Free tour

Watsons Bay Grand Heritage Tour: for the most stunning views of Sydney and the harbour

Duration: 3h and 30min
Languages: English
Guru: Gavin
Registered on June 05, 2023

Retired from academic publishing and bookselling, I'm writing an indigenous and colonial history of Watsons Bay and conducting guided walks around the city and south head. I have been a volunteer guide at the Australian National Maritime Museum for five years. I have travelled extensively overseas and throughout Australia and New Zealand. I contributed to the SlowTravel site for over 20 years and published extensive travel blogs.

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  • No minimum number of attendees
    No minimum number of attendees is required for the tour
  • Free booking and cancellation
    Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free

Tour description

This tour of Watsons Bay, takes in the colonial social history of the families who provided the pilot and rescue services, manned the signal station and lighthouse and fished the ocean off the heads.

While limited to 5 people, please contact if your date fully booked as I can often fit you in.

I donate 25% of your payment to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.  I expect $30.00 per person or $50.00 per couple.

At Watsons Bay, which I regard as my spiritual home, I will take you on a walk around the two sides of the fishing village and then out onto South Head.

We will explore the history of the Birrabirragal people and the European settlers and their families who formed a tight community that existed from 1788 to the 1960s. 

This walk has some of the best views of the harbour and city.  I will show you one of the largest Moreton Bay fig trees you will ever see, and few visitors to the bay know about. 

This involves a ferry trip to and from Watsons Bay at a cost of approx. $AUD14.00. 

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What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    Circular Quay, Wharf 2, Sydney NSW 20...
    Circular Quay, Wharf 2, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
    View on map

    I will be out front of Wharf 2 at Circular Quay. I'll be wearing a bright blue Indigenous Literacy Foundation t-shirt of a blue Yindyamarra Winhanganha t-,shirt and black cap.

  • 1
    Outside visit
    Rose Bay Beach
  • 2
    Outside visit
    Nielsen Park
  • 3
    Outside visit
    Watsons Bay Wharf
  • 4
    Outside visit
    The Gap
  • 5
    Outside visit
    Green Point Walking Track
  • 6
    Outside visit
    Camp Cove Beach
  • 7
    Outside visit
    Lady Bay Beach
  • 8
    Outside visit
    Hornby Lighthouse
  • 9
    Outside visit
    Dunbar House Watsons Bay
  • 10
    Outside visit
    Gibsons Beach Reserve

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

4 ratings
By category
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
Sarah 30 Dec 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Dec 2023
We’ve done a lot of Guru walks and weren’t sure what to expect from a tour including a ferry ride - but it was great fun! Gavin was very passionate about all aspects of the location/tour, with true stories from his life and from his research. He was happy to answer all questions and it was great to learn so much about Australian history - thanks Gavin, it was a pleasure!
Tommy 18 Dec 2023
Los Angeles

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Dec 2023
Gavin brought his wealth of local knowledge and passion to introducing Swansons Bay. He was patient in answering my questions and kept it at a good pace. The trip was different than the rest of the tours I joined. I enjoyed it andd glad I did it. Gavin was great.
Modestas 12 Nov 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Nov 2023
We really enjoyed this tour in Watsons Bay, Gavin's childhood home. We really enjoyed his true stories about history of this place, beautiful views and his deep knowledge about Indigenous people of Australia and their history. Best and most personal native tour we ever had.
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Who is this tour for?

Non suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Does not accept large group reservations.
Not suitable for pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
There is no minimum number of people required for the tour.
Additional costs:
The tour requires the payment of entrance fees or additional expenses.
Free cancellation
If you will not be able to attend the tour, please cancel your booking, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Payment methods
Only cash payment is accepted.
When do you want to go?
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See availability