The Basin track and Mackerel track Trail Hiking Australia
  • Length: 9.6km

  • Duration: 2.5hrs

  • Grade: 3

  • Style: Return

  • Start: W Head Rd, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase

  • End: W Head Rd, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase

  • Location: Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

  • Closest Town:

  • Distance from CBD: 46.4 km

  • State: NSW

  • Latitude: -33.5903366666665

  • Longitude: 151.282181166667

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2WD Access

4WD Access

Public Transport

Bitumen Road

Gravel Road

Steep Road

Winding Road

Speed Bumps

Vehicle Ford

Entry Fee

Large Car Park

Small Car Park

Accessible Parking

Accessible Toilet

Public Toilets

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Picnic Shelter

Picnic Table

BBQ Facilities

Campfire Pit

Camping Area

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Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park...

Select items to indicate features found along the trail.

Concrete Path

Timber Boardwalk

Gravel Path

Sandy Trail

Rough Trail

Undefined Trail

Prams & Strollers

Manual Wheelchair

Motorised Wheelchair

Bicycle Trail

Mountain Bike Trail

Historic Rail Trail

Dog Friendly

Urban Walk

Coast & Beach

Historic Lighthouse

Waterfalls & Lakes

Rainforest Walk

Goldfields & Mining

Heritage Walk

Aboriginal Art

Alpine Region

Alpine Huts

Exposed Ledges

Rock Scrambling

Steep Terrain

Bush Bashing

River Crossings

Scenic Viewpoints

Well Marked

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Fishing Spots

Swimming Spots

Overnight Campsites

Trail Running

Horse Riding


The North Face

The Basin track and Mackerel track is a 9.6km, grade 3 return hike, located in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, New South Wales. The hike should take approximately 2.5hrs to complete.

Hike Summary

Walking the scenic Basin track and Mackerel track is an excellent way of exploring Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
You can start both these tracks from West Head road, 8.5km from the Liberator General San Martin Drive junction. Head along the ridge top and stop to explore the Basin Aboriginal Art site. From here, follow signs to The Basin campground, and enjoy glimpses of Pittwater through the trees before descending to the campground. Spend as much time as you like in this popular area, where you can take a refreshing swim, play games on the grass clearing and enjoy the facilities. When you’re ready, you simply walk back to West Head Road via the Basin trail, or alternatively you can catch a Palm Beach Ferry and enjoy some of the beaches of Pittwater.
To explore the Mackerel track take the left hand turn after the Basin Aboriginal Art site. Head out to the point to enjoy the impressive views across Pittwater, and look down upon Mackerel Beach to the north and Currawong to the south. To return, follow the Mackerel track back to West Head road.
You’ll see more of the park’s stunning scenery on the way, including heathlands, grassy woodlands and dry eucalypt forests.
Take a virtual tour of The Basin track and Mackerel track captured with Google Street View Trekker.

About the region

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger. The entrance to Bobbin Head and Appletree Bay is closed from 8pm to 6am during daylight savings periods, and from 5.30pm to 6am at other times of the year. Gates to West Head are closed from 8.30pm to 6am during daylight savings periods, and from 6pm to 6am at other times of the year. No vehicle access to The Basin campground or to Barrenjoey Headland
10am to 4pm daily. 9am to 4pm during summer school holidays, closed 12pm-12:30pm. Closed Christmas Day.
9am to 5pm daily. 9am to 4pm daily in June and July. Closed Christmas Day.

Getting there

On entering Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, head down West Head Road, 8.5km from the Liberator General San Martin Drive junction. Parking Parking is available at the Basin Trail track head as well as at the Resolute and West Head picnic areas. However, the parking at West Head or Resolute picnic areas involves a 2-3km walk along the road edge to the Basin track and is not recommended during busy traffic periods.


The Basin track is 6.4km return, and Mackerel track is 3.2km return
Mackerel Beach can’t be accessed by the walking track, only by ferry or private vessel

Visit NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for more information on this trail.

The longitude and latitude of the start and end points are approximately only and should not be used for navigation purposes. Please contact me if you know the correct coordinates.


Hikes Nearby

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