School excursion

Bound for Botany Bay

Stage 2 (Years 3-4), History, La Perouse area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park

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In 1770, James Cook and his crew aboard the Endeavour were bound for Botany Bay. Their 8-day stay would have a dramatic impact on the future of Australia. This Stage 2 (Years 3-4) History excursion explores the first British landing on Australian soil.

Read more about Bound for Botany Bay

This hands-on interactive excursion allows students the opportunity explore early Australian history from its first Inhabitants, through to early European explorers, convicts and the 19th century soldiers who defended Sydney.

Students will gain an understanding of how Australia's First Nations people lived in Australia for thousands of years prior to European settlement. A range of authentic artefacts are utilised to showcase one of the oldest living cultures on earth.

Students will discover the impact of early explorers like James Cook, Joseph Banks and Comte de La Perouse whilst completing a hands-on activity. Students will then step into convict ‘slops’ to learn about the sequence of events that led to Australia becoming a penal colony. Students will learn about life as a convict, including the sentences and punishments faced by those sent to Australia and the hardships they faced.

Finally, students will learn about the Bare Island Fortification. In the role of soldiers in 1885, students will examine how and why they were to defend the ‘backdoor to Sydney’.

For program outline, safety and practical information about this excursion, see info for teachers

Stage Stage 2 (Years 3-4)
Learning area History
Student outcomes

HT2-1. Identifies celebrations and commemorations of significance in Australia and the world

HT2-2. Describes and explains how significant individuals, groups and events contributed to changes in the local community over time

HT2-3. Describes people, events and actions related to world exploration and its effects

HT2-4. Describes and explains effects of British colonisation in Australia

HT2-5. Applies skills of historical inquiry and communication


Students will:

  • Learn how Aboriginal people survived in their environment using a collection of preserved Australian animals and Aboriginal artefacts
  • Identify some of the consequences of the British arrival for Aboriginal people
  • Gain an understanding of the impact early explorers had on Australia
  • Explore the life of a convict, from why Australia became a penal colony, through to the crimes, sentences and punishment of those sent to our shores
  • Learn about the European history of the site through stories and original architecture.

Excursion details


Weekdays (all year), 10am to 12pm, including meal breaks.

Guided. Available on request.
Easy. Guided tour and activities along an unsealed walking path including a board walk, grassed area and stairs.

$17 per student. Minimum of 20 students. GST included.

Meeting point
Meet at Bare Island gate. La Perouse is located at the northern headland of Kamay Botany Bay National Park. You can't access it from the southern end of the park at Kurnell.
To organise this school excursion please contact the local NPWS office or use the ‘Enquire now’ button.
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Info for teachers

All the practical information you need to know about Bound for Botany Bay .

Program outline

  • Walk across the wooden bridge to meet at Bare Island gate 
  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety talk
  • Introduction to the site and overview of what the excursion will entail
  • Morning tea and toilet break on Bare Island 
  • Examine preserved animals and Aboriginal artefacts 
  • Discuss Cook's arrival on the Endeavour and the convict history that followed  
  • View and try on replica convict and naval uniforms, and lift the heavy chains that were used to restrain convicts. 
  • Share in stories of European colonisation and history, including the impact of diseases brought to Australia by the First Fleet 
  • Lunch 
  • See Macquarie Watchtower, Australia's first customs building and now the oldest remaining sandstone building. 
  • Discuss the first contact of the Aboriginal people and the white settlers 
  • Return to Bare Island gate and depart on bus 

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Bare Island is located at the end of Anzac Parade in the La Perouse area of Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Follow Anzac Parade towards La Perouse. The area has coach and car parking, a museum, picnic areas, historic fort and a beach.

    What to bring

    Please wear fully enclosed shoes and bring a hat, sunscreen, wet weather gear, and lunch which should be low waste with a refillable water bottle. Students should bring gear in a backpack or similar (not plastic bags).

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Pre activity briefing: participants will be briefed at the start of the activity/day.

    Safety equipment: NPWS staff carry radios and first aid kits, hold current first aid certificates and are aware of emergency procedures.

    Staff accreditation: NPWS staff have current Senior First Aid accreditation. They are experienced in working with groups of students in the natural environment and have excellent knowledge of the specific areas they are visiting including potential hazards. NPWS is committed to a Child Safe and Friendly Environment. Our staff have been screened for child-related employment and have completed a Working with Children Check.

    Emergencies: NPWS staff are trained to deal with emergencies and emergency procedures are in place. Ongoing supervision of a student following first aid treatment will be the responsibility of the visiting school.

    Risk assessment and risk benefits

    Our rangers and guides have the technical skill and experience to assess the risks and the benefits of a variety of activities delivered as part of our learning programs.

    We believe in including opportunities that allow students to learn and experience for themselves through exploration in the natural environment.

    Please make your own risk assessment based on the information provided. Detailed potential risks and controls are provided for the site to assist teachers in risk management planning. Teachers and carers should be aware of, and consider the needs, abilities and medical conditions of students when visiting this site. The supervision of students remains the responsibility of the teacher. The school must ensure an adequate number of adult supervisors are present.


    Disability access level - hard

    Wheelchairs can access this area with some difficulty. There are no wheelchair-accessible toilets on Bare Island or at the public toilets on Anzac Parade. Please let us know in advance if you are bringing someone with accessibility requirements so that we can plan accordingly.