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