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Henry Head walking track

La Perouse area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park

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Learn more about why this park is special

Henry Head walking track is in La Perouse area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Aboriginal culture

Burrawang walk, Kamay Botany National Park. Photo: Andrew Richards

At the time of the first encounters with Europeans, Aboriginal people of 2 different nations - the Goorawal People and the Gweagal People - were living in the area which now includes Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Over 30 Aboriginal sites have been recorded in the park, including rock art and engravings.

  • Aboriginal culture and bush tucker: La Perouse Enjoy a morning of cultural exploration on the shores of Botany Bay, led by an NPWS Aboriginal guide in La Perouse, Kamay Botany Bay National Park.
  • Blak markets at Bare Island Visit the Blak markets at La Perouse, to discover the best of Aboriginal culture. There'll be traditional dance performances, arts and craft stalls, weaving and bush tucker.

Historic heritage

Bare Island Fort, Kamay Botany National Park. Photo: Andrew Richards

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 and is certainly a cornerstone of the country's colonial history. Two of Australia's earliest European explorers landed here first - James Cook in 1770, and the Comte de Laperouse in 1788. Cook's botanists, Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, first explored Australia's natural world here. After the reports of Cook and Banks, Botany Bay was recommended as a suitable site for settlement but upon inspection by Captain Arthur Phillip it was found unsuitable as it had no secure fresh water or suitable anchorage so Sydney Cove was set up as the penal colony instead.

  • Bare Island Fort guided tour Join this guided tour to hear about the unpredictable history of Bare Island Fort at La Perouse. We'll cross a 130-year-old wooden bridge and enter a world of fine engineering and great deception.
  • Bound for Botany Bay Bound for Botany Bay is a school excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students which focuses on HSIE. Visit Botany Bay, the site of first contact between James Cook and Aboriginal people, and walk with a...
  • La Perouse Museum La Perouse Museum is a Stage 5 (Years 9-10) school excursion in Kamay Botany Bay National Park, which focuses on history as a KLA. On 26 January 1788, the French explorer La Perouse arrived in Botany ...
  • La Perouse Museum Housed in a heritage building at La Perouse in Sydney's south, the La Perouse Museum documents the expedition of French explorer the Comte de Laperouse.
  • La Perouse Museum La Perouse Museum is a school excursion for Stage 3 (Years 5-6) students in Kamay Botany Bay National Park which focuses on HSIE. On 26 January 1788, the French explorer La Perouse arrived in Botany B...
  • Stories of a different time Stories of a different time is a Stage 1 (Years 1-2) school excursion in Kamay Botany Bay National Park, which focuses on HSIE. Students will visit La Perouse Museum and explore the history of the are...
  • WilderQuest Bound for Botany Bay Join the WilderQuest gang at Kamay Botany Bay National Park. You'll go back in time to London in 1820, where you'll be sentenced to life as a convict and transported to Botany Bay.
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Biodiversity

Wildflowers in Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Much of the park’s unspoilt flora give 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. Henry Head walking track leads through the rare eastern suburbs banksia scrub now listed as an endangered ecological species.

Visitor experiences

La Perouse Museum, Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Photo: Andrew Richards

La Perouse offers a real escape just minutes from the city and close to cafes and public transport. Take a day trip to go bushwalking, whale watching or fishing. Pick up some information at La Perouse Museum or just enjoy a picnic, cafes and fish’n’çhips and watch the sun set over the bay.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

    White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

    White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.

Plants

  • Blueberry ash. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Blueberry ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus)

    The blueberry ash is a rainforest shrub which produces blue olive-shaped berries and spectacular bell-shaped flowers, which often appear on the plant together. It is a tall slender shrub or small tree found in rainforest, tall eucalypt forest and coastal bushland in eastern NSW, south-east Queensland and Victoria.

  • Flannel flowers. Photo: Michael Jarman

    Flannel flower (Actinotus helianthi)

    The delicate flannel flower is so named because of the soft woolly feel of the plant. Growing in the NSW south coast region, extending to Narrabri in the Central West and up to south-east Queensland, its white or pink flowers bloom all year long, with an extra burst of colour in the spring.

  • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

    Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

  • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

    Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

Look out for...

Blueberry ash

Elaeocarpus reticulatus

Blueberry ash. Photo: Jaime Plaza

The blueberry ash is a rainforest shrub which produces blue olive-shaped berries and spectacular bell-shaped flowers, which often appear on the plant together. It is a tall slender shrub or small tree found in rainforest, tall eucalypt forest and coastal bushland in eastern NSW, south-east Queensland and Victoria.

Environments in this park

School excursions (5)

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Henry Head walking track, Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Photo: John Spencer