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Published October 3rd 2014
Scenic, historical & educational
Does the mention of "Kurnell" give you flashbacks to that school excursion in 3rd Grade, complete with stifling summer bus trip and the dreaded excursion worksheet that had to be completed? Well you're not alone but perhaps, now you're older (and hopefully wiser), it is time for another look at this historic location.
Kurnell is famous as Captain Cook's first landing place in Australia and as such the Kurnell Peninsula was included in the National Heritage List in 2004, which is Australia's highest heritage honour.
To learn about this first contact between original inhabitants and the Europeans you must start at the Visitor Centre of the Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Entry in to the National Park is $7.00 per car.
Entrance to Kamay Botany Bay National Park
The Visitor Centre has a great display of pictures and objects that tell the story of the European arrival in 1770, including one of the cannons off the Endeavour. Extracts from Captain Cook's Journal give the European perspective of the first landing but this is balanced with the Aboriginal viewpoint wherever possible. There are also several videos you can watch including an interesting discussion of Pemulwuy, an Aboriginal resistance fighter from the Botany Bay area.
There are several self-guided walking tracks in the vicinity including the Banks - Solander track which highlights the botanical value of this National Park, Muru and Yena Loop and the Burrawang Walk.
Burrawang Walk is an easy 1.1km leisurely stroll past all of the historic monuments around the Kurnell Peninsula. It is very well signposted and introduces the key stories associated with this important location.
It is also a lovely scenic walk and bird watching enthusiasts should be on the lookout for any number of native species that can be found in this area.
In fact Botany Bay was named due to the profusion of new plants collected by Endeavour botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander during their 8 day visit to the area in 1770.
The Burrawang Walk concludes at the monument to Captain Cook's landing place.
Monument to Captain Cook's Landing Place
The Burrawang Walk at Kurnell is a beautiful scenic stroll with the added advantage of refreshing your Australian history knowledge. Apart from the monuments there is plenty of fascinating information about the Aboriginal inhabitants and their lifestyle and resistance to the Europeans. So if you haven't visited Kurnell since that 3rd Grade excursion, then perhaps it is time for another look.