Sydney South

Head south of the CBD to discover a relaxed part of Sydney that blends heritage and nature. Visit the spot where Captain James Cook landed in 1770, discover the oldest national park in Australia and explore small coves and expansive, white sandy beaches that are ideal locations for a day trip or longer beach holiday.

Things to do in Sydney’s South

Captain Cook’s Landing Place, at Botany Bay's Inscription Point, is where the then lieutenant and his Endeavour crew first stepped ashore on 29 April 1770. Access it via the Burrawang walk, which tells the story of the first meeting of Aboriginal and European cultures, in Kamay Botany Bay National Park.

Aerial view of Bare Island in Botany Bay, Sydney South

The national park is home to another heritage attraction, the La Perouse Museum which details the journey of French explorer Comte de la Perouse who arrived in 1788. The beachside suburb of La Perouse is named in his honour. The nearby, 1880s-built Bare Island Fort is another piece of colonial history.

The Royal National Park was established in 1879, making it one of the world's oldest national parks and one of the area's big attractions. You can go kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding on tranquil waterways, swim at secluded beaches, hire row boats, ride mountain bike trails and go on hikes that span a few hours to a few days.  

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.

Wattamolla beach, Royal National Park

Bundeena, which is just a short ferry ride from the park, is a picturesque town that makes a great day trip. There are sandy beaches and a myriad of walking trails. One of the most popular is the path to Jibbon Head where you can see ancient Aboriginal rock engravings, including depictions of a great whale and a sky spirit.

Cronulla in the Sutherland Shire is the area's hub, best known for a long stretch of spectacular, white sand beach that holds major sporting events such as the IronMan and IronWoman series. Check out the fun events calendar for to see what else is on in the area, from music to festivals galore.

Scenic views from Stanwell Tops Lookout, Royal National Park, Sydney South

Eat and drink in Sydney’s South

Your tastebuds are in for a treat at seaside restaurants, cocktail bars and hip cafes. Cronulla has the most choice, including the fantastic Brass Monkey which also hosts live music. Hairyman Brewery, on the shores of Botany Bay, is a small craft brewery creating hoppy delights and Bundeena has a great artisan gelato store.

Getting to and staying in Sydney’s South 

Public transport reaches many attractions. Take a bus from Circular Quay to La Perouse or a 50-minute train from Central Station to Cronulla. From here, a ferry will take you to pretty Bundeena near the Royal National Park. Places to stay suit various budgets, from campgrounds to seaside hotels near Mascot and Sydney Airport.