QSwharfth.jpg (4017 bytes)Manly Quarantine Station

History of Manly Quarantine Station

Aboriginal
Heritage

History
Immigration

Buildings
in 1999

Carvings
on site

Residents
in the past

Natural
Environment
Conservation
Plan

Pre-1828

1828-1836

1837-1871

1872-1879

1880-1908

1909-1949

1950-1983

1984-1999

A Brief Overview

Aboriginal people occupied this site for thousands of years before British colonists arrived in Australia. Soon after the First Fleet arrived in 1788 with its cargo of convicts, contact was made in Manly between Aboriginal people and the colonists. Spring Cove and surroundings have evidence of middens, Aboriginal burial sites and an engraving.

Early in the history of European immigration, there was no need for quarantine for newly arrived ships but in the 1820s the number of immigrants increased. Spring Cove was used in 1828 for the first time for quarantine purposes. In the early years, ill people were kept on board ship and others were accommodated in tents.

For 140 years the Quarantine Station was used to house newly arrived immigrants and for this reason it is an important part of the history of Australia. Gradually buildings were added to the complex and these buildings reflect the beliefs and practices of the times in which they were built.

New ways of treating infectious diseases combined with the speed of air travel meant that the Quarantine Station was not often needed after 1960. The last ship to be quarantined was the Nikki Maru in 1972. The Quarantine Station has been used for emergency housing - in 1974 for refugees from Cyclone Tracey in Darwin and in 1975 for Vietnamese orphans and illegal immigrants.

QScarving.jpg (15102 bytes)
RMS NIAGARA
INFLUENZA
OCT 1918
Carved into the rock
near the wharf.
Photo : P.Bennett
Click here for some historical photos of the Quarantine Station.
In 1984 the Quarantine Station became part of the Sydney Harbour National Park under the management of the National Parks and Wildlife Service who set up a guided tour and interpretation service for visitors. The buildings have been used for conferences, weddings, film-making and tours and the greenhouse has been used by a horticulturalist. It is a magnificent location and has a fascinating history - it is no wonder that the tours continue to be very popular with school groups as well as the general public.

Pre-1828

1828-1836

1837-1871

1872-1879

1880-1908

1909-1949

1950-1983

1984-1999

This page was created 2nd June, 1999, by Judith Bennett,  Friends of Quarantine Station,
and was last modified 20th January, 2007.