Q Station Sydney Harbour National Park
What We Love
- Waking to birdsong, courtesy of native currawongs, wattlebirds and rainbow lorikeets, in Australia’s largest city
- Steampunk meets fine dining at the harborside Boilerhouse restaurant
- Privacy born of spaciousness; Q Station sprawls over 88 acres within Sydney Harbour National Park
- Outdoor activities on your doorstep, from sea kayaking to ghost tours of the quarantine station
What To Know
- Rooms have no AC because they’re heritage-listed, but there are ceiling fans and electric heaters
- This is a good place to take a break from e-mail; WiFi is a pricey $9 an hour ($28 for 24 hours)
- A popular wedding and conference venue, Q Station is spacious enough that it’s also ideal for couples seeking a romantic escape
- No private vehicles are allowed on the site; a shuttle bus loops the property from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Parking On Site
Harborside heritage meets 21st century. Q Station’s 81 rooms and suites occupy a cluster of elegantly restored 19th-century weatherboard and brick buildings, including seven three-bedroom cottages, many with wide colonial verandas facing rolling lawns, the harbor or pockets of Australian bush — so there’s a good chance you’ll see native animals such as brushtail possums and monitor lizards. Public areas such as the Carpenter’s Arms (a former pub) and the First Class Lounge feature period touches including black-and-white photographs of the quarantine station’s first guests: newly arrived steamship passengers living in perfect isolation for up to 40 days to keep the colony disease-free.
Bed and Bath
Sky-high ceilings, sheer white floor-to-ceiling curtains, original doors with glass panels, and sash windows that rattle when you open them add romance to the otherwise contemporary decor. In keeping with Q Station’s eco-ethic, the Appelles Apothecary bath products are certified organic, and they bring the Australian bush indoors with such scents as lemon myrtle. The charming three-bedroom cottages also have voluptuous brocade couches and spacious kitchens equipped with stove, microwave, toaster, kettle and Nespresso coffee machine; free Arnott’s biscuits are a homey touch.
Wander down the metal staircase from the accommodation area and you’ll come to the almost secret Quarantine Beach, the perfect spot for a swim or to watch the sunset. The nearby Luggage Store Visitor Centre, on the wharf, has a small outdoor café, a souvenir shop and a museum with authentic artifacts such as steamer trunks and 19th-century medical instruments. Also at the wharf is the industrial-looking Boilerhouse restaurant, which has pipes running across bare brick walls inside, an outdoor terrace, friendly five-star service and a simple but sophisticated menu featuring Australian classics such as Harvey Bay scallops and King Island beef served with Australian, French and New Zealand wines. Latitude 33s, the on-site spa, offers massages as well as one-day, weekend and seven-day health and wellbeing retreats.
In the Area
Q Station is the perfect launch pad for land- and sea-based adventures. Want to paddle the nearby coves and beaches? Rent a kayak or standup paddleboard, and Manly Kayak Centre will bring it to Quarantine Beach for you. Book a whalewatching, sailing or parasailing tour and you can be picked up at the Q Station wharf. Even the Ecohopper ferry service to Sydney’s central business district stops here. Manly Bike Tours will deliver bikes, too, so you can ride to North Head’s lookouts and downhill to world famous Manly Beach. After dark, explore one of Australia’s most haunted sites on a surprisingly spooky Quarantine Station ghost tour.
How to Get There
Q-Station is a peaceful step back in time just a 17 minute ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Sydney. A fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in a place with a rich and fascinating history whilst living in the beautiful landscape of Sydney Harbour National Park. Stay the weekend and enjoy the hospitality of the friendly Q Station staff who are all incredibly knowledgeable about both the facilities and the history of the site. Be sure to participate in one of the many Ghost Tours while you are there to have the chance to meet some of the more unusual residents as well! The heritage listed buildings have been beautifully preserved and respectfully transformed into very comfortable accommodation (we stayed in the Isolation precinct). Thoroughly recommend this experience to anyone with a fascination for history who still enjoys the convenience of having the 21st century at their doorstep.
I held a small work conference at Q Station and it was everything I wanted and more. Relaxed and attentive staff, good facilities, great view and dining was outstanding. A couple of my team might not have had a great night sleep (some of the stories are a bit harrowing!) but most of us slept well. It was certainly a great experience - thank you.
Love QStation Manly, Accor hotels are great! Room 53 is lovely, great views and sunsets. The staff are great, friendly and accommodating, we love the shuttle bus service too!
Its our second time staying here, last time we did a ghost tour, loved it😱 This time just relaxing, site seeing the local precinct, manly, vivid sydney and surrounding area. Lots of walking, we were lucky with amazing cool weather, sunsets, drinking and photo taking!
We will definitely be back!
AMAZING day out – (Cockatoo Island could learn a thing or two!) We took the ferry across to the quarantine station – known as Q Station and spent absolutely hours wandering around the museum learning what went on here, then looking around all the old buildings that housed officers, visitors and workers. There are open restaurants, places where you can stay overnight, a visitor centre, a beach and so much more. Then you walk to the top if you want to join the bush walk trail through to Manley and there is even more to look at, coming out over stunning views and seeing paintings on buildings depicting life in the past. An absolutely must go to place if you want a great day out – amazing time for all the family.
Utilising heritage buildings for modern accommodation is a challenge but one that was met and conquered at the Q Station. Many of the old quarantine buildings are intact and delightful touches, such as leaving a lounge area or games room in its original form enhance this.
Transport around the site is by shuttle bus only and there is plenty to see. It's worth doing a tour of some of the buildings to learn a little more about the history of the place.
Well worth a stay.