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Bare Island Fort guided tour

La Perouse area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park

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Overview

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.

When

Tour runs 1.30pm to 2.15pm, 2.30pm to 3.15pm and 3.30pm to 4.15pm. Meet 15 minutes before your tour starts.

2019 tour dates:

Every Sunday. No tours on Sunday 12 May, Sunday 29 September or Sunday 15 December 2019.

Friday 26 April, Friday 12 July, Friday 19 July, Friday 4 October and Friday 11 October 2019.

2020 tour dates:

Every Sunday from Sunday 5 January to Sunday 28 June 2020. No tours on Sunday 9 February and Sunday 3 May 2020.

Friday 3 January, Friday 10 January, Friday 17 January, Friday 24 January, Friday 17 April and Friday 24 April 2020.

Where
La Perouse area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Grade
Easy. Suitable for all ages.
Price

Adult $15 per person. Concession $13 per person. Child $10 per person. Family $45 for 2 adults and 2 children.

Meeting point
Cross the wooden bridge and meet at the Bare Island gate.
Bookings
Bookings required. Phone 1300 072 757 for more information or book online. Group bookings for 25 or more people available on request, phone (02) 9995 6518.
Book now

In 1885 concerned British colonists thought an invasion by Russia was imminent. To ease their fears, they built Bare Island Fort to protect Botany Bay (then known as 'Sydney's back door'). 

Since then, Bare Island Fort in Kamay Botany Bay National Park has developed a fascinating history. It's been an object of military pride. It's also been a place of shocking scandals and hidden secrets. In recent years it's even been the location for some great action sequences in a blockbuster movie. Join this guided tour of the fort and find out much more ... including the name of that movie.

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 https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/guided-tours/bare-island-fort-guided-tour/local-alerts

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Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Bare Island Fort guided tour.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Bare Island is located at the end of Anzac Parade, La Parouse. Bus services stop near this venue. Contact the Transport Information Line on 131500 for more information.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Free off-street parking available. La Perouse can be busy at times, so allow plenty of time to find a parking spot.  

    Maps and downloads

    Accessibility

    Disability access level - no wheelchair access

    Not wheelchair-accessible.

    Visitor centre

    Learn more

    Bare Island Fort guided tour 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: Expanding contacts Aboriginal culture expanding contacts in Kamay Botany Bay National Park is a Stage 4 (Years 7-8) school excursion which focuses on history as a KLA. Embark on a learning journey of Aboriginal culture from pre-colonisation to now.
    • 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

    Two of Australia's earliest European explorers landed in Botany Bay here—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. Sydney Cove was set up as the penal colony instead. You can also explore the fascinating history of Bare Island Fort on a guided tour, see World War II military remnants at Henry Head, or learn more at La Perouse Museum.

    • 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 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.
    • Cape Banks walking track Cape Banks walking track is a beautiful coastal walk in La Perouse with views across Sydney’s Botany Bay. Start at Congwong Beach and take a swim along the way before passing Henry Head. Continue to Cape Banks, a fantastic spot for whale watching.
    • 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 at La Perouse Stories from a different time is a fascinating Stage 1 (Years 1-2) history excursion at La Perouse. Students will learn about the first contact between the Aboriginal people, traditional custodians of the land, and the new British arrivals.
    • 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.

    • Cape Banks walking track Cape Banks walking track is a beautiful coastal walk in La Perouse with views across Sydney’s Botany Bay. Start at Congwong Beach and take a swim along the way before passing Henry Head. Continue to Cape Banks, a fantastic spot for whale watching.
    • Jennifer Street boardwalk Jennifer Street boardwalk is a short, wheelchair-accessible walking track in La Perouse. The smooth, boarded path is popular with all ages looking for an easy weekend walk in Sydney.

    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. Learn more about the early European explorers, and Aboriginal stories, at the fascinating exhibits in La Perouse Museum tell. Enjoy a picnic, cafes and fish ’n’ çhips and watch the sun set over the bay. Keep an eye out for guided tours of Bare Island Fort.

    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 in Wollemi National Park. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

      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 area

    School excursions (6)

    Cliff coastline. Photo:Andy Richards