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Before the development of modern medicine, infectious diseases posed a major public health threat. The only known means of protecting communities from outbreaks was to isolate sufferers and those with whom they had been in contact.


For immigrants in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who had already endured the long voyage to Australia, quarantine could be a frightening and traumatic experience. Separated from healthy family members, those in quarantine had no way of knowing whether they would see their loved ones again. Some children left the Quarantine Station as orphans, and some women as widows, alone in a strange country with no means of support. Once home to generations of Aboriginal people attracted by the abundance of seafood, the deep coves, fresh breezes, clean water supply and remoteness from the fledgling colony of Sydney made North Head an ideal place for the creation of a quarantine area.


From Quarantine to Q Station tells the fascinating story of the evolution of this site, from its early days as the colonial Quarantine Station through its transformation to the peaceful accommodation and conference facility known as Q Station.


Richly illustrated with more than 200 colour, sepia and black and white photographs, many dating from the late-1800s, this captivating, well-researched book takes readers on an evocative journey through time. Newspaper articles, archaeological research and anecdotes from detainees bring the past to life, while modern preservation and restoration efforts are described in fascinating detail.

From Quarantine to Q Station

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