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The Basin picnic area

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Affected by closures, check current alerts 


For a great family day out, try The Basin picnic area, offering swimming, walking and barbecue facilities on Pittwater, in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Picnic areas
  • Landing fees apply for day visitors: $3 per adult. $2 per child.
  • Please pay on arrival at The Basin wharf or to the NPWS officer. Cash only. Correct change is recommended.
  • Landing fees are included camping fees at The Basin campground.
  • NPWS annual park passes don't cover landing fees.
Entry fees

Park entry fees apply if arriving by car and walking from West Head Road carpark

Opening times

Daily sunrise to sunset.

Hire this venue

To book The Basin picnic area for your group activity or celebration please send an email to The Basin campground.

Please note
  • Amenity blocks are available at nearby The Basin campground
  • If you choose to arrive by car instead of ferry, water taxi, or kayak/canoe, you'll be walking a 2.8km track from West Head Road carpark to reach The Basin.
  • It's better to get the ferry from Palm Beach if you have heavy 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.

When you need a city escape, gather the crew and set sail for The Basin picnic area, nestled in the bush on the eastern shores of West Head in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Accessed by walking track from West Head or ferry across Pittwater from Palm Beach, there’s something for everyone at this popular spot.

With lovely views of the water and heaps of activities, you’ll be hard pressed deciding what to do first. The kids will love swimming and paddling at the sheltered beach and inland lagoon and if you’re keen to explore on foot, there’s nearby Bairne walking track. When it’s time for lunch, unpack the picnic hamper or spark up the barbecue and tuck in.

After a day of relaxing, it might be hard to pack up and leave this idyllic oasis. If you want to make a weekend of it and stay overnight at the adjacent The Basin campground. Be sure to book ahead, as this is a popular place to stay in spring and summer.

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

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info


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A family walk a boardwalk section of Bouddi coastal walk, Bouddi National Park. Photo: John Spencer/OEH.

General enquiries

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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. You can also pay for your visit via the Park’nPay app.

    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).

    Other fees:

    A $3 per adult, $2 per child landing fee may apply for day visitors to The Basin campground. Please pay at the campground wharf. Landing fees are included in your camping fees.

    Group bookings:

    Under the Plan of Management for this park, prior written approval is required for organised groups of 40 or more people planning to visit this park. Contact the park office before your visit.

    Buy annual pass
See more visitor info