BOTANY BAY, GEORGES RIVER AND PORT HACKING
The Aboriginal people lived undisturbed around Botany Bay for thousands of years until English explorer, James Cook, sailed into Botany Bay on the ‘Endeavour’ in April 1770 and landed at Kurnell on the southern headland.
Botany Bay was later chosen as an ideal place to set up a penal colony and the First Fleet of 11 vessels carrying 759 convicts arrived in January 1788. The Fleet found Botany Bay to be unsuitable for settlement and quickly sailed on to Port Jackson marking the beginning of European settlement in Australia.
Today Botany Bay is still the entry point for international and domestic travellers arriving at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport. The airport runway stretches into Botany Bay almost to the point where the ‘Endeavour’ anchored. Port Botany is a very large export and import port for goods to and from all over the world.
La Perouse, on the northern headland of Botany Bay, is named after French explorer, Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de la Perouse, who arrived in Botany Bay on 26 January 1788, just as the First Fleet was preparing to leave. Trace his remarkable exploits at the local museum, walk to Endeavour Lighthouse with views across Botany Bay. Explore tiny Bare Island built as a fort completed in 1885.
Botany Bay National Park Tel: (02) 9337 5511 www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au
Brighton Le Sands, Ramsgate, Sans Souci and Dolls Point on the western shore of Botany Bay are well known for their swimming, picnic areas and kite sailing.
Grand Pines Tourist Park at Sans Souci has family accommodation, close to the beach. Tel: (02) 9529 7329
The Georges River rises near Campbelltown and winds its way 96km through Sydney’s Southwest until it reaches Botany Bay at Sans Souci where there are sailing and motorboat clubs, fishing and recreation.
Cruises of Georges River depart Rocky Point. Tel: (02) 9583 1199
Carrs Park picnic grounds are on the Western side of nearby Kogarah Bay. Along with Kogarah and Rockdale, Hurstville forms part of the St George area.
Hurstville. Stop for a picnic lunch, a walk in the bush or a swim at Oatley Park on the Georges River.
Sutherland Take the Captain Cook Bridge over the Georges River to Kurnell where the crew of the ‘Endeavour’ first came ashore in 1770. Swim or surf at Wanda, Eloura or Cronulla Beaches.
Gunnamatta Bay on Port Hacking is a delightful picnic and swimming spot. Cronulla and National Park Ferry Cruises leave the public wharf for Bundeena and scenic cruises on Port Hacking to the Royal National Park. Other cruises also depart from here.
Tel: (02) 9523 3990 www.cronullaferries.com.au
Visit Symbio Wildlife Park at Helensburgh and Sydney Tramway Museum at Loftus.
CityRail Tel: 131 500 www.131500.com.au
Hurstville Tel: (02) 9330 6222 www.hurstville.nsw.gov.au
Sutherland Tel: (02) 9710 0888 www.visittheshire.com.au