Kurnell Visitor Centre

Kurnell area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park

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Overview

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.

Type
Visitor centres
Where
21 Cape Solander Drive, Kurnell, NSW, 2231 - in Kurnell area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park
Accessibility
Easy
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
Opening times

Monday to Friday, 10am to 3.30pm. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 9.30am to 4pm. Closed Christmas day.

Kurnell Visitor Centre features an art gallery, theatrette, historical exhibition, shop and café. Be sure to pay a visit to the centre on your visit to Kamay Botany Bay National Park. You can enjoy a coffee before discovering more about the significance of the area. Be sure to view the film Kamay Botany Bay before you leave.

Learn about the European arrival through the centre’s interactive displays. See how the area’s Aboriginal inhabitants lived at the time of Captain Cook’s landing in 1770 and find out more about Aboriginal people in the area.

Formerly known as The Discovery Centre, the visitor centre also houses the Botany Bay Environmental Education Centre which offers excellent educational programs for students and teachers alike. Have a look at the welcome wall before heading to the picnic area or taking Burrawang walk or Banks-Solander track.

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/visitor-centres/kurnell-visitor-centre/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Kurnell Visitor Centre.

Getting there and parking

Kurnell Visitor Centre 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┬áthe left a short way after entering the park

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.

Facilities

Toilets

  • Flush toilets

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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 - easy

This area is fully wheelchair accessible and a wheelchair accessible toilet is available.

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

Mascot (0 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

Parramatta (31 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.

www.sydney.com

Sydney City Centre (5 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.

www.sydney.com

Learn more

Kurnell Visitor Centre 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 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.

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)