Discover incredible natural beauty and rich history in La Perouse. This beautiful peninsula in Sydney’s southeast is where Captain Arthur Phillip’s First Fleet initially landed in 1788, before deciding to settle at Sydney Cove.
Hear stories of the early settlers and Aboriginal inhabitants, whose connection to the land dates back thousands of years. There are also scenic walks, top diving spots and stunning golf courses.
History & heritage
La Perouse is named after a French explorer who arrived in Botany Bay a week after the First Fleet. Learn about the expedition of Comte de la Perouse at the La Perouse Museum, found in the heritage-listed Cable Station. The museum houses the complete Atlas of the Voyage of La Perouse and tells the ongoing story of this important suburb in Sydney’s history, including that of the local Aboriginal community.
Nearby is the 1880s-built Bare Island Fort, which you might recognise from the Tom Cruise film Mission Impossible 2. Once a quarter on Bare Island, you can experience Blak Markets, a wonderful day of traditional Aboriginal dance performances, indigenous arts and craft stalls, and tasty bush tucker experiences.
Kadoo Indigenous and Cultural Tours offer a fascinating insight into the area’s heritage. Go walkabout with Tim Ella of the Dharawal–Yuin people in Kamay Botany Bay National Park, as he shares some of his personal history and the Dreaming stories of the local indigenous population. It’s also a chance to try bush tucker and experience a traditional ochre ceremony and Welcome to Country.
Things to do
The water around Bare Island is a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkelling, home to soft coral, sea stars, pretty sponge gardens and pygmy seahorses. Up on the headland is the Henry Head walking track, a 4km return track to Endeavour Lighthouse and World War II battlements, offering great bird-watching and whale watching. Walk a little farther to Cape Banks for even more breathtaking bay and ocean views.
Frenchmans Bay faces into Botany Bay, offering calm swimming waters and a beautiful sandy beach. Congwong Beach in Kamay Botany Bay National Park is another calm beach, perfect for swimming, snorkelling, fishing and picnics. The neighbouring Little Congwong Beach is a secluded spot, also in the national park, and while it isn’t officially a nudist beach, people have been known to bare all here.
You’ll find three splendid golf courses perfectly positioned on the mesmerising coastline north of Cape Banks: St Michael’s Golf Club, The Coast Golf Club and Randwick Golf Course. You don’t have to play golf to enjoy them either, with all three clubs offering lovely restaurants with spectacular views.
Eat & drink
Being by the water, you can expect great seafood in La Perouse. The Boatshed is a casual beachside restaurant, which also offers takeaway fish and chips. Battered at the Bay is another great choice for takeaway seafood, while Danny’s Seafood is a local dine-in favourite. There are several cafes near the foreshore, including Bare Grill and Cafe, which specialises in hearty burgers and loaded fries.
Getting to La Perouse in Sydney’s southeast is easy by public transport, with direct buses from the city centre. The route from the CBD will take you through inner city Surry Hills, Randwick and Kingsford, before getting to beachside Maroubra, Malabar and Little Bay. Alternatively, it’s a 30-min drive.