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A cache by Calypso62 Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 10/16/2017
1.5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size:   virtual (virtual)

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Geocache Description:


A Virtual Reward

One of the most spectacular views (in my opinion), in all of Sydney, can be found at the West Head Lookout, in the beautiful Australian bush of Kuring-gai Chase National Park, which was declared a national park in 1894. The lookout offers spectacular views over Pittwater, Palm Beach, Barrenjoey Headland and Lighthouse, Broken Bay, Lion Island, the Central Coast and the Hawkesbury River.

The first inhabitants of the area were the Garigal people who were hunters and gatherers within their land. More than 800 important Aboriginal sites have been identified in the park including rock engravings, cave drawings, paintings and stencils, axe grinding grooves and middens.

If you enjoy bushwalking, there are a number of tracks you can take. One in particular is the West Head Army Track which starts near the lookout. 

During World War II, it was feared that Sydney may come under attack, particularly via the northern part of the city. As a result, in January, 1941, eighty men were sent to West Head to establish a gun battery overlooking Pittwater. Two 4.7inch guns were installed to prevent enemy ships launching an invasion of Sydney through Pittwater and overland down the northern beaches. Another role of the guns was to thwart any attempt to destroy the Hawkesbury River Rail Bridge at Brooklyn, a vital supply route for Sydney at that time.

The battery consisted of two gun bunkers, an observation post, a magazine for the storage of ammunition, searchlights and a horizontal railway line between the two gun positions. One extraordinary feature was the installation of an inclined railway (similar to the Scenic Railway at Katoomba). No motors or winches were used to operate the railway. Instead, a "weight and counter-weight" system was used with the counter-weight trolley having a 3.5ton block of concrete attached to it. There were two parallel railway lines. The transport line was about 150m long with the counter-weight line being half that length.

How the inclined railway worked

Model of the gun battery showing the site of the inclined railway to the left

In May, 2016, after extensive restoration work had been carried out by NPWS rangers and volunteers, the West Head Army Track was re-opened to allow visitors the chance to access the battery site. The track down to the gun battery is 450m long and is listed as "Grade Hard". You will negotiate a large number of steps down and two ladders with hand rails. I found all of this relatively easy to manage. Of course, the climb back up the ladders and all those steps to the top again did require some effort. I took it slowly, stopping for some rest breaks along the way. Again, I found this all reasonably straight forward (for an old bloke!!) I suggest you allow at least 45min to an hour for your round trip visit to the battery. I would also suggest you bring water from home and take it with you on the walk. There is no drinking water available at West Head. If you have the time, stop at the Resolute Picnic Area and take a short walk along the Red Hands Track  to see some Aboriginal rock paintings.

As West Head is in a national park, you will need to pay an entry fee of $12 per car, (unless you have a NPWS sticker attached to your vehicle). If there is no one to take your money at the collection booth on West Head Rd, (up from McCarrs Creek Rd), just continue to West Head and begin your search. There are no ticket machines at West Head. The gates to West Head are open between 6am and 8:30pm daily, during daylight saving. At other times, the gates are open from 6am to 6:00pm. Parking is available near the lookout.

I hope you enjoy coming to this fantastic location and exploring the area.

Cheers, Calypso62

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To claim this virtual as a find, you will need to visit both the lookout and the gun battery site and find the information for tasks 1 to 4 below as well as complete the photo task.


1)  There are bench seats nearby. The initials of the three word company name that supplied them. (initials)

2)  The number of rocks in the top row, including the small brown one, surrounding the circular relief map. (ab)

3)  Look for some information boards about the gun battery. The nickname of Jack Mercer. (name)

Gun Battery:

4)  Search the lookout post for two concrete pillars protected by glass. Left pillar. The bottom row of numbers. (cdef ghj-kl-m)


5)  Take a photo at either the lookout or gun battery showing you and/or your GPS device and/or your geocaching name. Your geocaching name sign could be prepared before hand or it could be simply written on a piece of paper, your hand, a coffee cup, on a t-shirt, using a skywriter, any way you like! How creative can you be? Bonus points for all three in the one shot!!! LOL

Using the information you discovered with tasks 1 to 4, create an email address in the following format (all lower case):

It is important you write your geocaching username (that you'll log your find with) in the subject line and write something, anything, in the text area. This is so Gmail doesn't think your email is spam. Send the email. If your answers are correct and you have correctly formatted the email, you should receive a confirmation email in reply, almost immediately. Don't forget to check your spam folder. If you don't get the automated response, please contact me directly via the Message Centre. Once you receive the confirmation email, you can log your find online and upload your photo(s). Please ensure you receive the confirmation email before logging your find. Multiple geocaching usernames can be verified with the one email. Just make sure all usernames are included in the subject line.

Please Note: Any "Found It" logs without a corresponding email (or direct contact) and photo may be deleted. 

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Virtual Reward - 2017/2018

This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between August 24, 2017 and August 24, 2018. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards on the Geocaching Blog.


Joint FTF Honours

Bella at Waggy and Kid Ron Satan

Virtual Virtuosos

Did you know that NSW has a geocaching association? Geocaching NSW aims to enhance and improve the activity of geocaching and holds regular events where geocachers meet to enjoy their common interests. Visit the association website here.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)

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