Captain Cook's Landing Place
Kurnell area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park
Visit Kamay Botany Bay National Park to see Captain Cook's landing place at Kurnell. The heritage-listed site is an important place in Australia's history.
- Historic buildings/places
- Entry fees
- Park entry fees apply
- Opening times
If you're driving into the Kurnell area of Kamay Botany Bay National Park please note that gates are open:
- 7am-7.30pm (August to May)
- 7am-5.30pm (June to July)
In 1770, Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook landed at Botany Bay’s Inscription Point. He and his Endeavour crew stayed in the area for eight days and had a dramatic impact on Australian history.
Located near Silver Beach on the Kurnell Peninsula headland, Cook’s landing place is a popular Sydney attraction. Now heritage-listed, this reserve interprets the story of the meeting of European and Aboriginal cultures.
Visit Kamay Botany Bay National Park to discover Captain Cook’s landing place yourself. The best way to get there is along the Burrawang walk that features a soundscape of Aboriginal children's laughter. As you pass over the dune you'll see views of the bay where the Endeavour was first sighted. A small plaque marks the location where Captain Cook landed.
Take a virtual tour of Captain Cook's Landing Place, captured with Google Street View Trekker.
Commemoration Flat picnic area is in the Kurnell area of Kamay Botany Bay National Park, near Kurnell Visitor Centre. This beautiful grassy spot is perfect for seaside family gatherings.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/historic-buildings-places/captain-cooks-landing-place/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in the Kurnell area of Kamay Botany Bay National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
7am–7.30pm August to May. 7am–5.30pm June to July.
Areas may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
Park entry fees:
$8 per vehicle per day applies in the Kurnell area only. The park has coin-operated pay and display machines - please bring correct coins. The park also has credit card accepting payment facilities.Buy annual pass.
All the practical information you need to know about Captain Cook's Landing Place.
Getting there and parking
Captain Cook’s Landing Place is in the Kurnell precinct of Kamay Botany Bay National Park. To get there:
- Follow Captain Cook Drive towards Kurnell
- At the T intersection turn left and take the next right in to Cape Solander Drive
- The visitor centre is on the left a short way after entering the park
- Leave the car here and follow Burrawang walk to the landing place.
- Sealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
Parking is available at Kurnell Visitor Centre, including several designated disabled parking spots.
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - medium
Assistance may be required to access this area.
- The Burrawang walk to the foreshore is accessible for wheelchairs from the Kurnell visitor centre
- There is a section that passes over the dunes that is not wheelchair accessible
Kurnell Visitor Centre
21 Cape Solander Drive, Kurnell NSW 2231
- CLOSED TO VISITORS. Email and phone contact only. Monday to Friday, 10am to 3.30pm. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 9.30am to 4pm. Closed Christmas holiday.
- 02 9668 2010
Captain Cook's Landing Place is in Kurnell area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
June/July is the best time to see humpback whales in this area as they migrate to warmer waters, and Cape Solander is a terrific lookout to get a glimpse of these majestic ocean giants.
- Cape Solander Head to one of Sydney's best whale watching spots. Cape Solander, located in the Kurnell section of Kamay Botany Bay National Park is an unbeatable lookout during whale watching season.
- Kurnell Visitor Centre Kurnell Visitor Centre is closed to visitors because a new visitor centre is being built in 20201-2022. You can still contact Visitor Centre staff for maps, history and advice by email or phone.
- Muru and Yena tracks Mura and Yena tracks form a short loop walk from Kurnell Visitor Centre to clifftop Yena picnic area, in Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Enjoy dramatic coastal views, spot whales, birdlife and wildflowers.
Aboriginal culture to discover
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. Significant Aboriginal sites have been recorded in the park, including middens and engravings.
- Burrawang walk Take an easy stroll along Burrawang walk in the Kurnell area of Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Enjoy several historic sites and bronze sculptures of Aboriginal significance. A large section of this walk is wheelchair-accessible.
Kurnell is Captain Cook's Landing Place and the point of first contact between Aboriginal people and the Endeavour crew. The Kurnell area of Kamay Botany Bay National Park is rich in both Aboriginal and European history and is certainly a cornerstone of the country's colonial history. One of Australia's earliest European explorers, James Cook, landed here in 1770. 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
- Captain Cook's Landing Place Visit Kamay Botany Bay National Park to see Captain Cook's landing place at Kurnell. The heritage-listed site is an important place in Australia's history.
Plants and animals you may see
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.
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 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 (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 (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.