The West Head Army Track 

West Head army track

The West Head army track starts from Box Head in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

The walk is short, steep and rewarding.  

You'll descend from the top of the headland to the base, where you'll enjoy amazing views of Pittwater and Broken Bay.

Best of all, you'll sight the historic army battery at the bottom of the track, which is fascinating!

Discover this walk and find out how to get there in this guide.


Distance: 460 metres one-way

Duration: 1 hour

Grade: Hard (steep with ladder climbing)

Dogs: Not allowed

Map: West Head Army Track

West Head army track

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Getting to the West Head Army Track

West Head army track is accessible via vehicle, ferry from Palm Beach or cycling.

By Car

To get to the West Head army track, drive to the end of West Head Road to the carpark.

It costs $12 to enter West Head – you'll be charged at the gate.

The Park is open from 6am to 6pm and to 8.30pm during daylight saving hours.

All roads are paved so you can drive with a 2WD. Check directions on Google Maps

By Ferry

Catch a ferry from Palm Beach to Great Mackerel Beach, then walk 1.6 kilometres on the Mackeral and Resolute walking tracks, which lead to West Head Lookout.

The ferry travels several times daily. Check the timetable here.

By Bicycle

Many cyclists ride their bicycles along West Head Road. It's a long 18-kilometre ride, but it's rewarding.


There are no facilities on this walk so bring food and water.

The nearest toilets are located at Resolute Picnic Area on West Head Road.

Former World War II Army Battery

The historic army battery site at the bottom of the trail contains a battery observation post, two gun emplacements and an ammunition magazine.

West Head army trackGun emplacement

An inclined railway, used to build and supply the battery, also rests along the slope of the hill nearby.

The battery site was built to prevent enemy ships from entering Pittwater and Cowan Creek and destroy the Hawkesbury River Bridge.

It's captivating to be able to explore the site's remains.

West Head Army Track

The West Head Army walk starts beside West Head Lookout.

West Head Lookout provides some of the most breathtaking views in Sydney. Enjoy views of Broken Bay, Pittwater and Barrenjoey Headland before commencing the walk.

West Head Lookout

When you're ready to start walking, look for the signpost on the left immediately before the lookout.

The track winds down all the way to the base of the headland. You'll walk down some stairs and tackle a short ladder.

It doesn't take long before you reach the bottom of the hill.

Near the bottom, you'll pass the first army structure, the battery observation post.

Just past the battery observation post is a fenced metal viewpoint that offers fantastic views of Broken Bay and Lion Island.

West Head army track

On the right side of the lookout are steep and narrow stairs that lead to a track underneath. It's easier to tackle the steps backward.

Admire the scenery and tall palm trees at the base of the hill.

Near the water's edge, two short tracks heading right and left lead to concrete gun emplacements. Have fun exploring.

Along the right path is the ammunition magazine – now a spooky-looking underground cement structure with empty chambers. 

After exploring the bay and historic site, you must climb back the hill. Here's your gym session for the day.

More Photos

West Head army track
West Head army track
West Head army track
West Head army track
West Head army track
West Head army track
West Head army track
West Head army track

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