Our hikers had another huge two days last weekend, although less eventful and intense than the Blue Mountains weekend! West Head is the highest off-trail mountains in our locality, and even then they’re only half as high as the Blue Mountains. The trails at West Head are also only 6-8km at a time, where you’d be lucky to find one that’s double that in the Blue Mountains.
Having said that, they’re close, they’re beautiful, and it’s nice to only have to lug our camping gear for 3km if we want to pitch a tent overnight in the Basin (which we did!). It was also Kass’s first hike with a pack after multiple knee surgeries. It allowed her the opportunity to go home at any point if she needed it.
We started at 8am at a trail called Towelers Bay. We attempted this trail last year, but had to turn around half way down to the water because of time constraints. This time we made it down to the water’s edge, had a snack (the first of many hot cross buns), then walked back up again. Jen had an opportunity to test out her “she wee”; the results were not positive, and I doubt it will come out again! One the way back up we saw our first wallaby, which enamoured Kass to the point of being unable to walk!
We made it out of the bay in such good time that we immediately crossed the road to do a tiny 1km trail to a rock ledge, where you can see Barrenjoey and West Head lookouts. The terrain was dramatically different from the other side of the road, rocky and baron, with spiky shrubs. We enjoyed the sunshine for a bit, then wandered back to the cars and drove a further 5km up West Head road to the Flint and Steel track.
The Flint and Steel track is only 2km, but quite steep. It comes out at a beautiful secluded beach. Clare and Jen couldn’t resist a swim in their underwear, totally worth the sticky, salty, smelly body afterwards! We saw our first goanna here too! Dave walked down to the beach while we were having lunch, and walked with us for the rest of the day. Mags was struggling mentally the whole way down, as she is afraid of stairs and hills and how they make her feel. She took the opportunity to learn how to cope, and popped up at the top of the trail only slightly out of breath!
We then spent half an hour performing yoga and watering trees while Jade and Kass repacked their bags (Kass was really feeling the pack at this point, so Jade needed to carry some of her gear down to the Basin). Chris met the crew at the top of The Basin track; he delivered Evie and picked up Mags. With Evie also hiking now, the descent into The Basin was slow for Clare, Di, and Dave. Jade took off ahead as she needed to get down as soon as possible with her heavy pack. Jen and Kass took it at their own pace and met the tail-enders at the entrance to the campsite.
We pitched our tents around 3pm; Evie had a swim while everyone else snoozed. Jade spent a good 20 minutes performing as Evie’s “horsey” in the water. We had an early dinner, then took a turn around the picnic area where Evie made friends with a wallaby and numerous other kids by the campfires. Dave hiked out in the afternoon as he has a back injury and he wanted to spend the night in his own bed.
When it got dark we enjoyed a port, thanks to Di, while Evie took off with Di’s “bling” torch and organised a group of teenagers into a game of “duck duck goose”.
Needless to say, we were all in bed when Evie went down around 830pm….
On Sunday, we rose and had a hearty breakfast, packed up, and made the return trip up the hill to West Head road. Chris and Dave met us at the top and did a quick car shuttle to West Head Lookout. Evie took off with her dad, and Dave once again joined us for the day’s hiking.
We took the Mackeral track to Great Mackeral Beach, then picked our way around to Resolute Beach, a tiny little beach with a waterfall and rainforest and a spectacular view of Pittwater! We had a couple of steep climbs before popping out at West Head Lookout, a fitting reward for the morning’s hike!
It was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, with interesting walks, a good amount of downtime, and great company!
Of course, we are doing all this for a HUGE reason, we are off for 10 days of hiking in Nepal in 3 weeks. As a part of our trip, we are raising money for an Australian Charity that is active in Nepal, called Seven Women. You can support our fundraising by purchasing one of their handmade products from our website, or coming on a hike with us: https://into-you.com.au/shop
You can see more pics here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.969142046503380.1073741842.327677523983172&type=3
Looking forward to our trip!!