The Coal Loader, one of the North Shore’s best destinations for creativity and sustainability, is on a roll this year. There’s a bunch of stuff happening, from a fun new app to an Artisans Market, and music and sundowners on the Platform. Get your diary ready!

Sunset Sessions are Back

Image: The Coal Loader

Do you remember getting excited about Sunset Sessions at the Coal Loader Platform before they were indefinitely put on hold? Well, not anymore! The event is back on and one to check out every first Sunday of the month until June from 1pm to 8pm – so don’t forget to mark your calendars. The next session is on 7 March so you won’t have to wait too long to grab the picnic rug and enjoy drinking sustainable gin and locally brewed beer, as well as live music. Don’t forget to bring your phone to sign in and order from the bar app – there’s only electronic table service available at the event.

The Coal Loader Kids Trail

Image: The Coal Loader

If you’re searching for something fun (and free!) to do with the kids, have a look at the kids’ trail on The Coal Loader website. It’s a mobile-friendly, self-timed way for your kids to explore the great outdoors whilst finding listed items and answering fun questions. They’ll uncover the site’s history, all its sustainability features, native planting, food gardens, bats, chickens and more. All you have to do is head to their website and use your mobile to navigate the trail. Easy!

Artisans Market

Image: The Coal Loader

On 28 February, The Coal Loader is going to welcome stallholders and guests for the first Artisans Market in a year. The sustainable market is held four times a year, on the last Sunday of February, May, August and November. What’s so great about it? You’ll get to see and buy original and creative handmade products directly from emerging and contemporary designers, artists and makers such as eco products, wool creations, textiles and designs for children. To keep the market COVID-safe, all stalls will be outside, on The Platform, and numbers will be reduced. Don’t forget to bring along a cloth bag to keep all your goodies!

Tunnel Tours

Image: The Coal Loader

Do you consider yourself a bit of a history buff? Great – this one’s for you. Explore one of the 160m tunnels from the historic coal loading system. Visit Tunnel 1 and see the original coal feeder and cart still in situ. Next, enjoy the walk through Tunnel 2 to the bushland of Balls Head and beyond. Don’t worry, the sensor lighting will automatically turn on to guide you. Please note that the other two tunnels are currently closed to the public. One of them is home to threatened micro-bats and the other tunnel is lined with 50 rainwater tanks. Luckily, there are tours available to help you explore the site’s history with a volunteer guide. The next tour is on 6 March and will last an hour – bookings are essential.

The New Coal Loader Augmented Reality App

Image: The Coal Loader

From virtual whales in the harbour to towering cranes and waving wallabies, visitors to North Sydney’s Coal Loader can now interact with the site’s history and native animals through a new augmented reality app, available for free! It features three walking trails with interactive targets located around North Sydney Council’s stunning parkland and Centre for Sustainability. When visitors reach one of the trails’ 36 targets, they can scan the QR codes with their phones or tablets to discover digital native animals, historical re-enactments, and information about the Coal Loader and its sustainability initiatives. Digital activations include native bees, microbats and coal trucks moving through old tunnels – just as they would have done back in the 1920s when the Coal Loader was still a working industrial site.

Contact details

Address: 2 Balls Head Dr, Waverton NSW 2060
Phone: 02 9936 8100
Instagram: @thecoalloader

Looking for more things to do? Why not catch a film outdoors with Sunset Cinema or take your young ones to a kid-friendly cafe on the North Shore. Don’t forget to keep checking back in with us – we’re always on the hunt for exciting new events and venues for you to stay entertained!

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