Caleys lookout track
Bents Basin State Conservation Area
Caleys lookout track is a short and steep walk through bushland of Bents Basin State Conservation Area near Penrith. Take your lunch – it’s a great spot for a picnic.
- Bents Basin State Conservation Area
- 1.2km return
- Time suggested
- 15 - 45min
- Grade 4
- Trip Intention Form
It's a good idea to let someone know where you're going. Fill in a trip intention form to send important details about your trip to your emergency contact.
- Entry fees
- Park entry fees apply
- What to
- Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, sturdy shoes
- Please note
- Remember to wear suitable walking shoes, as this track is quite steep
- Please note that park gates lock automatically after hours
Take in delightful views on the Caleys lookout track in Bents Basin State Conservation Area, not far from Penrith. Named after English explorer and botanist, George Caley, the lookout track follows a shady path from the Bents Basin Road picnic area up into the forested escarpment. Children might find it a bit steep, although you’re assisted by stone, wooden and metal steps along the way.
At the end of the walk is Caleys lookout located in the neighbouring Gulguer Nature Reserve. There are picnic tables at the fenced lookout, so you can bring along a picnic lunch to tuck into while you enjoy expansive views over the tall eucalypts above Bents Basin.
You can also look across to Bents Basin campground, taking in the vista of pretty patchwork farmland and rugged bushland of western Sydney. There are picnic tables at the lookout, so you can bring along a picnic lunch to tuck into while you’re admiring the view.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/caleys-lookout-track/local-alerts
- in Bents Basin State Conservation Area in the Sydney and surrounds region
Bents Basin State Conservation Area opens at 8am and closes at 5pm (8pm during daylight savings). The park may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
Park entry fees:
$8 per vehicle per day. The park has pay and display machines that accept both coin and card.Buy annual pass.
All the practical information you need to know about Caleys lookout track.
Grade 4Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
15 - 45min
Quality of markings
Short steep hills
Quality of path
No experience required
Getting there and parking
Caleys lookout track starts at Bents Basin Road picnic area in the northern precinct of Bents Basin State Conservation Area. To get there:
- From Wallacia, follow Silverdale Road west
- Turn left onto Bents Basin Road and continue to the end
- At Bents Basin Road picnic area the trackhead is located to the west of the carpark.
Bents Basin Road picnic area is also accessible by foot from southern precinct of the park by taking the footpath across the short bridge next to the water.
Parking is available at Bents Basin Road picnic area
Best times to visit
Bents Basin State Conservation Area is a great place to visit all year round. Head to the park for a camping weekend in spring, a weekend picnic in the winter sun or a sunny summer day for lots of water activities.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
15°C and 29°C
3°C and 16°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Maps and downloads
Camden (14 km)
Visit Macarthur Park, which opened in 1906. Highlights include the heritage rose gardens, wisteria walks and a tribute to Elizabeth Macarthur Onslow who, with her husband, helped establish Australia's wool, wheat and wine industries.
Campbelltown (23 km)
For nature lovers, the Macarthur region has plenty of natural attractions. Explore nature reserves and wildlife trails or see spectacular native flora and fauna at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, the largest botanic garden in Australia.
Katoomba (39 km)
Katoomba is at the heart of most of the stunning natural attractions that make up the Blue Mountains National Park. You can admire deep valleys, sandstone plateaus, waterfalls and native animals from the many walking trails and lookouts near Katoomba.
Caleys lookout track is in Bents Basin State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
Bents Basin State Conservation Area is the traditional land of the Gundungurra, Dharawal and Darug people. Also known as Gulguer (meaning whirlpool or spinning), Bents Basin is associated with an awful aquatic creature called Gurungadge or Gurungaty. This creature is prominent in the area's ancestral stories. Archaeological finds suggest the area was also an important trading place. Bents Basin and the adjoining Gulguer Nature Reserve protect a variety of Aboriginal rock art and artefacts.
Explorer and botanist George Caley was the first European to visit the area in 1802 and afterwards collected plant specimens for preservation. The area was later used as a stopping point for early settlers travelling from the developing east. If you're interested in the local history of western Sydney, be sure to check out the historic inn, established in the 1860's and listed on both the state and National Heritage Register, you'll find it near Peppercorn picnic area.
Fascinating and fun
The basin itself is what draws most people here. Known as a scour pool, this geological formation is like a small lake, created over time by fast-flowing floodwaters exiting the gorge about 30-40km/hr. At 22m deep, its waters travel 150km before reaching the ocean. In addition to that, it's heaps of fun to visit for a spot for swimming, fishing, paddling and liloing.
A visit to the park allows you to see majestic Camden white gums in one of only two known naturally-occurring populations. Look out also for Cumberland Plain woodland which once blanketed almost 30% of the Sydney Basin. Today, its scattered fragments cover less than 6% and remain under threat. Important fauna species include the regent honey eater, Cumberland Plain land snail, eastern bentwing bat, sooty owl and the glossy black cockatoo.
- Caleys lookout track Caleys lookout track is a short and steep walk through bushland of Bents Basin State Conservation Area near Penrith. Take your lunch – it’s a great spot for a picnic.
Plants and animals you may see
Brown-striped frog (Lymnastes peronii)
One of the most common frogs found in Australia, the ground-dwelling brown-striped frog lives in ponds, dams and swamps along the east coast. Also known as the striped marsh frog, this amphibian grows to 6.5cm across and has a distinctive ‘tok’ call that can be heard all year round.
Eastern snake-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis)
Found across most of NSW, the eastern snake-necked turtle, also known as the eastern long-necked turtle, can be found in swamps, lakes and inland waterways. This freshwater turtle is carnivorous and lives most of its life submerged on the water’s edge, searching for worms and snails.
Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)
One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.
Eastern blue-tongue lizard (Tiliqua scinciodes)
The eastern blue-tongue lizard, one of the largest skinks in Australia, is found throughout most of NSW. When threatened, the eastern blue-tongue lizard displays its blue tongue in a wide-mouthed intimidating show. Not an agile animal, they feed on slow-moving beetles and snails.