What is “The Gap”?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 02/12/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

Not too far from Sydney is an impressive ocean cliff that rises from the Tasman Sea.

The Gap is a sandstone ocean cliff with a dip that extends a wavecut. The popular ocean cliff is in South Head in Sydney.

The Birrabirragal people are the traditional custodians of the land, well before the First Fleet arrived in 1788. The First Fleet of people took over the land and used the area above The Gap to be a signalling station for a warning of any ships approaching the land.

Afterwards, the area became a military garrison and then used to be where the Australian Army gunnery school was held.

Today you can come here and admire the beautiful cliffs and overlook the gorgeous blue water of the Tasman Sea.

The Gap Sydney

How to get there

You can reach The Gap by car, ferry, train, or bus from Sydney. The best way to get there is either by car or ferry. Going by car is the quickest way as it takes about 25 minutes. From Circular Quay, the ferry is about half an hour towards Watsons Bay.

There aren’t any direct trains to The Gap, but you can get a train from Town Hall towards Edgecliff, then switch over to a bus. Or you can get a bus to The Gap from Town Hall.

Things to do

There are plenty of things you can do while you visit The Gap, including the best lookout points and a walk along the cliff tops.

The Gap Lookout National Park
The best spot to see the Gap is via this lookout. The lookout has a beautiful view across the Tasman Sea and incredible cliff tops.

The Gap Bluff and Green Point loop
This walking track is about 2.5 kilometres, which should take about an hour and a half to complete the loop.

Along the walk, you’ll come across the sea cliffs, the glistening blue water, and Camp Cove. There are also chances to visit different historic military defence systems.

Dunbar’s Anchor
The Dunbar’s Anchor commemorates the shipwreck of Dunbar and those who died. In 1857, 121 passengers and crew members died after strong winds caused the ship to hit the South Head Cliffs. Only one person survived.

Macquarie Lighthouse
You wouldn’t have guessed that this lighthouse is Australia’s first and longest-serving lighthouse! The lighthouse opened in 1818 and you can climb to the top of the lighthouse via a guided tour.

Not too far away from The Gap, you can see the lighthouse for yourself at Dunbar Head along Old South Head Road.

Eateries
There are a few different places to eat nearby, with a few having an ocean view. For some recommendations, head down to Doyles on the Beach Restaurant, Bay Cafe Watsons Bay, and Baithouse in the Tea Garden.

All year round you can visit The Gap, with the best views to happen at sunrise and sunset.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.

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