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 trig station, with a couple of broad rock platforms providing a brief reprieve.


I finally reach the trig station, which is a both a relief but a little anti-climactic – there is no view in any direction, nor is it 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, 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 the two engraving sites are just beyond the trig station).


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


Location Right-hand (east) side of West Head Road, about half-way
Distance Approx 2.2km return to trig station
Grade Hard. 60m total elevation gain. Thick scrub & uneven terrain.
Season/s All year. Best to avoid summer if going off-track (snakes)
Map/s 9130-1N Broken Bay (1:25K) Buy / Download


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