Captain Cook's Landing Place

Kurnell area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park

Overview

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.

Type
Historic buildings/places
Where
Kurnell area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park
Accessibility
Medium
Price
Free
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.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Also see

  • Wide view of grassy parkland dotted with mature trees and picnic tables. Photo: Natasha Webb/DPIE

    Commemoration Flat picnic area

    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.

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/historic-buildings-places/captain-cooks-landing-place/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Kurnell Visitor Centre, including several designated disabled parking spots.

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.

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 and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Accessibility

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

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 pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Visitor centre

  • Kurnell Visitor Centre
    21 Cape Solander Drive, Kurnell NSW 2231
  • Monday to Friday, 10am to 3.30pm. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 9.30am to 4pm. Closed Christmas holiday.
  • 02 9668 2010

Nearby towns

Byron Bay (6 km)

Byron Bay is Australia's easternmost town and 'style capital' of the North Coast. It's a place of outstanding natural beauty, set against lush volcanic hills.

www.visitnsw.com

Mascot (1 km)

From Mascot, it's a quick trip into the city centre to enjoy the best of big-city Sydney shopping at glamorous department stores, arcades and boutiques. Duty free shopping is available in the city as well as at Sydney International Airport.

www.sydney.com

Mullumbimby (30 km)

Mullumbimby sits on the Brunswick River and is overshadowed by subtropical hills.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Captain Cook's Landing Place is in Kurnell area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Whale watching

People undercover using binoculars to spot whales, Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Photo: Susan Aston Metham/OEH

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 a one-stop shop for tourist information in Kamay Botany Bay National Park, near Cronulla in southern Sydney. Visit for maps, history, advice and exhibitions.
  • 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

Cape Baily Coast walk, Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Photo: Andy 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. Significant Aboriginal sites have been recorded in the park, including middens and engravings.

  • Burrawang walk The easy Burrawang Walk in Kamay Botany Bay National Park in southern Sydney takes in several historic sites. A large section of this walk is wheelchair-accessible, starting at Kurnell Visitor Centre.

Historic heritage

Monument track, Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Photo: Andy Richards

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.
  • First contacts at Kurnell In 1770, James Cook landed in Botany Bay on board the Endeavour. Directly ashore were the Aboriginal people of the Eora Nation. This Stage 2 (Years 3-4) history excursion will explore the first contact between Aboriginal clans and white settlers.

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 (1)

People walking pat the monument. Photo:Andy Richards