1 hr 45 mins
(0km) The Basin Wharf → The Basin Campsite
The Basin Campsite
Beechwood Function and Convention Centre
(0.13km) The Basin Campsite → Int. Basin Trk and Mackerel Trk
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk heads up the hill following the sign to ‘West Head Rd 1.9km’. The track continues to climb up the hill, winding as it does so for some time. As the track passes over the hill, it undulates over two hills with views of the sea behind. The track then winds steeply down the hill for approximately 300m to an intersection on the right, marked by a sign saying ‘Mackarel Service Trail’.
(2.14km) Int. Basin Trk and Mackerel Trk → Int. Basin Trk and Aboriginal Engraving Trk Entry
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the ‘Aboriginal Engravings’ sign into the heath and away from the management trail. The track tends right as it follows the wooden edging over the rock surface, between the engravings, to a ramp. The track continues for approximately 10m to the signposted intersection. At the end of this side trip, retrace your steps back to the main walk then Turn left.
The Basin Track Aboriginal Engravings
(2.14km) Int. Basin Trk and Mackerel Trk → Mackerel Trk Clearing
(3.62km) Mackerel Trk Clearing → Mackerel South Gate
(4.06km) Mackerel South Gate → Currawong Beach
Currawong Beach Cottages
(4.06km) Mackerel South Gate → Mackerel North Gate
(4.24km) Mackerel North Gate → Mackerel Beach Wharf
(4.53km) Mackerel Beach Wharf → Mackerel Beach Wharf
Continue straight: From the bridge, this walk crosses the bridge and leads along the grassy path of Diggers Crescent. The walk turns right after approximately 100m, then continues another 100m to a large shed, the ‘Mackerel Beach Bush Fire Brigade’ shed.
Continue straight: ****Warning: This section of track has been reported as overgrown and no longer passable**** From the shed, this walk passes along the left side of the shed, to a small grassy clearing near a lagoon. The walk travels alongside the lagoon for approximately 300m, tending right with the lagoon to open onto a sandy creek bed behind the beach. This walk then continues to the right side of the creek, to continue to the two palm trees on this end of Mackerel Beach. A boulder below the two trees is painted with a black arrow.
Turn right: From the arrow painted boulder, the walk heads along the beach, keeping the water to the left. After approximately 300m, the walk comes to the wharf in the middle of the beach. At the end of this side trip, retrace your steps back to the main walk then Turn left.
Maps for the Basin to Mackerel walkYou can download the PDF for this walk to print a map.
These maps below cover the walk and the wider area around the walk, they are worth carrying for safety reasons.
|Broken Bay||1:25 000 Map Series||91301N BROKEN BAY||NSW-91301N|
|Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Tourist Map||1:40 000 Map Series||CMA Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Tourist Map||CMA Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Tourist Map|
|Sydney||1:100 000 Map Series||9130 SYDNEY||9130|
Overview of this walks grade – based on the AS 2156.1 – 2001
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
|Time||1 hr 45 mins|
|AS 2156.1||Gradient||Short steep hills (3/6)|
|Quality of track||Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)|
|Signs||Minimal directional signs (4/6)|
|Experience Required||Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)|
|Weather||Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)|
|Infrastructure||Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)|
Some more details of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining grading looking at sections of the walk
2.6km of this walk has short steep hills and another 1.8km has gentle hills with occasional steps. The remaining (130m) is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
3.8km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail and another 610m follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely. The remaining (130m) follows a smooth and hardened path.
3.6km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection and another 610m has minimal directional signs. The remaining (290m) is clearly signposted.
Around 4.4km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 180m requires some bushwalking experience.
This whole walk, 4.5km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
Around 3.1km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced), whilst the remaining 1.4km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).
This short walk is a great way to see the beautiful Mackerel Beach and community. After a short ferry ride from Palm Beach, the walk heads up the grassed streets of Mackerel, leading to the lagoon. The track is mainly sandy beach or grass stretches, with the area behind the lagoon winding through a bushland area to bring the track back to Mackerel Beach. This loop is a great short walk, and only a hop, skip and jump away from Palm Beach.
Total climbing: 38m
Note: There is no car transport option to or from this walk.
1.4 km Circuit
This walk is another great walk in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, accessed by ferry. From the Mackerel Beach wharf, this walk uses the Resolute Loop track to round the headland, enjoying a few secluded beaches and excellent, historic Aboriginal sites. This walk features Mackerel Beach and community, with an alternative route through the town which is well worth the walk.
Total climbing: 384m
Note: There is no car transport option to or from this walk.
5.4 km Circuit
The Basin Track is the only land access to The Basin, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park’s only campsite. The walk follows mostly management trail and heads across the plateau away from West Head Rd, with a great side trip to Aboriginal rock engravings and The Basin Dam. This is a nice walk, heading through the heath of the plateau and down through the forest to the large campsite and facilities of The Basin. The Basin itself is a great place for a swim or overnight stay. There is a ferry service from the Basin.
Total climbing: 218m
5.6 km Return
2 hrs 30 mins
This walk is a great way to see some popular areas in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The walk from West Head Rd travels to The Basin campsite, and the ferry takes you over to Mackerel Beach. Before returning to West Head Rd, the walk also gives the option to head down to Currawong Beach. There is plenty to do at the beach, with swimming and picnic areas, and clearings for other games.
Total climbing: 226m
5.9 km Circuit
This walk takes one of two main tracks down to Mackerel Beach. The track leaves West Head Rd, passing some historic Aboriginal engravings before descending to the beach. The track loops around the small community of Mackerel Beach to come back down the beach and return to West Head Rd. A nice An optional side trip to Currawong Beach makes a nice addition to this walk.
Total climbing: 299m
8.2 km Return
The Mackerel Beach, West Head Loop is a walk which explores a large part of the West Head. The journey starts and finishes with a ferry across Pittwater. The walk heads around West Head, taking in views on the Broken Bay side, with Lion Island featuring as a prominent sight. The walk follows sections of road that connect some fantastic bush tracks together. This is a solid day walk if allowing time to relax and have a dip at one of the many beaches along the way.
Total climbing: 422m
8.6 km Circuit
Other Nearby walks
This short walk has a great range of scenery, making it a great choice if you have only a short time in this National Park. This track one of two ways to access America Bay – the other is by boat. The track cuts straight through the bush from West Head Rd to pass historic Aboriginal engravings and a large cliff with a small waterfall, which also gives an impressive view of the bay.
Total climbing: 130m
2.2 km Return
1 hr 15 mins
This short walk is a great way to see a slice of what Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park has on offer. The track visits some historic Aboriginal engravings, and enjoys water views, heath and forest environments. The America Bay track also throws in a waterfall for your enjoyment – from the top of the fall, walkers won’t see much of the fall itself, however the outlook is lovely and the walk very enjoyable.
Total climbing: 76m
1.9 km Return
7.6 km Return
6.8 km Return
2 hrs 30 mins
3 km Return
1 hr 15 mins
This is a pleasant walk along an old management trail, off West Head Rd. Following the ridge top you will pass through a variety of vegetation types including some dense heath and some tall scribbly gums which occasionally give way to a wide view over the park. There is a nice lookout at the end of the walk with views to Cowan Waters, through the trees.
Total climbing: 127m
3.8 km Return
1 hr 30 mins
2.8 km Circuit
1 hr 30 mins
Very experienced only
This walk follows a scenic route to the secluded Flint and Steel Beach, which provides views across the Hawkesbury River to landmarks such as Lion Island, Patonga and Box Head. The walk passes through palm, pine and grass tree forests. There is a great diversity of flora and some fantastic sandstone rock formations along the way.
Total climbing: 209m
2.1 km Return
This is a nice walk to White Horse Beach on Flint and Steel Bay. The return-style walk passes McGaw’s ruins and and the old water catchment. From White Horse Beach, there are scenic views across the Hawkesbury River. The ruins are a nice addition to the walk – although overgrown, they add a touch of recent history to the walk.
Total climbing: 159m
1.9 km Return
On this walk you will visit the highest point in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. At the top of the hill is an old trig point and some stunning panoramic view. On a clear day, there is an uninterrupted 180-degree view across large parts of the park, including Pittwater to the east and distant glimpses of Sydney city on the horizon, far to the south.
Total climbing: 62m
1.4 km Return
This is a short walk down to Red Hands Cave from the Resolute Picnic Area. The walk loops from the picnic area through the heath and down to the overhang of the cave. The Aboriginal rock art is quite faded but is estimated to be over 2000 years old. This makes for an interesting historic walk, great as an appetiser before a picnic lunch at Resolute Picnic Area.
Total climbing: 9m
403 m Circuit
The Aboriginal Heritage Track takes in one of the most popular rock art sites in Ku-ring-gai National Park, and an amazing Aboriginal engraving site. The walk leads out from Resolute Picnic Area to pass by the caves and then continues down the management trail to the engravings. The walk then returns to the picnic area. It is a great way to see historic Aboriginal art in the Sydney region.
Total climbing: 27m
1.1 km Circuit
Fire DangerEach park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.
Weather ForestThis walk starts in the weather district always check the formal BOM forecast or pdf before starting your walk.
Park Information & Alerts
Short URL = http://wild.tl/btm
There are other downloads I am still working on.
You will probably need to login to access these — still all free.
* KML (google earth file)
* GPX (GPS file)
Special Maps/ brochures
* A3 topo maps
* PDF with Lands Topo map base
* PDF with arial image (and map overlay)
I wanted to get the main site live first, this extra stuff will come in time.