Kurnell area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park
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 area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park
- 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)
- Please note
- There are unfenced cliffs at this location. Don't walk close to cliff edges because the overhanging rocks may be very thin. Please stick to the marked walking tracks and supervise children closely.
Want to go whale watching in Sydney? Cape Solander is undoubtedly one of Sydney's best whale watching spots.
June/July is the best time to see humpback whales as they migrate to warmer waters. If you’re lucky you won’t even need to look far – whales have been known to swim as close as 200m from the coast.
Named after botanist Daniel Solander, Cape Solander features a lookout with a viewing platform – the perfect vantage point – along with information on whales seen in Sydney waters.
If you plan on a coastal walk through the park, then Cape Solander is a good starting point. It’s also a great spot for birdwatching or simply gazing at the clear horizon.
Take a virtual tour of Cape Solander captured with Google Street View Trekker.
Cape Baily Lighthouse is a scenic stop along Cape Baily track in the Kurnell area of Kamay Botany Bay National Park, near Cape Solander.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/lookouts/cape-solander/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 Cape Solander.
Getting there and parking
Cape Solander 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
- Continue past the visitor centre and follow to the end.
- Sealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
Parking is available at the Cape Solander lookout, including several designated disabled spots.
Maps and downloads
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
Cronulla (9 km)
This summer, grab your beach towels, order your fish and chips, and hit the sand at Cronulla Beach, one of the many beaches on the beautiful coastline just south of Sydney. In addition to being one of the areas's top surfing beaches, it's close to Royal National Park, and, if you keep your eyes peeled, you just may spot dolphins and turtles in its waters.
Parramatta (30 km)
Parramatta offers a fascinating insight into early colonial life in Australia. Don't miss a visit to Old Government House, now one of 11 Australian Convict Sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Sydney City Centre (15 km)
No trip to Sydney is complete without spending some time in the city’s beautiful parks. Whether it’s in central areas like Hyde Park or the Royal Botanic Gardens or further out in Centennial Parklands, there’s plenty of green space to go out and enjoy.
Cape Solander 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 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
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.
- 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
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.