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Bushwalking track notes, photographs, maps and more for Basin to Mackerel are found in each of the tabs below
Basin to Mackerel
Time: 1 hr 45 mins Walking time
Please allow extra time to rest and to explore
10.4 km NNE of Terrey Hills
Length: 4.5 km Walk Length
As this is a One Way walk, the 4.5 km only includes the walking distance from the start to the end point
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Climb: 200 m Total Climbing
This walk has a total cumulative climb of 200 m, this is the total of the elevation gains made in each of the walks uphill sections
There is NO car access to start or end of this walk There is a ferry stop near the start of this walk
Style: One way
Track: Hard

This scenic walk gives an excellent excuse for a ferry ride in Sydney's northern beaches region. The ferry leaves from Palm Beach Ferry Terminal, and crosses Pittwater to The Basin Wharf. The walk then heads around to Mackerel Beach and passes an optional side trip to some historic and interesting Aboriginal engravings. The scenic water views are complemented by the on-water views from a second ferry back to Palm Beach from Mackerel Wharf. (open in app)


Today's Fire rating
LOW MODERATE (No fire ban)
  Bushwalking track notes photographs, maps and camping spots for Basin to Mackerel

Map of Walk

Location

                Sponsor of Basin to Mackerel bushwalking tracknotes
Map of Basin to Mackerel
Problem loading PDF Try here
Map Controls - Show Contours | Hide Path | Hide Distances | Hide Names
Map Scale 1 km
The Basin Wharf
The Basin Campsite
Int. Basin Trk and Euro Trk
Int. Basin Trk and Mackerel Trk
Int. Basin Trk and Aboriginal Engraving Trk Exit
Int. Basin Trk and Mackerel Trk
Mackerel Trk Clearing
Mackerel South Gate
Mackerel South Gate
Mackerel North Gate
Mackerel Beach Wharf
Digger Crescent Bridge
Mackerel Beach Bush Fire Brigade Shed
Palm Trees North end of Mackerel Beach
Starting point for this hiking track: The Basin Campsite

Base maps are used under licence and is © Department of lands   Panorama Avenue Bathurst 2795   www.lands.nsw.gov.au

Maps that cover the walk area (please always carry maps of the area)

Print a map and track notes here
 Broken Bay 1:25 000 Map Series NSW-91301N 
 Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Tourist Map 1:40 000 Map Series CMA Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Tourist Map 
 Sydney 1:100 000 Map Series 9130 

Photo Gallery

 
The Basin Wharf
 
The Basin Wharf +
 
The Basin service trail into the campsite
 
The Basin service trail into the campsite +
 
Seed pod
 
Seed pod +

 
Aboriginal Engravings
 
Aboriginal Engravings +
 
Mackerel service trail
 
Mackerel service trail +
 
Mackerel Beach from the clearing
 
Mackerel Beach from the clearing +

 
South gate of Mackerel Beach
 
South gate of Mackerel Beach +
 
Mackerel Beach community
 
Mackerel Beach community +
 
Mackerel Beach Wharf
 
Mackerel Beach Wharf +

Terrain

Cross sectional view of the Basin to Mackerel bushwalking track

Cross Section of the Basin to Mackerel bushwalking track



Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Basin to Mackerel bushwalking track

Summary of the gradients over the the lenght of the Basin to Mackerel bushwalking track

Overview of this walks Grading - Based on the AS 2156.1 - 2001
These details are new. This new feature still requires more testing and refining. Please use the 'Walker Feedback' for report specific issues. Please e-mail Matt if you have any general comments. Hope you find it helpful.

Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
Length 4.5km
Time 1 hr 45 mins
.


Grade 4/6

Track: Hard
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)
*This summary of grading information is new and still in testing

Some more detail of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining the grading looking at sections of the walk.
Gradient
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.

Signs
3.6km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection and another 610m has minimal directional signs. The remaining (290m) is clearly signposted.

Experience Required
Around 4.4km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 180m requires some bushwalking experience.

Weather
This whole walk, 4.5km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).

Infrastructure
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).

Track Notes


Catch the ferry to The Basin
Public transport (ferry) available to this Bushwalk Palm Beach Ferry service opertates hourly from 9am to about 8pm check their timetable for more info. The ferry starts at Palm Beach and goes via Benntt's, Bonnie Doon, before arrinving at The basin Please check with the ferry operator for latest info on services --> Timetable
(0 km) The Basin Wharf to The Basin Campsite
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 132 m Time = 2 mins
Climb = 3 m Descent = 0 m
From the Basin wharf, this walk heads towards and past the white poles and the large dumpster bins on the right. The walk then continues approximately 50m to the cement road near the information sign of the campsite.

The Basin Campsite Alt = 1 m
The Basin Campsite, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, is a large grassed campsite overlooking Pittwater. The Basin is the only place you can camp in the National Park. However, it has capacity to sleep 400 people and many facilities to adequately cope. The Basin is accessible by has ferry and management trail, but there is no car access.
There are numerous facilities such as drinking water, flush toilets, picnic tables, electric and wood barbecues, in addition to cold showers, an amenities block and a soft drink vending machine. There is a large lagoon for swimming, and some nice walks to explore.

Beechwood Function and Convention Centre Alt = 1 m
Beechwood Function and Convention Centre, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, is a historic building situated next to The Basin camping area. The cottage was built in 1882 by convicts, pirates and sailors living in the area at the time. The cottage is now a venue for hire, with space and equipment to cater for 60 people.
More info

(0.13 km) The Basin Campsite to Int. Basin Trk and Mackerel Trk
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 2.01 km Time = 40 mins
Climb = 175 m Descent = -18 m
Continue straight: From the camping area, this walk heads up the cement road, following the sign 'West Head Road 2.4km' on the information board. The walk heads steeply up the hill for approximately 500m then turns left sharply. The track then becomes dirt as it continues approximately 300m up the hill to the signposted intersection.
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'.

(2.14 km) Int. Basin Trk and Mackerel Trk to Int. Basin Trk and Aboriginal Engraving Trk Entry
Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - servicetrail,bushtrack
Length = 326 m Time = 6 mins
Climb = 3 m Descent = -4 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, the walk heads downhill along the wide basin management trail, to the signposted intersection with a track on the left, which heads to the 'Aboriginal Engravings'[1].
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.
(Retrace your steps back to the main track, then veer left to continue along this walk.)

The Basin Track Aboriginal Engravings Alt = 163 m
The Basin Track Aboriginal Engravings, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, is a large rock surface scattered with Aboriginal engravings. The engravings depict men, fish, hopping wallabies and a club. The engravings are marked with interpretive signs which outline where on the rocks the engravings are and how they were made.

(2.14 km) Int. Basin Trk and Mackerel Trk to Mackerel Trk Clearing
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 1.48 km Time = 28 mins
Climb = 10 m Descent = -92 m
Turn sharp right: From the intersection, this walk heads towards the sea, following the arrow sign 'Mackerel Service Trail'. The track meanders down the wide spur for approximately 1km, to then lead along a narrower area of the spur and into a saddle. The track continues to undulate to a clearing with a view over Mackerel Beach and Pittwater Bay.

(3.62 km) Mackerel Trk Clearing to Mackerel South Gate
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 437 m Time = 10 mins
Climb = 4 m Descent = -59 m
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk follows the ridge down towards the sea. The track winds down the ridge, passing numerous large green water tanks to the left of the track, as the walk continues for approximately 50m to a lookout on a large boulder. The track heads down the left side of the boulder, winding steeply down the hillside to houses. The walk then leads to a small gate on the track in front of a brown wooden house.

(4.06 km) Mackerel South Gate to Currawong Beach
Optional sidetrip: Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 265 m Time = 7 mins
Climb = 17 m Descent = -26 m
Turn right: From the gate, this walk heads down the headland away from the house. The track drops down some small rock slopes to continues down the hill side for approximately 200m to Currawong Beach.
(Retrace your steps back to the main track, then continue straight to continue along this walk.)

Currawong Beach Alt = 3 m
Currawong Beach, Ku-ring-gai National Park, is a 400m stretch of sand looking east over Pittwater. The beach is situated between The Basin and Mackerel Beach. Currawong Beach has a wharf which allows for access via the water. Backing the beach is Currawong Beach Cottages and some steep hills. 'Little Mackerel Beach' was purchased in 1949 by the NSW Labour Council for their members. The resort was called Currawong, which is now the common name for the beach.

Currawong Beach Cottages Alt = 3 m
The Currawong Beach Cottages is a small settlement that was purchased by the Labour Council of NSW in 1949. The cottages, tennis court and golf course are now managed by Unions NSW. More info

(4.06 km) Mackerel South Gate to Mackerel North Gate
Track: Hard - footpath
Length = 176 m Time = 4 mins
Climb = 5 m Descent = -18 m
Turn left: From the gate, this walk heads through the gate, then winds between and under the houses for approximately 200m, coming to a gate before the beach.

Mackerel Beach Alt = 2 m
Mackerel Beach, also known as Great Mackerel Beach, is a 600m stretch of sand facing east over Pittwater. The beach is backed by a lagoon and a small community of houses. Mackerel Beach has a wharf with public ferry access. Mackerel Beach and its southern neighbour, Little Mackerel or Currawong Beach, were originally purchased for farming in 1823 by John Clarke. The land was then subdivided and more than a hundred houses were built, many of which still stand today.

(4.24 km) Mackerel North Gate to Mackerel Beach Wharf
Walk: Easy - beach
Length = 291 m Time = 6 mins
Climb = 3 m Descent = -17 m
Veer left: From the gate, this walk heads onto the beach and continues for approximately 300m across the beach to the wharf in the middle of the beach.

(4.53 km) Mackerel Beach Wharf to Mackerel Beach Wharf
Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - bushtrack,servicetrail,bushtrack,bushtrack
Length = 1.39 km Time = 27 mins
Climb = 38 m Descent = -37 m
Turn left: From the wharf, this walk follows the tarmac pavement to the the corner beneath a large, yellow 'Submarine Cable' sign. The track then turns right, heading along a grassy pathway of Monash Ave. The walk continues along this for approximately 300m to a bridge.
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.

Catch the ferry to Mackerel beach
Public transport (ferry) available to this Bushwalk Palm Beach Ferry service operates hourly from 9am to about 8pm - check their timetable for more info. The ferry starts at Palm Beach and goes via Bennett's, Bonnie Doon, The Basin, Currawong then Mackerel. Ph: 9974 2411 Please check with the ferry operator for latest info on services --> Timetable

Getting there

Plan your trip to the start of the walk and back from the end of the walk

Public Transport links currently not working, sorry
Public Transport Timetables

To the start of the walk

Catch a ferry to The Basin
Palm Beach Ferry service opertates hourly from 9am to about 8pm check their timetable for more info. The ferry starts at Palm Beach and goes via Benntt's, Bonnie Doon, before arrinving at The basin Get Timetable
Catch a ferry to Mackerel beach
Palm Beach Ferry service operates hourly from 9am to about 8pm - check their timetable for more info. The ferry starts at Palm Beach and goes via Bennett's, Bonnie Doon, The Basin, Currawong then Mackerel. Ph: 9974 2411 Get Timetable
From the end of the walk

Sorry there are no
public transport options
from the end of this walk


Near by


Campsites in the park
The Basin campground


Nearest know Outdoor Stores near the start of this walk
Store Address Phone Distance (straight line)
Paddlecraft 3B / 1714 Pittwater Road, Bayview 02 9997 8015 6.2 km
Outdoor Shack 1131 Pittwater Rd , Collaroy (02) 9981 6933 14.2 km
Larry Adler Ski & Outdoor 1024 Pittwater Rd , Collaroy (02) 9971 8711 14.8 km
Kellys Camping & Outdoors 826 Pittwater Rd , Dee Why (02) 9972 0061 16.9 km
Mannings Sports 172 Mann St , Gosford (02) 4325 1617 20.4 km


A list of the nearest UHF CB repeaters I found to Basin to Mackerel.
Channel Call sign
(more info)
Site Distance and dir from Basin to Mackerel
Click to re-center search
6 VMB7 CB Repeater Site 16 Alan Rd BEROWRA HEIGHTS 14 km (to the W)
8 MDC08 Gencom Site Lot 6 Wakefield Close KARIONG 18 km (to the N)
5 SYD05 Sydney Adventist Hospital 185 Fox Valley Rd WAHROONGA
Emergency use only
23 km (to the SW)
3 VMB2 Tower Street BATEAU BAY 29 km (to the NNE)
7 SYD07 7 Glamorgan St BLACKTOWN 41 km (to the WSW)

Weather and Park info

Fire Danger
This walk passes Greater Sydney Region fire area which currently has a LOW MODERATE rating and No fire ban in place.
(Tomorrow the Fire Danger Rating is LOW MODERATE, No fire ban.) (Downloaded 3 years ago)
Please Note: Each 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 and Climate
Weather and Climate summary detailed weather and climate information here
°C (feels like °)
km/h from the
% humidity     (as at )
Wed      29°Showers. Likely storm developing.
Thu19°|25°Possible shower.
Fri18°|30°Partly cloudy.
Sat16°|24°Possible late shower.
A graph displaying the average daily temperature range for the year

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Link to official closures and fire bans page
A largely untouched wilderness on the northern boundary of Sydney, Ku-ring-gai Chase NP is one of Australia's oldest national parks. Here at the head of the Hawkesbury River, you'll find Aboriginal engravings and sites, as well as sandstone escarpments,
Region: Sydney & Surrounds
Park fees Camping Facilities I am not aware of any closures in this park at the moment.

Walker Feedback

Comments
Add NewSearch
Mike Cuming - Bushwalker IP:144.132.164.xxx | 2014-11-04 08:30:24
Several times over recent years, I have enjoyed the ferry to Mackerel, then up to West Head and back, before going on to the Basin for an overnight camp. Then back to Mackerel next day for return to PB. Every time I have had a problem getting from Mac beach up to the top of the ridge and the start of the Mackerel Service trail. Fortunately as I go midweek the weekenders are away and so I go unchallenged through their living rooms, thru gates marked "private" and over fences. Yesterday I tried a new way up, eventually scrambling up through many water tanks. Not recommended!
But today on my return, I descended from the big green water tank, past the highest grey house on my left and thru the gate for the path that runs north. Here I met a tradesman and he advised me on the easiest way down from there. Having past the second yellow house along the path, turn right and take steps one level down. Then left along a short grey painted boardwalk one house length, before taking a series of stairs (which start from just before a short concrete wall) all the way down. This brings you down to the beach just to the right of an abandoned, rusty galvanised water tank (reference point for starting the reverse) before rock-hopping along the foreshore. Easy!
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