Itinerary: Palm Beach to the Basin, Coasters Retreat

Palm Beach Ferry
Palm Beach Ferry


It’s no secret that Sydney has many secrets, but one of the most popular is tucked away in the meanders of Pittwater, north of the city. The Basin is an isolated gem on the edge of Ku-Ring-Gai National Park, sheltered in quiet waters, but ready to escape into the South Pacific Ocean. Shaded by gum trees and populated by diverse wildlife – The Basin is Sydney’s best kept secret.

9:00 – Board the Ferry at Palm Beach to Bennetts Wharf

Ferries depart Palm Beach hourly to the wonderfully isolated haven in the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park on the Western Foreshores of Pittwater.

9:15 – Pass through Bennetts and Bonnie Doon Wharf

Crossing Pittwater, Bennetts Wharf and the wharf at Bonnie Doon are mainly a commuter wharf and a boat tie-up facility, located across the way from Little Mackerel Beach and Currawong Beach.

9:20 – Disembark at the Basin

As you brush past the settlements of Great Mackerel Beach, Coasters Retreat and Currawong Beach you’ll discover the secret paradise that is the Basin. Shaded by gum trees, translucent waters it’s not hard to see why this is considered a haven of peace. You’ll find great facilities along with a picnic area, campground and fire pits. Pitch your tent in a shady spot, enjoy a bike ride or a swim and see if you can spot the local swamp wallabies or kookaburras. Rich in Indigenous heritage, you’ll be able to see rock engravings at the Basin Aboriginal art site, off the Basin walking track, to ochre hand paintings on the Red Hands Cave track at West Head.

5:30 – 6:00 – Board the Fantasea Fast Ferry at the Basin for Palm Beach

From out of town? Plan your trip to Sydney

Accommodation: We recommend you’re centrally located during your trip to make the most of your visit, as several of Sydney’s highlights can be taken in for free or cheaply, simply by walking around. Don't forget, NRMA Members save on stays at Travelodge and NRMA holiday parks and hotels

Car rental: Planning to zip around the city between or discover the many beaches? Members receive 15 percent on the daily rental rate with Thrifty car hire.

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