Summary: A tough and sometimes painful climb to the Bairne Trig (TS681) and a search for Aboriginal engravings along the Bairne Trail

The Bairne Trail is one of my favourite trails – an easy walk along the firetrail to a spectacular lookout, or you can continue down to Coasters Retreat and return via the Basin Track for a loop walk. So I’m hoping there might be some equally spectacular views from the Bairne Trig. Before reaching the unmarked turn-off for the trig, I push through the thick scrub to explore a few rock platforms. No engravings, but some nice views of Pittwater and the Barrenjoey Peninsula in the distance.

I turn off the Bairne Trail at 33°36’44.1″S 151°17’06.2″E, and take a faint track that heads directly up through the bush. The track doesn’t last long, and soon I’m pushing through  dense scrub in the direction of the Bairne trig station, with a couple of broad rock platforms providing a brief reprieve.


I finally reach the Bairne trig station, which is a both a relief but a little anti-climactic – there is no view in any direction, nor is it even obvious that this is the top of a hill. It must have been very different a hundred-odd years ago: “The hill being bare of trees a very fine view of Pittwater can be obtained from here” (W.D. Campbell). No fine views any more!


Pushing my way back down through the scrub from he Baine trig, I stop again at both of the rock platforms for a brief respite from being scratched and beaten by the bush. The lower and larger of the two platforms has a tesselated appearance but no Aboriginal engravings (I discover later that the two engraving sites are just beyond the trig station).


Reaching the Bairne Track again just before sunset, it’s a pleasant bushwalk again back to the car as the sky turns a deep red.


More information on the Bairne Trig Station

For a complete guide to West Head bushwalks, have a look at the Guide to West Head or download a two-page overview.

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Bairne to Basin Circuit, West Head – Hiking the World · April 8, 2021 at 10:57 pm

[…] ferry service that connects the two jetties… (The Bairne Track was named after the historical Bairne Trigonometric Station, constructed near the trail in 1882 by Thomas Charles Swannell, who would chosen the name […]

Secrets of the Basin Track (West Head) - Hiking the World · April 24, 2021 at 10:28 pm

[…] relatively easy going with the scrub much less thick than the horribly painful route up to the Bairne Trig! There’s some nice views over West Head and some large sandstone […]

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