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The Basin picnic area

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Affected by closures, check current alerts 

Visitor info

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

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    There is no direct vehicle access to The Basin.

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

    • Take the ferry which departs hourly, on the hour, 9am to 5pm 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 own a boat, anchor in the sheltered bay opposite the picnic area.
    • Drive or ride your mountain bike through the park to West Head Road, then walk or cycle along the 2.8km Basin track to The Basin.

    Vehicle access

    • No vehicle access


    Limited parking is available at West Head Road carpark, 2.8km from the picnic area. There is no direct vehicle access to The Basin.

    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.


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


    Bring your fishing gear and go camping at The Basin.


    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.




    • Flush toilets

    Picnic tables

    Barbecue facilities

    • Gas/electric barbecues (free)
    • Wood barbecues (firewood supplied)

    Drinking water

    Maps and downloads

    Fees and passes

    Daily vehicle entry fees and landing fees apply at The Basin picnic area.

    Daily vehicle entry fees: If travelling by motor vehicle to Ku-ring-gai National Park, you'll need to pay park entry fees at the the entry station. You can buy an NPWS annual parks pass online before you arrive.

    Landing fees: If you're arriving at the picnic area by water for a day visit, you'll need to pay landing fees. These are payable at the campground wharf through an honesty box. Landing fees are not included in the ferry price.

    Please note: NPWS annual park passes do not cover landing fees, camping fees or ferry transport.

    Safety messages

    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.

    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.

    Fishing safety

    Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    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.



    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.


    Heat beads are prohibited at this picnic area.

    Gathering firewood

    Gathering firewood is not permitted. Firewood can be purchased at the campground


    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.


    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    The Basin picnic area

    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. 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

    Visitor centre