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West Head Lookout and West Head Beach

Home > Sydney > Beaches | Day Trips | Escape the City | Lookouts | Outdoor
by Telani Kumar (subscribe)
A free-spirit studying psychology at the University of Sydney.
Published December 21st 2016
Where Sydney meets the Sea
On the Western reaches of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, you'll find one of the most scenic coastal views in Sydney. West Head lookout is a must-see for those who love the water, and while you're here, venture down through a short but scenic bush trail to West Head Beach, right at the foot of this natural fort.

west head, lookout, sydney, ku-ring-gai chase, national park, pacific
West Head panorama (there's more!)


Reach the lookout by car, via West Head Road, or the West Head lookout track from the Resolute picnic area. Over at the platform, take your time to take in the sights and savour the spanning view across the Hawkesbury River, Central Coast, Lion Island, the Pacific Ocean, Barrenjoey, and Pittwater on the northern reaches of Sydney. It's quite the panorama.

We felt on top of the world, upon the large sandstone platform laid across the head in 1942. There are benches for those who want to rest up while in awe, and plaques for those interested in the history of this Sydney-based fortress. You can see how this makes a prime spot for defence forces to keep a watchful eye.

west head, lookout, sydney, ku-ring-gai chase, national park, pacific, fort, fortress
A representation of what's before you


There was blue in all directions, and serene surroundings posing quite the contrast to urban Sydney, not far away. These together with the majestic water views made it all so peaceful up here. See how many of the gorgeous waterside locations in and around Sydney you can spot from up here - Patonga Beach on the Central Coast? What about Umina?

Once you have taken it all in - although one could easily stay here for hours - venture slightly to the South and find a trail into the forest. Follow the signage for Resolute Beach, and you'll find your way to West Head Beach, about 15 minutes along from the lookout.

west head, beach, sydney, ku-ring-gai, chase, national park
The stunning shores of West Head Beach


Meander your way down the forest-lined stairs and you'll come to a clearing, with West Head Beach at the foot of some rocks. Hop down these and step foot onto the sandy shores offering a beautiful, close-up view of the waterway between here and Barrenjoey, and a towering backdrop of greenery behind you.

This made for a picturesque place to picnic. Just be sure to take all of your rubbish with you. It was also great for a refreshing swim, and a float upon the small waves with a lilo. Do take care as the beaches in Ku-ring-gai Chase are not patrolled and tend to have submerged rocks along with Blue Bottles, particularly in the summer.

west head, beach, sydney, ku-ring-gai, chase, national park, barrenjoey
West Head Beach - looking over to Barrenjoey


It is recommended you make your way back up before dark, and keep in mind the park closes at 8.30pm in the daylight saving period, and 6pm outside of this. There is a camp site in the case you feel like more than just a day in the sprawling wilderness of this national park. See here for more on this.
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Why? Serenity & sweet seaside views
When: 6am-8.30pm during daylight saving, otherwise 6am-6pm
Phone: (02) 9472 8949 | 13000 PARKS (13000 72757)
Where: Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Cost: $12 per vehicle/day
Your Comment
Wow, this place looks beautiful
by Lucinda (score: 2|342) 1022 days ago
Another walk takes you to old aboriginal carvings. It is a pity this historical place is neglected and probably will disappear if nothing is done for its protection...
by dabas (score: 0|4) 1025 days ago
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