Last updated: August 22, 2022
Resolute Beach is a beautiful secluded strip of sand in the West Head section of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, opposite the Barrenjoey Headland and facing Pittwater.
With amazing views and beautiful emerald green water, visiting Resolute Beach feels like stepping into a small tropical paradise.
Two bush walking tracks, that combined form the Resolute Loop Trail, lead to this fantastic beach. Read on to find out more!
|Resolute Beach Circuit Walk|
|Distance:||6 km (circuit)|
|Grade:||Moderate / hard (steep sections)|
How to Get There
Resolute Beach is located south of the West Head Lookout in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. This lookout is located at the very end of West Head Road, accessible via McCarrs Creek Road.
Parking is available at the lookout or at the Resolute Picnic Area. The below map shows where these two parking areas and Resolute Beach are located:
The picnic area and the lookout are connected via a short walking track, the Red Hands Track (more on that later).
Note that there is a $12 entrance fee to the national park, to be paid at the booth at the beginning of West Head Rd, or at one of the pay machines in the park.
Resolute Beach Circuit Walk
There are two walking tracks to Resolute Beach; one starting from the Resolute Picnic Area and the other starting from the West Head Lookout. These two walking tracks combined form the 6 km long Resolute Loop Trail.
If you’re in a rush or simply don’t feel like hiking, it’s best to do the 1 km return walk from the West Head Lookout:
Otherwise, if you’re up for an exciting bushwalk combined with a nice swim, gear up for the Resolute Beach Loop Trail.
In this article, we’re going to describe that circuit walk, starting from the West Head Lookout, along the following seven highlights and landmarks:
- West Head Lookout
- West Head Beach
- Resolute Beach
- Aboriginal Occupation Site
- Aboriginal Engravings
- Resolute Picnic Area
- Red Hands Track
This map shows the entire track with these highlights:
Let’s discuss this fantastic walking track in a bit more detail along those highlights in a clockwise manner.
Do note though that you can also start from the Resolute Picnic Area and go anti-clockwise.
1. West Head Lookout
West Head is more than just a beautiful lookout point; it also has a rich military history. It was a full-scale military site during World War II, protecting Sydney and New South Wales against foreign invasion.
In the 1960s, it was redeveloped into a tourist attraction, with a large sandstone viewing area and several information boards.
Check out our guide to the West Head Lookout to find out more about this incredible vantage point. It truly is one of the most beautiful lookouts in the greater Sydney region.
At the lookout, follow the trail to West Head Beach, heading into the bush.
2. West Head Beach
This first section of the circuit walk, to West Head Beach, is relatively easy. It is still a real bushwalk though, so make sure you wear decent shoes and bring water with you.
A steep set of stairs goes down to the beach, which is a touch smaller than Resolute Beach. There are lots of large rocks on the beach, and the water is excellent for swimming.
3. Resolute Beach
The section of the track between West Head and Resolute Beach is a bit challenging at times, with a few steep sections, rough surfaces, and a creek crossing.
As you continue on the main track, you will soon start seeing the first glimpses of Resolute Beach. Similar to West Head Beach, to get to Resolute Beach, you will need to take the rather steep stairs down.
Resolute Beach is a 60 m long sandy beach, free of rocks and mostly calm water, perfect for a swim. The views of Pittwater and the Barrenjoey Headland are pretty amazing too.
Walking is not the only way to get to this beach; it is also a popular boat landing area. Many visitors arrive here by private boat from Palm Beach for a quiet afternoon in the sun.
From Resolute Beach, retrace your steps up the stairs and make a left turn to continue on the main track.
You now have the option to visit a third beach, Great Mackerel Beach, which is another 600 metres further south. This extra bit is not difficult, but it is quite an uneven path with various rocks.
The track arrives right at the beach, so there is no descent via a set of stairs required as with the previous two beaches.
4. Aboriginal Occupation Site
Otherwise, to continue the circuit walk, look for the walking track that goes up the hill through the bush. This intersection is very close to the stairs to the beach, but it’s easy to miss.
As you make your way up, the track passes a large rock structure that was used as a shelter by the local Aboriginal people before white settlement.
5. Aboriginal Engravings
The main track eventually connects with an intersection on a fire trail.
At this intersection, turn right on this fire trail to continue the circuit walk back to the Resolute Picnic Area and the West Head Lookout.
Before we get to the Resolute picnic area, the track passes an interesting site with well-preserved Aboriginal engravings dating back thousands of years.
It’s good to wander around and see if you can spot some of the engravings described on the information board.
6. Resolute Picnic Area
The Resolute Picnic Area is a well-equipped picnic ground in scenic bush surroundings, with various tables and barbecues available to be used, in addition to a toilet block.
From the picnic area, look for the start of the Red Hands Track that goes back to the West Head Lookout.
7. Red Hands Track
This short walk is called Red Hands because it passes a large rock overhang with an Aboriginal artwork in the shape of two hands. The rock overhang functioned as a cave and shelter for Aboriginal people.
From there, the track continues along a well-maintained path through the bush parallel to the road, eventually arriving at the lookout.