Special Offer

The Basin campground

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Special Offer

Stay 3, pay 2

Stay 3 nights, pay only 2 nights. Valid for stays between 29 April and 29 November 2019. Excludes NSW school holidays and public holiday weekends. Subject to availability. Book online.


Book now

Overview

The Basin campground in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is one of Sydney's most popular beach camping spots. 

Accommodation Details
Camping type Tent, Remote/backpack camping
Facilities Amenities block, picnic tables, barbecue facilities, drinking water, public phone, showers, toilets
Price
  • Rates and availability are displayed when making an online booking
  • A minimum daily rate applies, which includes the first 2 occupants.
Entry fees

Park entry fees for this park are not included in your camping fees.

Bookings Book online or call the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757. Groups of 40 or more people need to book through the Basin office. Please email basin.campground@environment.nsw.gov.au
Please note
  • If you choose to arrive by car instead of ferry or water taxi, you'll be walking a 2.8km track from West Head Road carpark to get to and from the campground.
  • It's better to get the ferry if you have heavy camping gear or kids. 
  • If you're camping at The Basin and arriving by ferry from Palm Beach, please drop your camping gear at the ferry wharf. Leave your car in the seasonal carpark at the Careel Bay Sporting Fields, then catch the 199 bus back to the wharf. The 199 bus comes every 15 minutes, and it's just a short 5 minute ride.
  • Check in after 2pm. Check out before 10am.
  • Campers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult
  • The Basin is a family friendly campground. For the safety of all visitors, NPWS reserves the right to ask those displaying anti-social behaviour to leave the grounds.
  • This campground is extremely popular and you may be turned away if you arrive without a booking
Book now

The Basin campground is the only place you can camp in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. This large, grassy area overlooks Pittwater, offering lovely surroundings and views.

It’s easy to see why this waterfront campground is so popular. At The Basin, you’ll find great facilities along with a picnic area, sheltered beach and an inland lagoon. The campground accommodates up to 400 campers.

Pitch your tent in a shady spot, enjoy a bike ride or a swim and see if you can spot the local swamp wallabies or kookaburras.

There’s no car access to The Basin campground. You can park at West Head Road but it's a steep 2.8km walk to the campground from there. If you're not up for the hike, arrive by water taxi, boat or a ferry which leaves from Palm Beach Wharf.

Take a virtual tour of The Basin campground captured with Google Street View Trekker.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/camping-and-accommodation/campgrounds/the-basin-campground/local-alerts

Operated by

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 the rest of the year.
    • Gates to West Head are closed from 8.30pm to 6am during daylight savings periods, and from 6pm to 6am the rest of the year.
  • Park entry fees:

    $12 per vehicle per day.

    Vehicles over 8 seats: $4.40 per adult, $2.20 per child (per day). Students on educational programs: $1.10 per student. Teachers/educational supervisors: free (1 adult per 10 students).

    Buy a pass (//pass.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/).
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about The Basin campground.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    The Basin campground is on the western foreshores of Pittwater in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. To get there:

    • It's best to Take the ferry which leaves from Palm Beach Wharf
    • If you're camping at The Basin and arriving by ferry from Palm Beach, please drop your camping gear at the ferry wharf. Leave your car in the seasonal carpark at the Careel Bay Sporting Fields, then catch the 199 bus back to the wharf. The 199 bus comes every 15 minutes, and it's just a short 5 minute ride.
    • If you choose to arrive by car, please note that getting to and from the campground involves a steep 2.8km walk from the West Head Road carpark (West Head Road gates are locked between 8.30pm – 6am during daylight savings and 6pm – 6am at other times)
    • If you own a boat, anchor in the sheltered bay opposite the picnic and campground.
    • Drive or ride through the park along West Head Road, then walk or cycle along the steep 2.8km Basin walking track to The Basin campground.

    Park entry points

    Road quality

    There is no vehicle access.

    Parking

    If driving to the track entry of the campground, limited parking is available in West Head Road carpark, 2.8km from the campground.

    Best times to visit

    Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park offers an exceptional visit all year round. You're sure to find a walk, tour, activity or attraction to appeal, regardless of the season.

    Spring

    If you're interested in wildflower displays, set aside a day in August or September to stroll through the park's blooming heathlands.

    Summer

    Bring your fishing gear and go camping at The Basin.

    Winter

    Barrenjoey Head (on the other side of Pittwater, but still in the park) is an excellent spot for whale watching. Take the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk between May and August or celebrate International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend in August.

    Facilities

    • The campground has unmarked sites for tents. Sites are unpowered.
    • Please dispose of all rubbish into the rubbish bins provided.
    • Nearby Beechwood Cottage is a historic property at the campground available for functions, please book in advance.
    • Ice, bait, solar water bags and some firewood are sold from 9.45am – 10am and 2.45pm – 3pm from the campground manager.

    Amenities

    Hand-wash laundry basins

    Toilets

    • Flush toilets

    Picnic tables

    Barbecue facilities

    Fires are only permitted in designated wood barbecues or fire pits. Fire pits can be booked onsite only and cannot be booked in advance. Firewood can be purchased at the campground.

    • Gas/electric barbecues (free)
    • Wood barbecues

    Drinking water

    Public phone

    Showers

    • Cold showers

    Maps and downloads

    Fees and passes

    Daily Entry Fees and Landing Fees apply at the Basin campground.

    Daily Entry Fees: If travelling by motor vehicle to the campground, daily entry fees are not included in your camping fees. Daily fees for Ku-ring-gai National Park are payable at the Entry Station to the park. Annual passes can be purchased online prior to arrival.

    Landing Fees: If you’re arriving at the campground by water, landing fees are included in your camping fees. Day visitors must pay landing fees, which are payable at the campground wharf through an honesty box. Please note, annual passes do not cover landing fees.

    Safety messages

    If you're arriving at the campground via West Head Road carpark and walking track, it is not safe to walk down after sunset as the track is very steep and West Head Road gate will be locked.

    Beach safety

    Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

    Camping safety

    Whether you're pitching your tent on the coast or up on the mountains, there are many things to consider when camping in NSW national parks. Find out how to stay safe when camping.

    Fire safety

    During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

    Mobile safety

    There is limited mobile phone coverage at the campground, however there is a public pay phone available.

    Paddling safety

    To make your paddling or kayaking adventure safer and more enjoyable, check out these paddling safety tips.

    Wildlife safety

    Please do not feed or chase wildlife. Feeding native animals can cause serious health issues and result in animals becoming aggressive towards people.

    Accessibility

    Disability access level - medium

    Assistance may be required to access this area.

    • Wheelchair access is by ferry only
    • Wheelchair-accessible toilet

    Permitted

    Fishing

    A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

    Please note that spear guns and hand spears are not permitted in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. They may not be carried through the park and must not be used within 100m of a beach in the national park.

    Prohibited

    The Basin is a family friendly campground. Please be considerate of others during your stay:

    • For the comfort of all campground visitors, we ask that you keep noise to a minimum. Noise restrictions apply after 10pm. 
    • Underage drinking is not permitted 
    • Visitors displaying anti-social, offensive or dangerous behaviour will be asked to leave the campground.

    Drones

    The use of recreational drones are currently prohibited in this park due to safety reasons. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) states that drones should not be flown within 30m of vehicles, boats, buildings or people, or within 5.5km of an airfield. Drones can also impact on public enjoyment and privacy, interfere with park operations, and may pose a threat to wildlife in some areas.

    Please contact the park office for consent if you wish to fly a drone for commercial filming or photography purposes. For more information, see the Drones in Parks policy.

    Gathering firewood

    Gathering firewood and the use of heat beads is not permitted. Firewood can be purchased at the campground.

    Generators

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Visitor centre

    Nearby towns

    Gosford (19 km)

    Gosford is a great destination for a family day trip or holiday. It's situated on Brisbane Water National Park and surrounded by state forests, lakes and beaches.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Palm Beach (3 km)

    If you enjoy surfing or coastal walks, head to Palm Beach on Sydney's northern beaches for great surf and easy walks along the beach or to Barrenjoey Lighthouse. Palm Beach wharf makes the perfect fishing spot for the kids and you can all unwind at a waterside cafe.

    www.sydney.com

    Sydney City Centre (28 km)

    No trip to Sydney is complete without spending some time in the city’s beautiful parks. Whether it’s in central areas like Hyde Park or the Royal Botanic Gardens or further out in Centennial Parklands, there’s plenty of green space to go out and enjoy.

    www.sydney.com

    Learn more

    The Basin campground is in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    A great location to run, row or ride

    West Head lookout, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is situated within the Sydney Metropolitan Area, 20km north of the Sydney CBD. The park runs from St Ives to the shores of the Hawkesbury River at Brooklyn. The 14,882ha park also includes the stunning Barrenjoey Head, 1km across Pittwater at Palm Beach. Multiple entry points offer easy access – one of the many reasons this park is so popular with locals. With everything from jogging tracks to picnic areas and great places to whalewatch, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is excellent for outdoor activity. Hire paddle boats from Bobbin Inn, walk the Gibberagong track, horse ride the Perimeter trail or cycle from Mt Colah to Pymble station.

    • Akuna Bay Boating enthusiasts love Akuna Bay. Use the public barbecue and enjoy a picnic at Akuna Bay Marina. It's the ideal spot to recharge after you've been out sailing.
    • Bobbin Head Visit Bobbin Head picnic area in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and enjoy a barbecue or a spot of fishing. Go canoeing or hire a paddle boat for a great daytrip from Sydney.

    A rich Aboriginal heritage

    Aboriginal engravings in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    The Guringai Aboriginal people originally inhabited the area, and the park showcases their rich cultural heritage. More than 350 Aboriginal sites have been recorded in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. They include rock engravings, burial sites, axe grinding grooves and places that show evidence of Aboriginal occupation. For many visitors, these sites and other relics are the most visible reminders of the area's rich, living Aboriginal culture.

    • Aboriginal Heritage walk Take the fascinating Aboriginal Heritage walk highlighting rock art and engravings of the Guringai people of West Head in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
    • Head to the stars: Barrenjoey Calling all amateur astronomers to Barrenjoey Headland in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Discover astrophotography, learn about the solar system and tour Barrenjoey Lighthouse at this fun event.
    • The Basin track and Mackerel track The Basin track and Mackerel track offer stunning ocean views, as well as one of Sydney's best Aboriginal Art sites. You can also enjoy a picnic and swim, or catch a ferry to other scenic spots on Pittwater.
    • Walk to Aboriginal engraving sites at West Head Join guest Aboriginal tour leader, Laurie Bimson from Guringai Aboriginal Tours, on this fascinating 3hr, 1km walk at West Head. We'll visit 3 Aboriginal engraving sites, driving between some of them.

    Brilliant for birdwatchers

    Wildflowers in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Over 160 bird species have been recorded in the park so bring those binoculars to see wood ducks, crimson rosellas, wedge-tailed eagles and pelicans. The Basin campground is home to some confident kookaburras, so keep a tight hold on your lunch.

    • Art in the park: Bobbin Head Come along to this great art exhibition at Bobbin Head Information Centre, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. You'll enjoy beautiful artworks by local northern Sydney artists.
    • Head to the stars: Barrenjoey Calling all amateur astronomers to Barrenjoey Headland in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Discover astrophotography, learn about the solar system and tour Barrenjoey Lighthouse at this fun event.
    • Waratah walking track The long, yet gentle, Waratah walking track takes in wildflowers and scenic water views over Akuna and Yeomens Bay in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

    Wonderful waterways

    Views from Barrenjoey headland, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    Protecting a major part of northern Sydney’s waterways, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is the ideal place to make a splash. The park includes much of the Hawkesbury River, Pittwater and Cowan Water, plus numerous creeks and coves. You’ll find good facilities at Empire Marina, amazing sea views at Barrenjoey Head and several good spots for a waterfront picnic.

    • Art in the park: Bobbin Head Come along to this great art exhibition at Bobbin Head Information Centre, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. You'll enjoy beautiful artworks by local northern Sydney artists.
    • Coastal walk stage 3: Mona Vale to Barrenjoey With the end in sight, we'll make the final 12km trek from Mona Vale to Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Ku-ring-gai Chase. This series of 3 walks starts in Manly and finishes at Palm Beach.
    • The Basin track and Mackerel track The Basin track and Mackerel track offer stunning ocean views, as well as one of Sydney's best Aboriginal Art sites. You can also enjoy a picnic and swim, or catch a ferry to other scenic spots on Pittwater.
    • West Head lookout Enjoy incredible views from West Head lookout, regarded as one of Sydney's best in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photograph Pittwater and Barrenjoey Head, or take a short walk from here.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Long-nosed bandicoot, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: Narelle King

      Long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta)

      A nocturnal marsupial and one of the smaller Australian native animals, the long-nosed bandicoot is found across eastern Australia. Populations in the Sydney region have dwindled since European settlement, leaving only endangered colonies in inner western Sydney and at North Head, near Manly. The long-nosed bandicoot has grey-brown fur and a pointed snout which it uses to forage for worms and insects.

    • White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

      White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

      White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.

    Plants

    • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

      Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

      Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

    • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

      Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

      An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

    • A red triangle slug on the trunk of a scribbly gum tree in Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Elinor Sheargold/OEH

      Scribbly gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma)

      Easily identifiable Australian native plants, scribbly gum trees are found throughout NSW coastal plains and hills in the Sydney region. The most distinctive features of this eucalypt are the ‘scribbles’ made by moth larva as it tunnels between the layers of bark.

    •  Grey mangrove, Towra Point Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

      Grey mangrove (Avicennia marina)

      Grey mangrove is the most common and widespread mangrove found within intertidal zones across Australia, and throughout the world. Growing to a height of 3-10m, they thrive best in estuaries with a mix of fresh and salt water. They excrete excess salt through their long thick leaves, and absorb oxygen through their aerial root system.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    Goanna. Photo:David Finnegan