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West Head army track

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Overview

Follow in the footsteps of World War II soldiers as you climb down the challenging West Head army track to a historic army battery. From here, Sydney’s Broken Bay was protected from possible invasion.

Where
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Accessibility
Hard
Distance
0.45km one-way
Time suggested
1hr - 1hr 30min
Grade
Grade 4
Entry fees

Park entry fees apply.

Bookings
Guided group tours of West Head army battery are available on request. Phone Kalkari Discovery Centre on (02) 9472 9300.
Please note
When using ladder ensure 3 points of contact and face the ladder when climbing.

This track winds down West Head's eastern face in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Some parts are so steep you’ll be scaling ladders.

Much of the original wartime track work still exists, uncovered by NPWS and West Head Awareness Team volunteers during track upgrades. But the real reward for history buffs is the destination. Perched above the shoreline, the army battery once hosted two 4.7-inch ex-naval guns supported on 800kg pedestals, an observation post, ammunition storage and 2 searchlights.

Today, the silent structures are a fascinating reminder of the days when heavy equipment was transported down the track via a purpose-built railway. Take a moment to wonder at the strength of the soldiers who built the steps and carried materials down to the site.

Head back the same way to West Head lookout, through casuarina forest that’s a favourite of glossy black cockatoos.

To find out more about the history of West Head Battery visit 4HResearch.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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Edward River canoe and kayak trail, Murray Valley National Park. Photo: David Finnegan.

Conservation program:

Saving our Species conservation program

Saving our Species is a innovative conservation program in NSW. It aims to halt and reverse the growing numbers of Australian animals and plants facing extinction. This program aims to secure as many threatened species that can be secured in the wild as possible, for the next 100 years. 

Mountain pygmy possum (Burramys parvus). Photo: Cate Aitken

Tours and events at this location

  • Man walking down the West Head army track. Photo: Natasha Webb/NPWS

    Gun emplacements at West Head

    If you’re up for a challenge join this 2km, 2-hour guided walk in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. You’ll learn about the historical significance of the gun emplacements at West Head.

Park info

  • in 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
  • Park entry fees:

    $12 per vehicle per day. Bus: $4.40 per adult, $2.20 per child (per day). There is no daily entry fee for teachers/educational supervisors (1 adult per 10 children).

    Buy an annual pass.
    • Sydney North (Bobbin Inn, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park)
      (02) 9472 8949
      Contact hours: 10am-4pm daily. 9am-4pm during summer school holidays (closed 12pm-12:30pm) (closed Christmas Day)
    • Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Bobbin Head Road, Mount Colah
    • Email: bobbin.head@environment.nsw.gov.au
      Fax: (02) 9457 0113
    More
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See more visitor info
People enjoying the view out to sea from West Head lookout. Photo:David Finnegan