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Botany Bay Sculptures

Last Updated: April 19, 2024 Sydney
Tripadvisor Rating 4.5/5
5 46
Google Rating 4.9/5
avatar By Sam Baldwin

With history-inspired sculptures, nice coastal views, and diverse waters, Botany Bay can be your next destination. Check out the collection of Botany Bay sculptures as you spend a leisurely day at the Sydney beaches.

Monument Track, Kurnell NSW 2231, Australia


The artworks at Botany Bay are an ode to the first contact between the traditional owners of the land, the Aboriginal people, and Captain James Cook and his crew from the Endeavor. The oldest was erected in the 1870s, while the three newest were installed 150 years later, in 2020.

Some of the most notable monuments are:

1. The Eyes Of The Land And The Sea

Artist: Alison Page and Nik Lachajczak

Year: 2020

Shaped as a whale’s ribs and the hull of a ship, the monument has several quotes, words, and names inscribed in English and Dharawal.

2. Nawi / Mudgerra Bark Canoes

Artist: Theresa Ardler and Julie Squires

Year: 2019

These bronze canoes along the shoreline are cast from actual bark canoes that Aboriginal people made.

3. Wi-Yanga And Gurung, The Whales

Artist: Theresa Ardler and Julie Squires

Year: 2019

Whales are a significant part of the Aboriginal and Dharawal people’s history. The bronze statues of a humpback whale and its calf represent their historical values.

4. Captain Cook’s Memorial

Artist: Mr. George Allen Mansfield

Year: 1870

The Egyptian obelisk-shaped monument commemorated Lieutenant Cook and his HMB Endeavour crew’s arrival in Australia a century after landing at Kamay Botany Bay.

The Story

Botany Bay is a significant site for the European and Aboriginal people. The traditional owners and first inhabitants of the place were the Gweagals. Lieutenant James Cook landed here in 1770 with his crew after charting New Zealand.

Upon landing, he found stingrays abundantly, prompting him to call the bay Stingrays Harbour. But, Daniel Carl Solander and Joseph Banks were two naturalists in his crew who collected several unique plant specimens, which led Cook to name the place Botany Bay.

The First Contact occurred eighteen years later when the First Fleet arrived. The governor quickly ruled Botany Bay as unfit to inhabit due to sparse freshwater and swampy foreshores. The European fleet then established a colony near Port Jackson.

The Gweagal people were the descendants of the Dharawal clan of the Aboriginal Australians. They were considered the guardians of the white clay pits around the country. Gweagals used clay to shape slabs that these people put on their canoes to light a fire. The fire attracted fish and was used for cooking fish fresh out of water.

Did You Know?

The Eyes of the Land and the Sea sculpture at Kamay Botany Bay Source:

What Is Botany Bay Famous For?

Botany Bay has good coastal views, secluded spots for a family picnic, rocky beaches, and historical landmarks. The place is an option for people enthusiastic about diving, snorkelling, surfing, and exploring the rocky reefs.

Congwong Beach is ideal for a family picnic since the waters are protected, and the waves are calm. Plus, the stretch of sand is large enough to accommodate a happy time with kids.

You can also catch a glimpse of prehistoric Australia if you tour Bare Island. Walk to the top of Cape Solander if you want to see whales and dolphins splashing in the sea, and the Burranwang Walk is good for people interested in nice beaches.

How To Get There?

The following transportation lines have routes that pass close to Botany Bay:

From the Sydney Domestic Airport Station, you can take the T8 to Cronulla for around 49 minutes. Then, the nearest bus station is Cronulla St opp Cronulla Station, 17 minutes away from Kamay Botany Bay National Park.

A dad with 2 kids on Captain Cook's Landing Place Source:

Nearest Parking And Cost

The best places to park near Botany Bay are on Palm Bay Avenue (free) and Joss Bay ($3 parking fee).

Nearby Attractions – Make A Day Of It!

Botany Bay is near attractions that can make your visit more worthwhile.

The Kamay Park is 458 hectares of waterside haven full of adventure, history, and sightseeing.

Top 5 Closest Hidden Gems – Recommended By Adventure Clues

Destination Distance
Marrickville Organic Food Markets 28.7 km
Newtown Street Art 29.0 km
Eveleigh Treehouse 29.8 km
Paddington Reservoir Gardens 35.5 km
Elizabeth Bay House 37.0 km

Your Hidden Gems Itinerary

  1. Start your day at Botany Bay Sculptures.
  2. Then proceed to Marrickville Organic Food Markets: Grab a fresh, organic lunch while enjoying the local market atmosphere.
  3. Next, head to Newtown Street Art: Explore the vibrant street art in Newtown, ideal for an inspiring mid-morning walk.
  4. Visit Eveleigh Treehouse: A unique and artistic treehouse in an urban setting. Perfect for a morning visit.
  5. Explore Paddington Reservoir Gardens: Relax in the afternoon at this historical site turned into a sunken garden.
  6. Finally, end your day at Elizabeth Bay House: Conclude the day with a visit to this historic colonial house, offering insights into Sydney’s past.

Sydney’s hidden gems offer a diverse range of experiences, from urban art and historical sites to serene gardens, all within a day’s adventure.

Best Eateries Around

Here are the best places to dine when in Botany Bay;

The coffee shop is also famous for its breakfast, lunch, and brunch menus.

Craving old-style pizza with generous toppings? Talotta’s is the place to be!

Entry Price

There is no entry ticket for Botany Bay. However, if you are entering the Kamay National Park through the Kurnell side, there is an $8 fee.

canoes sculpture at Kamay Botany Bay Source:

Final Thoughts

Botany Bay’s sculptures offer a tangible journey into Australia’s shared history, blending artistry with a deeply-rooted narrative of cultural encounters, all set against the backdrop of Sydney’s coastal beauty.

Experience Sydney’s scenic, artistic, and culturally-rich side while you hunt for clues. Book Sydney Scavenger Hunts by Adventure Clues to explore Botany Bay with a whole new perspective.

Botany Bay Sculptures FAQs

Know more about the Sculptures, a trio of large bronze artworks situated in Kamay Botany Bay National Park, created to mark the 250th anniversary of the historic encounter between Captain James Cook and the Gweagal Aboriginal people.

What are the Botany Bay Sculptures?

The Botany Bay Sculptures comprise three large bronze sculptures located in the Kamay Botany Bay National Park in Sydney. These were installed as part of the joint initiative called the Kamay 2020 Project to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the encounter between Captain Cook and the Gweagal Aboriginal people which occurred in 1770.

Who were the creators of the Botany Bay Sculptures?

The Botany Bay Sculptures were a collaborative effort by talented artists and sculptors, including Theresa Ardler, Julie Squires, Alison Page, and Nik Lachacjzak. Together, they have worked to create these artistic pieces to mark a shared history and provide a representation of the early days of encounters at Kamay between Aboriginal Australians and British explorers.

What do the Botany Bay Sculptures represent?

Each bronze art carries a particular theme: “The Eyes of the Land and the Sea,” “Meeting place” and “Whale” and they notably depict the encounter between Aboriginal Australians and the crew led by James Cook. They provide a visual narrative of the Gweagal people’s first contact with the British explorers, a significant event in the shared history of Australia.

Where exactly can the Botany Bay Sculptures be found?

The Botany Bay Sculptures can be found along the Burrawang Walk in the Kamay Botany Bay National Park, which is near Kurnell, a suburb in southern Sydney. They are in close proximity to the Visitor Centre and other key locations in the park, such as Cape Baily and Cape Solander.


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