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Kamay Botany Bay National Park

"Welcome to Aboriginal land. When you walk here today you walk among the spirits of our ancestors."

Filled with significant sites, remarkable landscapes and heritage-listed attractions, Kamay Botany Bay National Park offers an idyllic daytrip from Sydney. Separated by the marine-rich waters of historic Botany Bay, the park’s northern and southern headlands feature a unique combination of natural and cultural heritage.

Explore the southern side around Kurnell, where in 1770, local Aboriginal people encountered the crew of the Endeavour, or the northern side at La Perouse, where French explorer Comte de Laperouse was last sighted in 1788. Walk the Burrawang track, whale watch from Cape Solander, picnic at Commemoration Flat or go diving at Bare Island.

On 20 September 2004 the Kurnell Peninsula Headland was included in the National Heritage List.

Highlights
 

Why you should visit

There are so many reasons to visit Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Here are a few to begin with:

An oasis within a city
Kamay Botany Bay National Park covers 492ha of the northern and southern headlands at the entrance to Botany Bay. Located within the Sydney metropolitan area, this stunning park’s coastal location adjoins Crowea Bay – an important habitat for many marine species, including shellfish and octopus.

Historically significant
Kurnell is Captain Cook’s landing site and the point of first contact between Aboriginal people and the Endeavour crew. This Sydney park is rich in both Aboriginal and European history. Over 30 Aboriginal sites have been recorded, including rock art and engravings, alongside cobblestone roads and a WWII bunker. Explore this history on the Burrawang walk. It tells the story of the meeting of cultures and takes you on a journey into the past.

See Sydney as it once was
Spectacular views on the Burrawang walk help you imagine how the area looked when the Endeavour arrived. Much of the park’s unspoilt flora gives an idea of the plants that were present pre-1770. A conservation effort to protect and rehabilitate rare and threatened species and ecosystems is underway to preserve this heritage-listed Sydney park.

A wildlife wonderland
Many native plants were first collected and described by Captain Cook’s botanists, Banks and Solander, in what is now national parkland. Over 160 native bird species have been recorded, including the threatened powerful owl, while native animals in the park include echidnas, possums and the threatened tinkling froglet.

So much to do
The park offers a real escape just minutes from the city. Take a daytrip to go bushwalking, whale watching or fishing. Pick up some information at the Laperouse Museum or the Kurnell Visitor Centre. Discover the foreshore monuments on the Burrawang walk at Kurnell, or tour Bare Island and see the fort built to protect Sydney from enemy attack.

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Getting there

 Car

From Sydney:

  • La Perouse is at the end of Anzac Parade
  • Kurnell is on Captain Cook Drive, access is via Rocky Point Road, off the Princes Highway

 From Kurnell:

  • You can get to it via Rocky Point Road, off the Princes Highway
  • Enter the southern section on Captain Cook Drive

Get driving directions

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 Opening times

Kurnell section:

  • Open 7am - 7.30pm (August - May)
  • Open 7am - 5.30pm (June - July)
  • Sections may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

La Perouse section:

  • Open 7am - 8.30pm (November - March)
  • Open 7am - 7.30pm (April - October)
  • Sections may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger

 Fees

Vehicle entry fees

In this park, vehicle entry fees are $7 per vehicle per day. The park has coin-operated 'pay and display' machines - please bring correct coins.

Other fees

You'll need to pay to visit Laperouse Museum or to tour Bare Island.

 Close to

Kamay Botany Bay National Park is close to:

  • Sutherland (15km) Kurnell section
  • Maroubra (6 km) La Perouse section
  • Sydney city (15km) La Perouse section

 Public Transport

For information about public transport options, visit the NSW transport info website.

 Bike

Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

Weather and climate

 Weather

With its picturesque beaches and bays, this coastal park is unmissable in summer, but its countless historic attractions, wildlife and walking tracks make it a joy to visit any time of year.

 Visiting through the seasons

Winter (June-July)

  • Head to Cape Solander lookout to see migrating humpback whales swimming close to the coast. A free shuttle bus runs on weekends in whale watching season.
  • Set off on the extended Henry Head walk to photograph the SS Minmi shipwreck, just off Cape Banks (low tide only)

Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov)

  • Take the Cape Baily Coast walk to birdwatch, see the Cape Baily lighthouse, and – if you’re lucky – spot humpback whales returning south
  • Visit in November when daylight saving begins in New South Wales. It’s lighter for longer and the park’s northern section is open until 8:30pm. Why not pack a picnic dinner to enjoy on the La Perouse peninsula as the sun sets?

Summer (Dec, Jan, Feb)

  • Bring your snorkel or scuba gear and explore the rocky reefs at Botany Bay’s entrance, Inscription Bay or the La Perouse headland. Dive around Bare Island to glimpse sea horses and sea dragons.
  • Cool off with a quiet saltwater swim at Congwong Beach, Frenchman's Bay or Silver Beach
  • The summer holiday information has important tips to help you plan your visit to Kamay Botany Bay National Park during the busy holiday period.

 Temperature

Summer 

  • The average temperature ranges between 17°C and 26°C
  • The area’s highest recorded temperature is 45.2°C (2006)

Winter 

  • The average temperature ranges between 7°C and 18°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature is -0.1°C (1943)

 Rainfall

  • The wettest month on average is June
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 254.5mm in one day

Safety

Summer holiday planning

During the summer period this park is very popular, especially on weekends and public holidays.

On these busy days many areas in the park reach capacity well before lunchtime. This impacts on traffic flow which can be very heavy at times, both into and within the park.

To help you enjoy your visit please plan ahead and consider the following:

  • For up to date traffic information we recommend people go to www.livetraffic.com.
  • Check to see if a fire ban has been declared before leaving home by going to the Rural Fire Service website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au
  • Check the National Park’s website at www.environment.nsw.gov.au where a prominent 'Fires, floods and park closures' notice appears when any fire or closure conditions apply to the park.

 During a total fire ban:

  • Private barbecues cannot be used and no fires of any kind can be lit. We provide a limited number of sealed barbecues in some locations. They will be very busy and we recommend that you pack food that does not need to be cooked.
  • All walking tracks and most fire trails will be closed as bushwalking during high fire danger days can be extremely dangerous.

Think safety. If planning on a bush walk, don’t go alone. Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. Where possible maintain mobile contact with family or friends. Take adequate drinking water. Read more about bushwalking safety.

A valid entry permit must be displayed on your vehicle. These can be purchased at ticket machines located at the entrance to the park, or from the Visitor Centre. Please be advised that machines only accept coin or credit card, no notes.

To avoid queuing, consider purchasing an annual pass ahead of time.

Contacts

Kurnell (Kamay Botany Bay National Park)

Phone: 02 9668 2000
Street address: Kamay Botany Bay National Park, Cape Solander Drive, Kurnell NSW
Opening hours: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm 7 days; closed Christmas Day


La Perouse Museum (Botany Bay National Park)

Phone: 02 9311 3379
Street address: Botany Bay National Park (North), Cable Station, Anzac Parade, La Perouse NSW 2036
Opening hours: Sundays only 10:00am-4:00pm. During school holidays the museums is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm (Closed Christmas Day, New Years Day and Good Friday).

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View to Bare Island, Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Photo: Andy Richards