Southern Sydney is perfect for a day trip, beach holiday or camping adventure in Australia’s oldest national park. Relax on beautiful beaches, hop on a ferry to the Royal National Park, and visit where Captain James Cook landed in 1770. There are delicious waterfront places to eat, too, like Zimzala.
Other things to do include kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding on tranquil waterways. Row boats are for hire at Audley, in the Royal National Park. You can also learn the thrill of riding a surfboard or bodyboard. There are guided walking tours and two-day hikes. And whale watching is popular, too.
Public transport reaches 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 the La Perouse Museum and the 1880s-built Bare Island Fort.
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.
Your tastebuds are in for a treat at seaside restaurants, cocktail bars and hip cafes. On the shores of Botany Bay is the Hairyman Brewery, a small craft brewery creating hoppy delights. For great live music, the Brass Monkey in Cronulla serves up food, bands and comedy in an intimate atmosphere.
Check out the fun events calendar for more music as well as festivals, markets and sports. Places to stay suit various budgets, from campgrounds to seaside hotels. Mascot is excellent for short-stay accommodation near Sydney Airport. Here, board scenic flights over Sydney’s iconic attractions.