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Our Story

The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust (Harbour Trust) is a Commonwealth agency that protects and manages extraordinary places on the World’s Best Harbour.

By striking a balance between innovation and conservation, we continue to breathe new life into our network of harbour gems, ensuring people enjoy unique experiences at vibrant public domains.

Origin Story

Following lobbying by community groups, the Harbour Trust was formed by the Commonwealth Government to revitalise former Defence and other Commonwealth lands on Sydney Harbour and return them to the people of Australia. Today, we protect and manage nine extraordinary places on the World’s Best Harbour.


Harbour History

Engage with the rich history of our extraordinary places on Sydney Harbour and discover the traditional use of the land and surrounding waters by Aboriginal People, the extensive period of military occupation and the significant role each has played in shaping the city’s identity.



Precious Lands

Our harbour gems are rich in heritage value, with distinctive buildings and artefacts from bygone eras. Likewise, many contain delicate ecosystems comprised of rare and endangered native flora and fauna. As such, we undertake works to protect our precious natural and built environments and ensure they are safe and enjoyable for the public.


Welcome Everyone

As the caretaker of extraordinary places on the World’s Best Harbour, we have a duty to share their unique stories with the widest possible audience, make them easily accessible and promote them as sources of exploration and discovery.


Meaningful Partnerships

To ensure our extraordinary places continue to occupy a central place in Sydney’s cultural landscape, we partner with organisations, both big and small, who represent a diverse range of interests. We also consult with local communities, special interest groups and the elected members of our advisory committees to ensure we satisfy public expectations around the use of our land.



Our vision for reconciliation is for all Australians to recognise and celebrate the cultures and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, including their strong and enduring ties to the extraordinary places under our stewardship. In support of this vision, we are implementing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.