The Kurnell Peninsula in Cronulla is home to a series of spectacular sand dunes known as the Kurnell sand dunes. Since 26 September 2003, the 15,000 year old sand dunes have been listed on the NSW State Heritage Register.
On the north-eastern side of the Kurnell Peninsula, protected by a rock platform, is Boat Harbour Beach. Although small, Boat Harbour enjoys the dubious honour of being one of the most polluted beaches in Sydney.
According to the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre, Boat Harbour failed the bacteriological pollution limits on 95% of the days of summer in 1997. Most of this pollution was caused by Boat Harbour's close proximity to the Potter Point Sewage outfall. Nonetheless, since 2001, with the upgrade of the Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant, water quality improved. Boat Harbour is also the location of a 4WD park, in which it is possible to drive over large sand dunes.
In contrast to this inglorious polluted past, Boat Harbour Beach has a rich environmental habitat, including rock platforms and a variety of birds, including the American Golden Plover and Pacific Golden Plovers, both of which are rarely found in Australia.
Given the comparatively secluded location of Boat Harbour, it is advisable to take a car rather than rely on public transport. It takes approximately thirty minutes to drive to Cronulla from the Central Business District of Sydney.