This historic sandstone lighthouse (1881) sits at the northern tip of the Northern Beaches in an annexe of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. You've got two route options – shorter stairs or a winding, convict-built track – for the steep hike to the top, but majestic views across Pittwater and down the peninsula are worth the effort. On Sundays short tours (adult/child $5/2) run half-hourly from 11am to 3pm; no need to book. The top is also good for whale watching.

The route starts from the car park in the reserve at the northern end of Palm Beach, runs along the beach on the Pittwater side and then up the hill. There are no toilets at the top.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Beaches attractions

1. Palm Beach

0.91 MILES

Long, lovely Palm Beach is a crescent of bliss that's famous as the setting for cheesy TV soap Home and Away. The 1881 Barrenjoey Lighthouse punctuates…

2. West Head

1.18 MILES

This central section of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a spectacular wilderness, with awe-inspiring vistas over Pittwater and Broken Bay, hidden beach…

3. Currawong Beach

2.02 MILES

You will have to take the ferry at Palm Beach to reach this sheltered, carless beach suburb on the shores of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. There…

4. Whale Beach

2.17 MILES

Sleepy Whale Beach, 3km south of Palm Beach, is well worth seeking out – a paradisiacal slice of deep, orange-tinted sand backed by pines and flanked by…

5. Pearl Beach


This secluded beach is perhaps the Central Coast's most beautiful; a seductive curve of sand lapped by gentle waves with a lovely outlook across the bay…

6. Avalon

3.79 MILES

Caught in a sandy ’70s time warp, Avalon is the mythical Australian beach you always dreamed of but could never find. Challenging surf and sloping,…

7. Bilgola

4.49 MILES

With its huge saltwater pool and tucked-away location between the better-known Newport and Avalon beaches, little Bilgola feels like a bit of a secret gem…

8. Newport

5.13 MILES

This well-known Sydney surf beach is a kilometre-long strip of east-facing sand with reliable waves and a backing of Norfolk pine trees.