Resolute Beach is one of the most spectacular hidden beaches in Sydney. Surrounded by dense bushland, the small yet picturesque beach has a truly remote and secluded vibe. That’s despite being only a stone throw’s away from the hustle and bustle of Sydney.
There are quite a few walk variations and routes, which include visiting the beach. In this guide, we’re going to tell you about the easiest and quickest walk to get to Resolute Beach. If you’re not bothered by nearby attractions or walks and simply want to frolic on this beach all day, then this is the walk you’ll want to do.
Of course, if you can peel yourself away from this drool-worthy beach, there are plenty of stunning nearby attractions and walks to enjoy. After all, the West Head area of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is full of hidden gems. So, in case you want to explore beyond just Resolute Beach, we’ll also cover details about nine nearby attractions, that you can easily see, on foot, from the beach.
Read about nearby West Head Beach
Table of Contents
The Shortest Walk to Resolute Beach
Simply put, the walk from West Head Lookout to Resolute Beach is the shortest and easiest option for accessing the beach. Indeed, parking and walking from the end of West Head Road near the West Head Lookout is quicker than walking from the Resolute Picnic Area Car Park. While just simply doing an out and back between West Head Lookout and Resolute Beach is much shorter than visiting the beach via the Aboriginal Heritage Walk (AKA the Resolute Loop Track).
If you just want to maximise your time at the beach, soaking up the sun and nature vibes, you’re going to want to choose to do this short Resolute Beach Walk (AKA the Resolute Beach Hike).
Before we talk more about this walk, let’s quickly look at exactly where this hidden beach is located!
Where Is Resolute Beach?
Resolute Beach is located in the West Head area of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in Sydney, New South Wales. In fact, the beach is located on Pittwater, which is a pristine bay that flows between West Head and the Barrenjoey Peninsula.
To help get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map of the area on Google Maps.
Resolute Beach Walk Details
Here is a quick breakdown of the walk to Resolute Beach from West Head Lookout. As mentioned, it’s simply a return walk on the same route between West Head Lookout and the beach.
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 2.1km
- Time: 30–45 minutes
- Accumulated elevation gain: 105 metres
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: West Head Lookout
Resolute Beach Walk Map
This is a map of the Resolute Beach Walk (AKA the Resolute Beach Track). It’s quite a straightforward and simple trail to follow. But, here is a GPS-guided map, just in case you want it.
Resolute Beach Walk: What to Expect
So you know what you’re getting yourself into, let’s talk a little more about the walk itself. From West Head Lookout, the walk to the beach is mostly downhill. So, the walk there is fairly easy. But, what goes down must go back up! Certainly, the walk back up and out of the beach is a little harder. But, it’s all worth the effort!
Also, bear in mind, that this is a proper bushwalk! So, make sure to wear some decent footwear.
From West Head Lookout to Resolute Beach
From the West Head Lookout, you’ll simply follow signs for Resolute Beach or West Head Beach, as they’re both in the same direction. From the get-go, you’ll meander through captivating coastal bushland. Assuming you’re not visiting during drought, you’ll hear water rushing down slabs of rock, on either side of the trail.
As you descend the uneven path, you’ll soon pass a side trail that leads to West Head Beach. Simply pass this side trail and continue on the main trail. From the elevated position of the track, you’ll enjoy sublime yet obstructed views of West Head Beach. The trail then bends around the headland as West Head Beach goes out of view.
Soon, you’ll arrive at a similar-looking series of wooden steps leading down to Resolute Beach. Now, all you have to do is follow the steps down and you’ll arrive at a natural haven. Assuming you’re avoiding a busy period like midday on the weekend, you’ll enjoy a quiet, sheltered and solitary paradise in the form of gold sand and calm turquoise waters.
When it comes to hidden beaches in Sydney, it’s hard to beat Resolute Beach. Although the beach is small, it’s supremely scenic and buzzing with a delightful natural ambience.
From the beach, you’ll enjoy outstanding views of Pittwater directly in front of you and views of Broken Bay to your left. On the beach, you’ll face the Barrenjoey Lighthouse and you’ll also get a good look at the Palm Beach area at the tip of the Barrenjoey Peninsula.
Other than enjoying the views, you’re free to do as you, please! Sunbathe, sleep, chill, read, swim, snorkel, explore, you name it! Whatever you like to do at the beach, Resolute Beach is the perfect setting for you to relax and enjoy yourself.
For many of you, that’s really all you need to know! But, if you want to explore more of the area, continue reading below.
The 9 Worthwhile Nearby Attractions
There are many other natural, cultural and historical attractions to check out near Resolute Beach. Below, we’ll talk about nine of the best things to see near the beach, that you can explore, on foot. For your convenience, we’ve created an interactive map, showing the exact location of all of these nearby attractions.
Aboriginal Heritage Walk (Resolute Loop Track)
Admittedly, most of the nearby attractions fall on the Aboriginal Heritage Walk. This walk goes by many names such as the Resolute Beach Circuit Walk, Resolute Beach Loop Walk and Resolute Loop Trail.
Below, we’ll go through all of the attractions along the Aboriginal Heritage Walk (other than Resolute Beach). After that, we’ll talk about three other worthwhile attractions to visit that aren’t located on this walk, yet aren’t located too far away from Resolute Beach.
1. West Head Lookout
As mentioned, the easiest walk to Resolute Beach starts at the end of West Head Road near the West Head Lookout. Certainly, you’ll need to check out the stellar views from West Head Lookout, before or after you go to the beach!
From the lookout, you’ll enjoy views of Broken Bay, Pittwater and Barrenjoey Lighthouse. On a clear day, you’ll also have far-sweeping views over the Hawkesbury River and towards Lion Island Nature Reserve.
Personally, Beck and I went to West Head Lookout for sunrise, and, it was a belter of a sunrise, to say the least.
2. West Head Beach
As mentioned, West Head Beach is located between West Head Lookout and Resolute Beach. West Head Beach is another gloriously secluded beach surrounded by bushland. It’s a smaller beach than Resolute Beach, but it shares that same serene feeling of remoteness. Certainly, it’s easy to visit this beach as well as Resolute Beach.
3. Aboriginal Occupation Site
As you may have guessed, there are several Aboriginal sites along the Aboriginal Heritage Walk. As you walk away from the coast, along the circular heritage walk, you’ll soon arrive at the Aboriginal Occupation Site. Essentially, it’s a big rock structure that was used as a shelter by the local Aboriginal people prior to European settlement. You’ll find an information board there, which is helpful for learning more about the site.
4. Aboriginal Engravings
Further along the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, you’ll pass by incredible Aboriginal Engravings. These date back thousands of years and are truly wondrous to see. Of course, this isn’t the only place you’ll find engravings in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. There are over 800 Aboriginal sites in the national park. This also includes the Red Hands Cave.
5. Red Hands Cave
Found along the Red Hands Track, which is part of the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, you’ll find a fine example of Aboriginal rock art. The Red Hands Cave is perhaps one of the most amazing attractions in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
6. Resolute Picnic Area
Near Red Hands Cave, you’ll find the quaint Resolute Picnic Area. If you’re after a shaded picnic spot, then the Resolute Picnic Area is the ideal place for you. This is also a great area to sit and rest on a hot day. And, you’ll find also find public toilets there.
So, that’s all of the attractions, near Resolute Beach, on the Aboriginal Heritage Walk.
Other Attractions Near Resolute Beach
Below, we’ll talk about other attractions, not on the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, that aren’t far from Resolute Beach.
7. Great Mackerel Beach
South of Resolute Beach, you’ll find Great Mackerel Beach, which is another stunning and remote beach. Although, Great Mackerel Beach is a much larger beach that’s actually accessible by ferry.
Personally, Beck and I walked to Great Mackerel Beach after visiting Resolute Beach. Essentially, we visited Resolute Beach during the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, which we extended to include a visit to Great Mackerel Beach. If you want to do the same, here is a map to help you with trail navigation. Another option is to simply visit Resolute Beach during the out back walk from West Head Lookout to Great Mackerel Beach.
8. West Head Battery
By doing the West Head Army Track, you can check out the West Head Battery; which is part of a series of defence fortifications built during World War II. Its purpose was to protect Pittwater, the Hawkesbury River and northern Sydney. The trail was only built in 2016, so the track is in great condition and well-signposted. You’ll find the trailhead for the West Head Army Track is located right next to West Head Lookout.
9. Koolewang Lookout
By following the Koolewang Track, you’ll make your way to the Koolewang Lookout. There are actually two entrances for the Koolewang Track, both located near the Resolute Picnic Area. At the end of the track, you’ll arrive at the Koolewand Lookout, which offers decent views across the Hawkesbury River.
So, they are the nine best attractions near Resolute Beach. Below, we’ll look at some logistics to help you plan your trip to the beach and the West Head area.
How to Get to Resolute Beach
The only way to get to the West Head area is to drive there as there is no public transport access. If you don’t have a car, we recommend hiring one for the day.
If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.
By Car (Resolute Beach Parking Details)
There is a small roadside car park at the end of West Head Road near the West Head Lookout located here. Admittedly, these spaces fill up quickly, especially on the weekend. So, most people end up parking along West Head Road. This is definitely the closest parking spot for getting to Resolute Beach.
A fee of $12AUD per vehicle applies when entering the West Head area. But, if you have a NSW National Parks Annual Pass, entry is free. Indeed, if you explore NSW National Parks often, we highly recommend buying an annual pass. That way, you don’t have to pay for parking when you visit NSW National Parks where parking fees apply.
Cycling to West Head Lookout
West Head Road is definitely a popular cycling route. So, many people do the tough cycle up to West Head Lookout and then explore the area from there.
Ferry to Great Mackerel Beach
As mentioned, it’s possible to get a ferry to Great Mackerel Beach. Indeed, there is nothing stopping you from walking from Great Mackerel Beach to Resolute Beach! You can check the ferry timetable here.
Facilities and Amenities at Resolute Beach
There are no amenities or facilities at the beach. Certainly, this is all part of the remote charm. But, of course, that means you’ll need to be prepared for your visit. Below, we’ll look at some essentials to take with you.
Overall, there are minimal facilities and amenities in the West Head area of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Although, at the Resolute Picnic Area, you’ll find toilets, picnic tables and gas/electric BBQs.
What to Pack and Wear
Here are our gear essentials for walking to Resolute Beach and around the West Head area. Of course, you’ll also want to pack swimmers, a towel, a hat, sunscreen, a long-sleeve shirt, snacks and plenty of water.
Osprey Skarab 30
The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.
Osprey Ultralight Raincover
A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.
BUFF Original Ecostretch
The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.
To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.
Where to Stay Nearby
In terms of camping near Resolute Beach, there is only one campground in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park called The Basin Campground. It isn’t located too far away from West Head Lookout and is known for its resident kangaroos, decent facilities, fishing and watersports activities. For more information, head to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services website.
Resolute Beach FAQs
Below, we’ll answer a couple of frequently asked questions about Resolute Beach.
Does Resolute Beach Get Busy?
Yes, it can get quite busy on the weekends and during summer. That’s mainly because it’s a small beach. So, it doesn’t take many people for it to start filling up. Of course, it’s a little off the beaten track. So, it’s never going to be swarming with people like Bondi or Manly Beach!
How Do You Get to Resolute Beach?
Unless you have a boat, it’s only possible to get to the beach, on foot. As discussed in this guide, the shortest walk to the beach is from West Head Lookout.
- Opening times: gates to West Head are closed between 8:30pm and 6am during daylight savings and between 6pm and 6am for the rest of the year.
- Check for closures: make sure to check local alerts before you go to make sure the walking track to the beach is open. Also, you may want to check the weather to make sure you’re visiting on a nice sunny day!
- Other great national parks in and around Sydney: make sure to check out the Blue Mountains and the Royal National Park Coastal Walk.
Read our West Head Walks Guide (updated guide coming soon).
We acknowledge and respect the First Nations people as the Traditional Custodians of the land/water that we visited and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.