Captain Cook Monument

The Captain Cook monument is located at Botany Bay and marks the site of the first landing on the east coast of Australia where James Cook, Daniel Solander and Joseph Banks came ashore in 1770. Following favourable reports from Cook and Banks the British Government decided to set up a penal colony in this new land Australia.

In January 1788 the First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay with British convicts and settlers, however shortly after arriving it was decided that Port Jackson (in Sydney Harbour) was a better location for the colony. Before the ships set sail for their new location the Fleet was joined by French explorer and naval officer Jean-François de Galoup, Comte de La Pérouse (1741-1788)  who had arrived to claim Australia for France. Not equipped to declare naval war, Laperouse and his crew stayed in Botany Bay for another six weeks where they built an observatory and a stockade on La Perouse Peninsula before continuing their journey to explore the Solomon Islands. Laperouse and his 114 crew never reached their destination, lost at sea there has never been a trace of the missing vessels.

The Botany Bay National Park was created in 1984 which includes the 100 ha of land at Captain Cooks Landing Place, Bare Island Fortification and the Laprouse Memorial. The Captain Cooks Landing Place was first dedicated for public recreation in 1899. The Northern section of the park was once the Aboriginal land of the Goorawal people and the southern section was once part of the traditional lands of the Gweagal people. Over thirty Aboriginal sites which include rock engravings and burial sites can be found in the park.