middle Head Rd and follow it all the way to the end.  There is a car park just before the old military base, but I tend to ignore the signs that say “authorised vehicles only” and park in the bus turning area which is closer to the main fort.From the main car park it is only a 5 min walk to the main fort, you can’t miss it… just keep heading East along the road.

Author Bio

Brent Pearson


  1. David Haworth November 28, 2008

    Take me light painting there brett.. any time after midnight is fine!

  2. David Haworth January 28, 2009

    Photographers Meet — About 30 photographers from all age groups met here a few days ago at dusk for a light painting session. It was idea because there were no street lights and the cloudy sky caught the city lights well in the long exposures. There was a lot of inventive ideas from this deviantart .com crowd. See some example here

  3. violet rose May 14, 2011

    wow sounds great. Although i lived in sydney till i was 17 until moved to Brisbane. I’m back to live in Sydney, i can’t wait to check this place out. Thank you for the helpful information.

  4. Travis L June 21, 2011

    Brilliant Write up — I was at Northshore last weekend and decided to visit Middle Head last minute just before the golden hour starts. Only by referencing to this guide, I was able to reach to destination with ease and know my routine without wasting any time.

    I spent most of time at main fort where a guy were drumming away. Also met Tony the volunteer who gave us a historical tour of the area. I am already wanting to go back again as there are more spots I want to explore.

    Thank you for sharing this information with us!

  5. Vic Feferberg January 7, 2012

    I’ll be back — Thanks Brent for the terrific guide. I went there today and loved it, lost track of time and went past my parking meter time. I only allowed one hour, and wished I stayed for three. If it wasn’t for this guide, I may not have found some of those cool tunnels. I only went to one of them when I realised I had to go, but I’ll be back to finish the job for sure!

    Here’s a shot of one of the tunnels:

  6. Anonymous January 18, 2012

    Hi I was wondering if it’s wheelchair friendly?

  7. Matthew Deng July 8, 2014

    went there today and saw a sign says authorised vehicles only, wondering is that area still open to public? thanks

    • Lee Duguid July 8, 2014

      Hi Matthew,
      The guide actually mentions this at the bottom:

      “There is a car park just before the old military base, but I tend to ignore the signs that say “authorised vehicles only” and park in the bus turning area which is closer to the main fort”

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