Summary: A family-friendly beach with very calm water, Great Mackerel Beach can be reached by ferry (from Palm Beach) or via a couple of bushwalking tracks.

If you’re looking for a quiet or secluded beach, Great Mackerel Beach is probably not for you! But if you want a sheltered and beautiful beach that’s easy to get to, this a great spot. At 640m in length, Great Mackerel Beach is the longest West Head Beach. It can be reached by foot from West Head, or via a regular ferry service.

Great Mackerel Beach

In the middle of the beach is a jetty, which is used by residents and serviced by a regular ferry from Palm Beach. There are about a hundred dwellings behind the beach, and according to the most recent census a population of only 36 people.

Jetty at Great Mackerel Beach

Facing east across Pittwater towards Palm Beach, the beach gets almost no waves, making it very safe for swimming.

Great Mackerel Beach

Getting to Great Mackerel Beach

The easiest way to get to Great Mackerel Beach is by ferry, with regular weekday and weekend services from Palm Beach.

If you’re walking, there are two bushwalking trails you can take:

  • The Basin Trail from West Head Road, turning left after about 600m onto the Mackerel Trail, which goes to the end of the headland. There are great views over Mackerel Beach from here. A steep walking track continues down to the southern end of the beach. (5.6km return.)
  • From the Resolute Picnic Area on West Head Road, take the Headland Track firetrail towards Resolute Beach. Just above Resolute Beach, a trail continues along the coast to the northern end of Great Mackerek Beach. (4.8km return.)

More information on Great Mackerel Beach

Guide to West Head

For more information on West Head bushwalks and beaches, have a look at the Guide to West Head bushwalks or download the PDF summary below.

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