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
Beautiful old rooms that have been modernized. Very comfortable bed and lovely buffet breakfast. Staff are very friendly too. The only negative is there is no air conditioning. We couldn’t leave the windows or door to the verandah open overnight for security reasons and bugs. They could at least provide screens on the windows and bars or a lock so we can open the windows a bit. There is only one ceiling fan so we had to ask for another one which made it pleasant.
Work planning day around 80 staff met at Q station- first location is amazing as is the view and the animal life. Great long walks, swims, bars and food venues. There is. It much diversity but what they have sufficed and you felt far away, safe and part of nature. The accomodation was pretty good say high 3 star. Service was excellent. Cleanliness - was pretty good. Would I go there on family stay - maybe for a weekend away. If I was a tourist I would for sure. Overall was excellent work related venue for a planning day.
We recently had three nights at Q Station using an ACCOR Hotels gift voucher our daughter had given us. The reception is at the entry to the site and no cars are allowed in so everyone is bussed down to their accommodation. Our room was a Queen Heritage which meant it opened onto the verandah and had a private external bathroom. This was better than I expected as the area was well lit at night and the bathroom was nearby and clean. After our first night we informed the desk that our TV wasn’t working and they sent someone to fix it. When he was unsuccessful we were contacted by the front desk to say we had been upgraded to a Queen Deluxe. A bus was sent to drive us and our luggage and the driver presented us with a bottle of wine for the inconvenience. We understand that things break down and we were very appreciative of the way the management of Q Station did everything they could to make up for it.
This friendliness and helpfulness extended to all the staff we encountered during our stay including the Artist in Residence who gave us some great impromptu sight seeing tips. The views of Sydney Harbour from Q Station and the surrounding North Head area are spectacular and we enjoyed riding our bikes and using the walking trails. We had two delicious meals at the on-site restaurant and the buffet breakfast was of a very good standard and great value for money. We would definitely recommend Q Station and hope to visit again.
Beautiful, historical place. Comfortable room, great breakfast. Shuttle bus worked well. A great place to explore - a very different experience of Sydney. Would recommend the history tour with Brandon.
Booked our stay 6months in advance through luxury escapes at a great discounted price. Set on an amazing piece of history and with panoramic views of the harbour, you couldn’t ask for a better location.
It all started to unravel when we got dropped off at our room which was a deluxe room but felt like it was nowhere near deluxe. I know it’s a historical preservation but to not have air conditioning is criminal. The room was a shoe box and not fit for a practical purpose. Imagine sideways shuffling around the bed and tripping over suitcases . The room next door had their porch at our bathroom window so you could always inform our Neighbours of our bowel movements.
He had breakfast at the scenic restaurant which felt like something you’d only want to experience once, as the selection was super limited. One version of eggs, scrambled so hope you like that. No ale-cart options. With a conference and wedding taking place at the venue, the dinning hall was not what customers expect. Even though our breakfast was included, we went for a descent breakfast in Manly the next day. I’d recommend it.
Come back to a room had not been cleaned and had to chase for a refresh. Once flipped we saw that biscuits, water and glasses had not been replaced. Good thing we had brought our own supplies.
The visitors centre has a few things to do but had nothing of the sort from an elderly lady on duty who needed to be trained on customer service or informed of her retirement options. Disgusting to know this person is your frontline. The lady in the coffee shop was delightful and was happy to assist in the absence of the visitor center personnel.
Overall the way consumers are being conditioned to hotel rates, ratings and service levels I’d recommend you look elsewhere and only visit Q Station for a day excursion or dinning experience at the Boiler Room.
We are sad to say, we won’t be back unless things change drastically.