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Cape Solander / Botany Bay National Park

New South Wales, Australia Travel

Cape Solander
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• Bird Life in Botany Bay NP
• Whale Watching

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There are many recreational activities at Cape Solander which is located on the Kurnell Peninsula, such as a visit to Captain Cooks Landing Place.

Based in the southern part of Botany Bay National Park, there are a number of walks, the Discovery Centre, and Cape Solander Drive that takes you up to Cape Solander Lookout where visitors come to watch the annual migration of whales up and down the coast.

This coastline of this part of the national park takes in views across Botany Bay, views across Yena Gap to La Perouse, Bare Island, Henry Head and Cape Banks. From the walking tracks, there are spectacular views of the Kurnell coastline including the ‘white cliffs’, as described in the 1770 journals of James Cook.

Early morning at the Cape Solander Lookout.

You can enjoy picnics and BBQs at Commemoration Flat, with views across Botany Bay, enjoy the variety of birds, and the activities of the recreational divers. The Monument Track is an easy walk along the foreshore past Cooks landing place.

CAUTION: this natural area of cliffs, has strong winds, uneven surfaces and slippery surfaces. Care should be taken at all time and children should be closely supervised.

For some images of whales at Cape Solander, click here...

Source: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information. Additional info can be had at the Botany Bay Discovery Centre, La Perouse Museum and Visitor Centre.

Information Centre

Botany Bay National Park Discovery Centre

Laperouse Museum and Visitor Centre

National Parks and Wildlife Service

Sydney Harbour National Park Information Centre

Views of the Kurnell coastline.
Bush Walks • there are a number of walks including:
  • The Banks Solander Track:
    a 1 km walk that takes in coastal woodlands, cabbage tree palms and a variety of banksias.
  • The Cape Bailey Track:
    an 8 km return walk that takes in spectacular coastal line, traverses heathland and circles hanging swamps, home to the threatened tinkling forglet.
  • The Monument Track:
    an easy 2 km return walk along the foreshore, past Cooks landing place.
  • Muru Walking Track
  • Yena Walking Track

Whale breaching off Cape Solander.Discovery Centre • Kurnell
• the exhibitions in the Discovery Centre includes information about the impacts of European colonisation of Australia, in particular, the eight days spent by James Cook and the crew of the Endeavour at Botany Bay in 1770. There is also a Wetlands exhibition which provides information on the important wetlands in Botany Bay.

Whale Watching
• Between May and November, whales such as the Humpback and the Southern Right can be seen along the coastline of the bay. Cape Solander is one of the best spots in Sydney for viewing the whales, with recorded whale numbers increasing every year. In 2002, there was estimated, that there was about 1,000 visitors over one weekend, to see the whales. The spot is ideal because of the sheer cliffs and clear horizon at the end of the Kurnell Peninsular.

More information about Whales and Whale Watching in New South Wales.

Cape Solander - Whale Watch Update - 21st June 2005 2005 Whale Watching

• Signs around the district announce that "whale watching" began on 21st May. In fact the season stretches between May and November.

Our trip up to Cape Solander Lookout saw us arriving at the gate of the park at just after 9:00 am and the white board there indicated that there had been 7 whales sighted so far today. By the time we drove up to the lookout, the number had changed to 8. The scoreboard showed an incredible number of over 300 Humpbacks, 11 Minkes, 15 Melonhead/Pygmy Killers, 320 Dolphins and other... fur seal... 2. That was number so far this season.

Already the car park was filling up, the smell of a sausage sizzle, binoculars everywhere, and a lovely lass selling raffle tickets for the local Botany Bay environment group. There were people of all ages, nationality, friendly and smiling.

We had come prepared, with our hot water thermos for tea, snack bars, winter jackets, cameras, camping chairs and of course our binoculars and we did not have to wait long...

"There's one", someone yells and all heads swivel to catch the glimpse of the "blow" in the distance... and we wait patiently for the next blow.

We were not disappointed. Within the next couple of hours, we saw blows, flukes, spy hops, tail slapping, and breaching.

By the time we decided to leave at 1.23 pm, the car park was packed, there were enthusiast everywhere gazing out to sea and the sausage sizzle was still going. The scoreboard say 23 Humpbacks seen today... who knows what the number ended at by the end of the day...

by C Leel

Following are images from Cape Solander. For more images of whale sightings, click here...
Humpback - breaching at Cape Solander (21st June 2005)

Kurnell coastline.

Wildflowers on the coastal heathland.

Wildflowers on the coastal heathland.

Banksia ericifolia - Cape Solander, Botany Bay National Park, New South Wales.

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