Water Recreation

Publicly-owned open space around the North Sydney foreshores is not only in limited supply, but it is in high demand for a wide variety of recreational pastimes.

Water recreation is an great part of living in North Sydney, but with popularity comes greater access requirements.

Council endeavours to provide opportunities for water-based recreation around the harbour foreshore, to be able to:

  • kayak
  • canoe
  • stand-up paddleboard
  • boat and sail
  • dive and swim
  • restore old ships
  • fish

the list of possiblitites is endless as is the types of experiences visitors and residents pursue. Clearly plans of management are in place in order to manage access and use.


Foreshore & Waterways

The North Sydney area enjoys access to Sydney Harbour and the river. 

Water recreation is a great part of living here, but as it becomes more popular then greater access to the foreshores and waterways is required. Council is determined to allow fair and equitable access for all. But this need be balanced with managing the resource, and opening up its possibilities for responsible ongoing use.

Plus the community can contribute in innovative ways to the care and consideration of where land meets water! For instance, volunteers run this program:

HarbourCare program - join us


Small Water Craft Storage

The Small Water Craft Storage Strategy (SWCSS) was adopted by Council in August 2018.

Small Water Craft Storage Strategy (4MB)  

The SWCSS was developed to ensure that water craft stored on public land on the harbour foreshore are managed effectively and equitably, for the benefit of water craft owners, and for the convenience and enjoyment of the wider community who wish to access and use North Sydney’s foreshore parks for recreation.


Prepared in early 2017, the SWCSS - Discussion Paper aimed to provoke thought and generate debate about issues relevant to the storage of small water craft on public foreshore land in North Sydney. It also aimed to provide the local and wider community and stakeholders with an understanding of Council’s aims and objectives in preparing a Strategy.

Forty submissions were received on the Discussion Paper.

The Draft SWCSS was adapted from the Discussion Paper, and incorporated issues and ideas raised by the community and other stakeholders. Twenty-six submissions and one petition were received regarding the Draft SWCSS. All feedback was reported to Council, and Council adopted the SWCSS, including alterations as a result of the submissions, in Aug 2018.

Document Library

Council report 27 Aug 2018

Draft Small Water Craft Storage Strategy - Post Exhibition (5MB)


Draft Small Water Craft Storage Strategy (3MB)

Council report 20 Nov 2017

Small Water Craft Storage Strategy Discussion Paper - post exhibition (1MB)

Council report 22 May 2017

Public Exhibition of the Small Water Craft Storage Strategy - discussion paper (4MB)

Council report 21 Mar 2016

Hayes Street Beach Small Private Water Craft Storage (4MB)


Water Based Recreation Need Study (315KB)


Water Based Recreation Need Study

Water Based Recreation Need Study - 2006 (315KB)

With the Water Based Recreation Needs Study, our objective is to ensure that water based recreation facilities, their development, management and improvement over the next 10 years respond to existing and anticipated future needs.


Foreshore Access

Council's main aim is to identify opportunities to improve access to North Sydney's foreshore for a range of recreational users including pedestrians, cyclists and recreational boaters.

Foreshore Access Strategy - 2007 (2MB)

Foreshore Access Map (784KB)

Prepared in consultation from Staff, Councillors, Community, Precincts, Pedestrian and Bicycle Subcommittees, the Strategy examines the existing foreshore access system to identify where missing links to continuous access can be sustainably addressed, and where opportunities to extend access through redeveloping sites should be pursued.

The strategy also identifies an access plan and establishes priorities for ongoing implementation and enhancement of existing access.