Visit the Coal Loader

The Coal Loader has a range of ongoing events and activities that you can be involved with.

Phone 9936 8100 or email


Visit Us

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

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

The 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.


Public holidays

Both the Centre and the café are closed, but the platform/parklands are open.



2 Balls Head Drive, Waverton (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)


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.


Stay in touch with what's happening at the Coal Loader

Sign up to receive our Green Events e-newsletter to read all the latest news and events happening at the Coal Loader.


Join one of our Community Gardens

There are two community gardens at the Coal Loader:

The Coal Loader Cottage Community Garden

A group growing organic vegies since 2007! Pop in any time to see the garden, or come along and join the garden group who meet 10am-12pm each Wednesday.

The Coal Loader Platform Community Garden

This group was established in March 2018. Members meet Saturday mornings 9am - 11am and welcomes - new volunteers!


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 Tour

Bring your group to the Coal Loader and enjoy a free guided tour of the site with our staff. It normally take 90 minutes but can be shortened to suit your group's schedule. Includes a screening of the 30min DVD Return to Community - a History of Balls Head and the Coal Loader. Maps of the adjacent Balls Head Reserve are available if you wish to take your group before or after your guided tour.

Available Monday to Friday for groups over 10 people and bookings are essential. Maximum group size is 25. Please call the Coal Loader on 9936 8100.


Become a Volunteer Tour Guide

We have started a volunteer guide program to run free tours of the Coal Loader site. All training and materials are provided. If you are interested in joining the program please click here to apply or call 9936 8100.


Self-guided tours (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. North Sydney Council staff are in the Genia McCaffery building office during opening hours for assistance. Please inform Council if you are bringing a group of 10 or more for a self-guided tour. Call the Coal Loader on 9936 8100.


Kids Sustainability Trail

Suited to younger children, learn more about the history and sustainability of the Coal Loader site by taking the Kids Sustainability Trail (3MB). We have this leaflet here, or print it out at home and bring it.


Walk from the Coal Loader to Balls Head Reserve

Balls Head Reserve is the 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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