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The Ultimate Guide to fly your drone in Watsons Bay, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Updated: Feb 10, 2020

🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all you need to know about Watsons Bay (South Head and Hornby), Sydney, Australia. Give a 👍 at the end of this post & feel free to share your experience or any updates you might have in the Forum. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our knowledge & does not replace official sources & your research.

The Gap (East side of Watsons Bay)
The Gap (East side of Watsons Bay)

How to get to Watsons Bay?

🚗 By car: Watsons Bay (also known as South Head) is located about 25 mins drive from Sydney city centre driving by New South Head road. Just be mindful that during peak hours, traffic can be quite horrendous and parking during summer weekends is limited.

🚄 By bus: Bus 380 runs from Bondi Junction to the upper part of Watsons Bay Wharf and passes through Bondi Beach making an ideal stopover route. The 324 & 325 bus services will begin their journey from Sydney city centre.

🚢 By ferry: The public F4 ferry departs from Circular Quay and brings you to Watsons Bay Wharf. There are also 2 private companies (Sydney Fast Ferry & Captain Cook Cruises) doing the same trip but also extend with a direct service to Manly.

💡 Sundays, Sydney public transports are capped to $2.80 all day, anywhere.

Rock Natural Carving
Rock Natural Carving

What to do in Watsons Bay?

Go Sightseeing

Watsons Bay is a beautiful calm residential place where it is good to go with the family or to enjoy a quiet one. There are a couple of nice walks to do under an hour.

  • South Head Heritage Walk: short 0.5 km loop in Hornby (South Head) that will give you a 300° spectacular view of Sydney Harbour and where it all began. Landmarks include the Hornby keeper's cottage, Hornby battery and the Hornby lighthouse. 🕔 The walk is open from 5 am to 10 pm

  • Green Point Reserve: a tiny walk of 5 mins overlooking one of Sydney's hidden gems; camp cove beach. You can fish from there or go snorkelling in crystal clear waters.

South Head Heritage Walk
South Head Heritage Walk

Go for a swim

Being on the Harbour side, the waters are much calmer that Bondi Beach located on the open ocean side. You won't hit the wave for a surf here but can surely enjoy the scenery by going snorkelling or diving which is quite famous there. You will have the choice with:

  • Camp cove beach: a short beach surrounded by private villas and an ideal little launch path for snorkelling a few minutes away.

  • Lady Bay beach: one of Sydney most secluded beach. This is an unofficial nudist beach thanks to its location.. no need to bring a thing 😉

  • Gibsons Beach reserve: the largest patch of sand available in Watsons Bay, it is also onveniently located next to Watsons' Bay shops and cafes

Camp Cove Beach
Camp Cove Beach

Can I fly a drone in Watsons Bay?

Watsons Bay is located in New South Wales (NSW) which follows the common rules of the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). If you're looking for the unmanned aerial vehicle rules of Australia then click here.

As for a shortcut, no matter where in New South Wales (NSW), you should fly:

  • at a maximum altitude of 120 m above the ground.

  • away from private property, vehicles in movement, people or large crowds (including over beaches, stadiums or parks) & respect individuals' privacy.

  • at least 5.5 km away from airports (any airport, seaplane base or area where aircraft or helicopter take off & land) & give way to all other type of aircraft.

  • only during permitting weather & within your sight at all times.

  • away from areas where its use could interfere with police or first responders.

  • avoiding sensitive areas including government or military facilities.

Recreational drone use: flying your unmanned aerial vehicle in South Head Heritage walk comes under the competence of NSW Office of Environment & Heritage. You will need to ask to the park's manager if its alright before flying above any national park in NSW. The park manager may grant consent for the recreational use of a drone if:

  1. it will not annoy or cause risk to visitors, or invade their privacy

  2. it will not be a nuisance or cause risk to wildlife

  3. it will not interfere with park-management operations.

Commercial drone use: it is possible for you to fly there for commercial purposes (movie, aerial photography, etc.) but you must apply for a permit and have an Australian license to obtain it. More information available here.

🚨 Watsons Bay is also home to Sydney's Royal Australian Navy Military which is an exclusive restricted zone with low flying military helicopters. You will need to get permission to fly your drone nearby the camp.

Girrakool Picnic Area
Girrakool Picnic Area

✅ Please leave a comment or update the Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in Watsons Bay! Have fun and safe flight!


Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone rules and regulations.

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