Visit the Coal Loader

The Coal Loader has a range of ongoing events and activities that you can be involved with, and a variety of ways to visit it.


What's Happening at the Coal Loader and Platform?

Pop in your email address to receive our Green Events or Coal Loader e-newsletters and catch the news and events happening at the Coal Loader and the Platform.


Visit or Contact Us

Phone 9936 8100 or email

Genia McCaffery Centre office - open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm, Sat 10am to 4pm

Coal Loader Platform - open to the public to have a picnic, walk around, take in the harbour views, and be inspired, plus enjoy the parklands any time.

Coal Loader Café - open Wednesday to Sunday 7am to 3pm. 


Christmas, New Year, and other public holidays

The Coal Loader visitor centre will close from Tuesday, 24 December, 2019 midday, and will re-open Thursday 2 January, 2020 at 9am.

The cafe will be closed from Friday, 20 Dec, 2019 at 3pm, and will re-open Wednesday, 8 Jan at 7am.


On public holidays both the Centre and the café are closed, but the platform/parklands are open.



2 Balls Head Drive, Waverton 2060 (on the right hand side before Balls Head Reserve).

Parking is limited so we encourage you to:

  • Walk - visit us as part of several amazing North Sydney walking routes
  • Bike – secure bike parking available North Sydney Cycling Map (7MB)
  • Public Transport - we are an easy 10 minute walk from Waverton station (bikes carried free on weekends)
  • Car - limited parking in nearby streets such as Balls Head Drive and Waterhen Drive, also in marked bays inside the adjacent Balls Head Reserve
  • School Bus - drop off point is on Waterhen Drive, refer to this Site Map (1MB)


North Sydney Council is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for people of all abilities.

The Genia McCaffery Centre, Mess Hall, cafe, and workshop are all on street level and fully accessible. The Platform is accessible through the main entry ramp, or a lift provides access from street level to The Platform, chickens, and tunnels. There are six designated accessible parking spaces available around the site, including two directly opposite the main entry on Balls Head Drive. Seating is available at various locations across the site. There is one unisex accessible toilet, shower and baby change room located in the Genia McCaffery Centre. Due to the historical nature of the site the tunnels are uneven and have undulating ground surfaces so all visitors are asked to use caution.

We welcome feedback from our community on how we can improve the accessibility of our buildings, parks and streetscapes. Read about our commitment to improving access here: Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP).


See Upcoming Events

Visit the Coal Loader events web pageor the Coal Loader Facebook page for all current listings.

Join a Community Garden

There are two community gardens - one at the Coal Loader (just around back of the Genia McCaffery Centre), and one on the Coal Loader Platform.


Coal Loader Community Nursery

Volunteers work with Council to propagate local native plants for use in bushland rehabilitation, streetscape enhancements (green corridors), habitat gardens, citizenship ceremonies and community give-aways. Find out more and come along when the Community Nursery volunteers meet.


School Excursion

Bring your students on a school excursion to learn about all aspects of sustainability. The Coal Loader features a sustainably retrofitted cottage with learning materials; wetlands; community gardens; native bushland nursery; historical tunnels; Aboriginal engravings; the platform green roof; parklands and a beautiful bushland reserve right next door. Our historic 2.8ha waterfront site has been retrofitted with state-of-the-art sustainable technologies.


Guided or Drop-in Tour

Free guided tours with our staff are available Monday to Friday for groups of over 10 people (maximum 25). This 90 minute tour can be shortened to suit your schedule. Includes a screening of the history Return to Community - a History of Balls Head and the Coal Loader (30min DVD). Maps of the adjacent Balls Head Reserve are available if you wish to take your group before or after the guided tour. Bookings essential, please call the Coal Loader on 9936 8100.

Free drop-in tours operate on the first Saturday of each month at 10.30am. This 60 minute tour is for individuals, families and small groups. Meet at the Coal Loader office.

(We welcome volunteers to run these free tours of the Coal Loader site. All training and materials are provided. If you are interested in joining call us!)


Self-guided Tour

For individuals and groups under 10 people, use this self-guided Map (1MB), or view the interpretive signs on site to do your own walking tour. Staff are in the office (Genia McCaffery Centre) during opening hours for assistance. Please contact us if you are bringing a group of 10 or more for a self-guided tour.


Kids Tour

Suited to younger children, learn more about the history and sustainability of the Coal Loader site by taking the Kids Sustainability Trail (3MB). This leaflet is available in the office, or print it out at home and bring it.


Book into a Green Event

Join one of our free, practical workshops on a range of sustainable living topics such as worm farming, green cleaning, keeping chooks, going solar, being water-wise, balcony gardening, and much more... view the current Green event listings.



Walk from the Coal Loader to Balls Head Reserve

Balls Head Reserve is our largest bushland remnant in North Sydney. The pathways are part of the North Sydney Circle Walk (Waverton to Wollstonecraft section), and the Harbour Circle Walk (Balls Head Loop).

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