I recently completed the walk around Cape Banks near La Perouse in Sydney’s south, taking advantage of the long daylight hours and summer weather for an evening walk.
I’ve done this walk about four times and it is the one I tend to turn to when I want that feeling of being out of the city without having to travel a long way. This is the closest you will get to the experience of walking the Coast Track in the Royal National Park without leaving the city. The sweeping coastal views and cliffs really take you away.
There are multiple routes you can choose around the National Park depending on the length of walk you are looking for and also the possibility of connecting the tracks through to Maroubra for a longer walk.
I tend to park on Anzac Parade near the La Perouse Museum and complete a circuit by walking to the lovely little beach at Congwong Bay, then around to Henry Head and on to Cape Banks. The majority of the circuit is on well maintained bush trails before you join the road near New South Wales Golf Club to return to the car park (on the map below, join the Congwong Track, Henry Head Track, Cape Banks Trail and Coastal Trail before joining Cape Banks Road).
This circuit is between 7 and 8 kms in length and can be done in anything from 1.5 to 3 hours depending on your pace and the time taken to explore the features along the way.
From Congwong Bay the track rises gradually to Henry Head where there are great views over Botany Bay and back towards Congwong Beach, as well as over to Kurnell where the National Park continues.
Otherwise there are no real hills to mention aside from the worthwhile side trip down to Browns Rock, a nice swimming hole in the right conditions (although be careful as the last time I jumped in I immediately realised I was surrounded by small jelly fish – fortunately no damage done!). The swimming hole is pictured below.
Botany Bay is historically significant as the site where James Cook landed in 1770 aboard the HMS Endeavour purportedly marking the start of Britain’s interest in Australia and its eventual colonisation. It has also housed various fortifications to protect against invasion of the bay, most significantly a bunker and fortification used during WW2 which is still visible today and worth exploring.
Check out this and other walk descriptions on our Walks Page.