Caleys lookout track

Bents Basin State Conservation Area

Overview

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.

Where
Bents Basin State Conservation Area
Distance
1.2km return
Time suggested
15 - 45min
Grade
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.

Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
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 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/things-to-do/walking-tracks/caleys-lookout-track/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Caleys lookout track.

Track grading

Grade 4

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    15 - 45min

  • Quality of markings

    Limited signage

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    1.2km return

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track

  • Experience required

    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

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

Summer temperature

Average

15°C and 29°C

Highest recorded

45°C

Winter temperature

Average

3°C and 16°C

Lowest recorded

-6°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

February

Driest month

July

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

156mm

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + 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).

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Prohibited

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.

Nearby towns

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.

www.sydney.com

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.

www.sydney.com

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.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Caleys lookout track is in Bents Basin State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Aboriginal heritage

Caleys lookout, Bents Basins State Conservation Area. Photo: John Yurasek

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.

Bygone days

Peppercorn picnic area, Bents Basins State Conservation Area. Photo: John Yurasek

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

Bents Basin State Conservation Area. Photo: John Yurasek

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.

Rare communities

Glossy Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami lathami), Bents Basin State Conservation Area. Photo: OEH

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

Animals

  • Brown-striped frog. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    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 on a rock. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

    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.

  • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    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.

  •  Blue Tongue lizard. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    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.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

View from the Lookout. Photo John Yurasek