The Coal Loader and its Features

The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability is a regional learning hub for sustainable living, showcasing innovation and best practice in sustainability.

In 2011 the then North Sydney Mayor Genia McCaffery said:

"The opening of the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability signals a major milestone in a very long process to save the site for current and future generations. It will now be a place where the community can come together to learn about sustainable living practices, or to simply enjoy the stunning park lands."

Come and visit these features...

Genia McCaffery Centre for Sustainability:

  • See how we retro-fitted this historic building to demonstrate a range of sustainability concepts including stormwater harvesting; energy and water-saving technology; best-practice architectural refurbishing; use of solar power; low environmental impact materials and recycled materials throughout.
  • Grab some information on how to green-up your life.
  • Use the Resource Room public internet facilities and reference library to do some research on your area of interest.
  • Relax in the lounge area and read up on how you can live more sustainably.
  • Stop by the Book Swap to swap some of your old favourites.
  • Drop off your batteries, compact fluorescent lightbulbs, toner cartridges or mobile phones and their accessories for recycling.
  • Council staff are also on hand to show you around this building.

Community Garden:

  • The Coal Loader Community Garden has been growing organic veggies for its members since 2007.
  • Take a look at the different ways that food is grown - in the ground, in containers, up the wall, in water gardens.
  • Check out our different composting systems and worm farms.
  • Get some tips and ideas for your own garden or balcony.
  • Stop by and ask about joining the community garden group.

Community Nursery:

  • The community nursery is a vital component in Council's Bushcare program which protects and rehabilitates our local bushland.
  • Community volunteers are working with Council to propagate local native plants with seedlings being grown for bushland rehabilitation, green corridors and home habitat gardens. 
  • Pop in on a Wednesday or Thursday to chat to our Nursery Coordinator, Helen, about growing local native plants.

Aboriginal Bush Foods Garden:

  • The 'bush foods' garden has a variety of edible and otherwise useful native plants from the local area.
  • For more information visit the Aboriginal Heritage Office.

Aboriginal Rock Engraving:

  • Explore Aboriginal rock engravings thought to be thousands of years old.
  • For more information visit the Aboriginal Heritage Office

Space for the community

  • The Coal Loader is the base for many of North Sydney Council's sustainability programs and workshops.
  • View the event listings on now, or drop-in to the Genia McCaffery Centre for Sustainability to see what's on.
  • The Mess Hall and Centre are available to the community for hire for meetings and events.
    View the details and book here... 

Foreshore Park and Walks

  • The 2.8ha site features a native havens demonstration garden, wetlands, picnic areas, and foreshore walk.
  • The parklands have been developed from the former industrial site using best practice sustainable design and construction. You can read about the site's heritage and sustainable transformation on the site's many interpretive signs.

  • You can walk from here to Balls Head Reserve traversing the largest bushland remnant in North Sydney. 

Studio Space
Coal Loader studio interior
Coal Loading Tunnels
  • Explore one of the 160m tunnels from the historic coal loading system.
  • Enjoy the walk through the tunnel to the bushland of Balls Head and beyond. Sensor lighting will turn on to guide you.
  • Three other tunnels are currently closed to the public with one being home to threatened micro-bats which roost in the alcoves in the ceiling!

Chook Run:

  • Visit our Coal Loader chicken coop and learn how to keep chooks at home.
  • The Coal Loader Cafe is open Wednesday to Sunday, 7am to 3pm. For more information call 0422 887 396.

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How you can Join in and get Involved...

The Coal Loader has a range of ongoing events and activities that you can be involved with, click here for opportunities.

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