La Perouse Museum

La Perouse area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park

Overview

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.

Type
Visitor centres
Where
La Perouse area in Kamay Botany Bay National Park
Accessibility
Hard
Price
Free
Opening times

Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am to 2pm. Saturdays and Sundays, 10am to 4pm. Closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Please note

For more information visit the Randwick City Council website.

La Perouse Museum is located on Kamay Botany Bay National Park’s northern headland. The museum is housed within the historic Cable Station building, once Australia’s only link to the rest of the world. The La Perouse Monument is located nearby.

Almost 2,000 items across several rooms of exhibits document the 1787–1788 expedition of French explorer the Comte de Lapérouse. Items include the complete Atlas of the Voyage of La Perouse.

Lapérouse arrived in Botany Bay a week after the First Fleet. His expedition was last seen in what is now national parkland before mysteriously vanishing.

The fascinating exhibits in La Perouse Museum also tell stories of the local area, including Aboriginal stories.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Close to

  • Detail of stone masonry and doorway of Macquarie watchtower, set on a grass lawn, with a pine tree in the background. Photo: Kevin McGrath/DPIE

    Macquarie Watchtower

    Macquarie Watchtower is in the La Perouse area of Kamay Botany Bay National Park, next to La Perouse Museum. Visit this historic stone building to learn about Sydney’s colonial and convict past.

  • Fenced area with tomb and metal cross, on a wide grassy slope with Botany Bay in the background, near Sydney. Photo: Stacy Wilson/DPIE

    Pere Receveurs Tomb

    Pere Receveurs Tomb is in the La Perouse area of Kamay Botany Bay National Park, next to La Perouse Museum. This memorial marks the grave of French priest Pere le Receveur, of the ill-fated La Perouse expedition.

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/la-perouse-museum/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about La Perouse Museum.

Getting there and parking

La Perouse Museum is in the La Perouse precinct of Kamay Botany Bay National Park. To get there:

  • Follow Anzac Parade towards La Perouse
  • At the end of Anzac Parade follow the signs to the museum.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at La Perouse Museum.

Facilities

Toilets

  • Flush toilets

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 - hard

Wheelchairs can access this area with some difficulty.

  • The downstairs section of the museum is wheelchair-accessible, but there are steps involved so you'll need some assistance.
  • The upstairs section is inaccessible due to a narrow stairway.

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

Nearby towns

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

Parramatta (27 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 (8 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

La Perouse Museum 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.
  • Dharawal Resting Place track Walk the short track to Dharawal Resting Place to discover this important La Perouse Aboriginal site, that’s also steeped in Sydney’s colonial history.
  • La Perouse first contact tour Explore La Perouse on an Aboriginal cultural tour in Sydney's Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Take part in a traditional ochre ceremony, try bush tucker and learn about first contact with Europeans.

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 and Cape Banks ultimate day tour Uncover the wealth of history along the shores of La Perouse, Kamay Botany Bay National Park. From a shipwreck to the Henry Head fortifications, there's plenty to delve into on this guided tour.
  • 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.
  • Dharawal Resting Place track Walk the short track to Dharawal Resting Place to discover this important La Perouse Aboriginal site, that’s also steeped in Sydney’s colonial history.
  • La Perouse first contact tour Explore La Perouse on an Aboriginal cultural tour in Sydney's Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Take part in a traditional ochre ceremony, try bush tucker and learn about first contact with Europeans.
  • 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.
Show more

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.
  • La Perouse first contact tour Explore La Perouse on an Aboriginal cultural tour in Sydney's Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Take part in a traditional ochre ceremony, try bush tucker and learn about first contact with Europeans.

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)

View to Bare Island, Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Photo: Andy Richards