quarantine station

North Head Quarantine Station

The North Head Quarantine Station is a series of heritage listed buildings on the south side of Sydney Harbour at North Head, near Manly, Sydney Australia. It operated as a quarantine station from 14 August 1832 to 29 February 1984.

It is now home to a hotel, conference centre, and restaurant complex known as 'Q Station', and remains part of the Sydney Harbour National Park. The Quarantine Station is supposedly haunted by the ghosts of former staff and patients, with many paranormal occurrences reported throughout the site.

One of the early Quarantine Officers was Dr James Stuart a keen naturalist and talented painter.

In the 1960s and 70s, the then Officer in charge of the Quaratine Station, Herb Lavaring BEM (1917-1998), took it upon himself to preserve and compile a museum of artifacts and other range of items of note and significance to the station's operations (3), including domestic implements, medical instruments, and a diverse range of hand tools for tasks ranging from blacksmithing to building construction. All major materials from the site were collected over the period 1963-1975 by Mr Lavaring (3). He also commenced restoration work on the diverse range of rock carvings and headstones from the major burial grounds and ensured that all of the items from the facility were preserved. Many have since found their way into State and Federal collections (3) including the National Museum in Canberra where a muzzle loading rifle and a set of manacles are preserved, the latter being used to ensure that no one left the station without medical clearance.


  • Quarantine Station : Sydney Harbour National Park Conservation Plan, NSW National Parkas and Wildlife Service 1997 printing
  • Quarantine Station : Sydney Harbour National Park Open Day booklet 1999, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

3. Quarantine : Counting the Costs, Health, Journal of the Australian Department of Health, Volume 25, Number 1, March 1975, pages 31-35.

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