Henry Head walking track

La Perouse area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park

Overview

Enjoy spectacular views from Henry Head walking track at La Perouse in Sydney. This easy coastal walk offers great bird watching and several historic sites along the way.

Where
La Perouse area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park
Distance
4km return
Time suggested
45min - 1hr 15min
Grade
Grade 3
Opening times

If you're driving into the La Perouse area of Kamay Botany Bay National Park please note that gates are open:

  • 7am-8.30pm (November to March) 
  • 7am-7.30pm (April to October)
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen
Please note
Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go bird watching or whale watching.

Grab your backpack and follow Henry Head walking track as it curves along the clifftops and beaches of Kamay Botany Bay National Park. This easy, 4km walk will reward you with dramatic views across Botany Bay and the Pacific Ocean beyond as you make your way to Endeavour Lighthouse at Henry Head.

There two options for where this walk can be started:

  • La Perouse Museum at Cann Park on Anzac Parade, or
  • the carpark near the park entry gates on Anzac Parade, opposite Goorawahl Avenue.

Take a break to admire the views, and check out Henry Head’s historic World War II battlements – part of Sydney’s early coastal defence systems.

If all this isn’t enough to pique your interest, there’s always the bird watching. Kookaburras, lorikeets and yellow-tailed black cockatoos are just some of the species you might encounter as you stride along this walk. Reptiles such as skinks, blue-tongue lizards and water dragons are also common around here. 

Once you reach Henry Head you have the option of turning back to retrace your steps, or, continuing the walk a further 1.2km to explore Cruwee Cove and the headland at Cape Banks.

Take a virtual tour of Henry Head walking track, captured with Google Street View Trekker.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/henry-head-walking-track/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Henry Head walking track.

Track grading

Grade 3

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    45min - 1hr 15min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    4km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Henry Head walking track is in the La Perouse precinct of Kamay Botany Bay National Park. To get there, follow Anzac Parade to La Perouse.

    There two options for where this walk can be started:

    •  the carpark near the park entry gates on Anzac Parade, opposite Goorawahl Avenue.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Free parking is available outside the park on Anzac Parade, La Perouse, or within the park at Cape Banks.

    Parking is also available around Cann Park, near La Perouse Museum on Anzac Parade.  

    Please note it can get very busy on the weekends and parking may be difficult.

    Facilities

    Food outlets and public toilets are located near La Perouse Museum at Cann Park, Anzac Parade.

    Drinking water

    Drinking water is limited or not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Beach safety

    Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit; it helps emergency services locate you, using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park, you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    Prohibited

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Visitor centre

    • La Perouse Museum
      Kamay Botany Bay National Park (North), Cable Station, Anzac Parade, La Perouse NSW
    • Sundays only 10am-4pm. (closed Christmas Day, New Years Day and Good Friday)
    • (02) 9311 3379

    Learn more

    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 an Aboriginal ranger to hear about the culture and history of the area.
    • 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 Bay, six days after the First Fleet. It was to be the last port of call before the expedition vanished forever.
    • 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 Bay, six days after the First Fleet. It was to be the last port of call before the expedition vanished forever. Housed in the historic Cable Station building, many relics and artefacts retell this fascinating tale.
    • 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 area. We'll view artefacts on display and listen to stories about how the land has been used from the past up until the present day.
    • 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.
    Show more

    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.

    Environments in this park

    School excursions (5)

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