With Australia’s oldest national park, beautiful beaches and historic landmarks, southern Sydney is perfect for a day trip, beach holiday or camping adventure. Relax on Cronulla’s sandy beaches, hop on a ferry for the Royal National Park, and visit the place where Captain James Cook landed in 1770.
You’ll find many more things to do and see, from bushwalking in magnificent national parks to kayaking on tranquil waterways, from touring a nuclear science facility to scenic joy flights. The fun events calendar includes markets, festivals, sports, music and even an arts trail to artists’ studios.
There is public transport to many attractions. Cronulla in the Sutherland Shire is 50 minutes by train from Central Station. Take a bus from Circular Quay to La Perouse, where French explorer Comte de la Perouse arrived in 1788, and explore La Perouse Museum and Bare Island Fort, built in the 1880s.
A delightful way to travel to one of the oldest national parks in the world is by ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena, a charming gateway to the Royal National Park. You can walk from Bundeena to Jibbon Head for ancient Aboriginal rock engravings, including depictions of a great whale and a sky spirit.
North of Cronulla is Kamay Botany Bay National Park, where the Burrawang walk tells the story of the first meeting of Aboriginal and European cultures. On the walk you’ll visit Captain Cook’s Landing Place, where the then lieutenant and his Endeavour crew first stepped ashore on 29 April 1770.
Cape Solander in the park is named after the Endeavour’s naturalist Daniel Solander and is one of Sydney’s best vantage points for whale watching. Humpback whales migrate along the spectacular coast between May and November and you can spot them from Cape Solander’s viewing platform.
Places to stay suit various budgets, from campgrounds to seaside hotels. Mascot is excellent for short-stay accommodation near Sydney Airport. Your tastebuds are in for a treat, with seaside restaurants and hip cafes. And tours include surfing lessons, kayaking, joy flights and two-day hikes.