Last updated: December 5, 2023
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 Track, lead to this fantastic beach. Read on to find out more!
|Resolute Beach Circuit Walk
|6 km (circuit)
|Moderate (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 end of West Head Road, accessible via McCarrs Creek Road.
Parking is available at the lookout and at the Resolute Picnic Area. The map below shows where these two parking areas and Resolute Beach are located:
- P1: West Head Lookout car park (see map location)
- P2: Resolute Picnic Area car park (see map location)
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 starts from the Resolute Picnic Area, and the other starts from the West Head Lookout.
These two walking tracks combined form the 6 km long Resolute Loop Track, also known as the Resolute Beach Circuit Walk.
If you’re in a rush or don’t feel like hiking, it’s best to do the 1 km return walk from the West Head Lookout, like in this map:
Otherwise, if you’re up for a longer bushwalk combined with a nice swim, you may as well do the entire Resolute Beach Circuit Walk.
In the section below, 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 and landmarks:
Since it’s a loop, you can go clockwise or anti-clockwise. However, in the following track notes, we are walking in a clockwise manner.
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.
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 genuine bushwalk, though, so make sure you wear decent shoes and bring water with you.
A steep set of stairs goes down to the beach. West Head Beach is a touch smaller than Resolute Beach, with many large rocks scattered across the sand and water that 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 swimming. 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 turn left 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 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 reach 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, in addition to a toilet block.
From the picnic area, look for the start of the Red Hands Track that leads 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.