A secluded little beach after a short but stunning bushwalk? Flint & Steel Beach has you covered.
Enter a world that has absolutely no business being less than an hour from the CBD. Better yet, head there midweek and you might nab it all to yourself.
Midweek Adventure to Flint & Steel Beach
One of the perks of working from home is that you can have a midweek adventure to one of Sydney’s hidden beaches, all before you log in at 10am. When I was in the Northern Beaches recently visiting family, I made the most of WFH and went for an early morning hike and swim at Flint and Steel Beach in Ku-ring-gai National Park.
It felt like we’d just arrived at a private island as we descended through the pine forest and onto the secluded, pristine beach at 7am. The sun was just poking around the headland, its rays twinkling on the water. It was so peaceful and remote that we could’ve been on the set of Cast Away or Pirates of the Caribbean. There were even the remnants of driftwood shelters strewn across the beach (no sign of Wilson though).
Apart from the distant buzz of the occasional fisherman’s tinny, we were the only people around… we treasured having the entire beach to ourselves.
You truly feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of Sydney at Flint and Steel Beach, even though it’s a stone’s throw away from the CBD and suburbia. Taking a refreshing dip in the lapping waves as the sun came up was pretty magical.
The Flint and Steel Track is a 2.1km return walk at West Head, along a well-defined and signposted track. The track winds its way through palm, pine, and grass forest, passing jagged sandstone rock formations along the way. There are several places to stop and admire the coastal views across the Hawkesbury River as you descend.
Keep your eye out for wildlife as you wander down the trail to the beach. There are over 160 bird species in the national park and we were lucky enough to see a flock of glossy black cockatoos feasting on some cones for breakfast, whilst a wallaby dashed past hoping we wouldn’t notice.
A wonderful midweek or weekend adventure for those who live further away. Be sure to get there early, as it can get busier on weekends and it’s pretty special having the place to yourself.
Hot tip! – the park opens at 6 am in summer; make the most of it!
Make It A Loop!
There’s a trail that also goes to the left of Flint and Steel Beach that takes you to Flint and Steel Bay, and it’s well signposted. There’s supposedly a track that runs along the coast linking Flint and Steel Beach and Bay for a circuit walk, but this coastal section is very overgrown and requires off-track navigation (and possibly bush-bashing!) so it’s not recommended unless you have experience.
- Water – at least 2L
- Swimmers and towel
- Sun protection – hat, sunscreen sunglasses
- Good walking shoes – it’s a short trail but I’d still recommend sturdy walking shoes as there’s some uneven ground
How To Get There
Flint and Steel Beach Track is located in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park which is an hour north of the CBD. The track’s located on the drive towards West Head lookout and is clearly signposted on the left-hand side. There’s some limited parking available too, but you may need to park on the roadside during busier periods.
West Head lookout is at the end of the road, don’t forget to check it out before you leave!
Beginner – Intermediate
Although the trail’s only 2.1km, it’s mostly uphill on the way back and there are some less even sections of the path. You need to be ok with walking up a steep hill on the way back.
2.1km return trip / 209m / 1-2 hours