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.
- Handicap Accessible
- 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
This place is not a hotel neither a retreat, it has the freedom for people to get there and do anything and behave publicly in a very bad way. You can see people bringing boxes and boxes of alcohol to it premises, get drunk, party in the rooms, in the hall outside of the rooms day and night. It was a very unpleasant situation for my husband and I as we couldn't sleep properly for all the noise coming from the music and people partying in the rooms day and night. It was quite scary to hear people outside of our room quite intoxicated. The first night I made a written complaint to the hotel and they assured me that it was a group that left on Saturday and that it was not going to happen on Saturday night. On Saturday people where drinking, putting loud music all day, so I rang the hotel desk and ask for them to control the situation as it was already 9 pm and I wanted to be able to get ready to sleep. They came talk to them and they moved to another room, equally close to our room and had even louder music. My husband and I wanted to leave the hotel but it was after 11 pm, and we heard people intoxicated so were scared to leave the place. We had a really bad night and on Sunday morning at about 7:50 a.m. left the hotel after expressing my disappointment to the person at the front desk. I decided to spend the weekend in this "retreat" because I wanted to have a peaceful weekend ... well it was totally the opposite a very stressful and disappointing weekend.
The staff and the food is good, but all that effort is ruined by what they allow the guests to do.
I took the boat from Sydney to Manly then took the hiking trail to the Q station with the bus back to the ferry terminal afterwards. It was nice to be able to wander around at your own pace and take everything in. Also nice to sit and have a beer at the Manly harbour waiting for the ferry. Go early in the day or it can be a bit lonely walking around. The Q station offer a shuttle bus to bring visitors back to the reception.
If you love history with a great location then Q Station is the place to be. Private beach is not at the doorstep but rather down a large flight of stairs but there is also a private shuttle bus that runs 24/7. The carpark is at the top of the hill but the shuttle bus also takes you to your room/cottage. We had a 3 bedroom cottage which would be perfect for a family travelling together. The houses are historic so not necessarily positioned to take advantage of views. Great breakfast included.