The Basin picnic area
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
All the practical information you need to know about the The Basin picnic area.
Getting there and parking
Get driving 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.
Park entry points
- Palm Beach ferry wharf carpark See on map
- 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
- Gas/electric barbecues (free)
- Wood barbecues (firewood supplied)
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.
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 is not permitted. Firewood can be purchased at the campground
NSW national parks are no smoking areas.
- Forestville Office
- Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm.
- 02 9451 3479
- 82 Ferguson Street, Forestville NSW 2087
- 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).
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.Buy annual pass
Bobbin Head Information Centre
688 Ku-ring-gai Chase Road, Mount Colah, NSW 2079
- 10am to 4pm daily. 9am to 4pm during summer school holidays, closed 12pm-12:30pm. Closed Christmas Day.
- 02 9472 8949
Kalkari Discovery Centre
402 Ku-ring-gai Chase Road, Mount Colah NSW 2079
- Wednesday to Sunday 9am to 5pm. Closed on Christmas Day.
- 02 9472 9300
- 02 9472 9301
- Kalkari Discovery Centre