South Head General Cemetery is Crown land managed by Waverley Council. It is required to have a Plan of Management (PoM) under the Crown Lands Management Act (2016).

A Plan of Management is a document that guides the sustainable use, improvement, maintenance, and management of public land. It gives directions and identifies important actions to achieve what is envisioned for the land.

The South Head General Cemetery Plan of Management has three parts:

1. Introduction and history

2. Existing situation - provides an overview of the site context, site conditions, opportunities and constraints, as well as the legislative context.

3. Basis for management - sets out how our vision for the cemetery can be achieved in light of the existing situation, in the form of an implementation action plan which will guide our activities over the coming years.

In October 2020, a Council report presented a list of coastal Crown reserves that were identified for new PoMs to be developed. The cemeteries team started work on the PoM in early 2023 and have sought advice from both cemeteries and Crematoria NSW and Crown Lands on the process to develop this.

South Head Cemetery is a place of historical significance for the people of Waverley and NSW.

Pre-European settlement, the South Head area, was a major Aboriginal fishing site, from the enclosed Harbour waters to the ocean below the cliffs.

The first request for a cemetery in the area dates to around 1841. The first burial – of a Major Lee – took place in February 1868.

From its inception it was known as South Head General Cemetery. This was because unlike most cemeteries of the time, it had no sections or areas reserved for the various religions. All would share the space. Today it is also known as South Head Cemetery.

Given its location, it has been popular as a final resting place for Sydney’s political, business and cultural leaders. Although the grand monuments for notable Australians mingle with those from the broader community.

The cemetery also contains graves that were moved from the Devonshire Street Cemetery in 1901. This was done to allow for the construction of Central Railway Station.

The cemetery is heritage-listed Crown land and remains operational. It is managed by Waverley Council and is a treasured place of reflection and remembrance for the local community.

Read more about South Head General Cemetery.

Please ensure you have read the draft South Head General Cemetery Plan of Management prior to submitting your feedback using the below survey.