Cape Solander in Kamay Botany Bay National Park
Known as one of the best whale watching spots in Sydney, Cape Solander in Kurnell’s Kamay Botany Bay National Park offers panoramic ocean views from high sandstone cliff walls.
Cape Solander is also a great starting point for several coastal and bush walking tracks in the area.
Before heading to the lookout, you can schedule in a quick stop at the Kurnell Visitor Centre on Cape Solander Drive to pick up a map and learn more about the history of the National Park. Entrance to the park is $8 per vehicle per day.
Kamay Botany Bay National Park
Still relatively unknown in Sydney, Kamay Botany Bay National Park consists of two areas: the northern headland at La Perouse and the southern headland at Kurnell.
The northern headland is home to several walking tracks and fire trails, family friendly beaches, historic sites (such as Bare Island), great diving spots and lots of cafes and restaurants.
Included in the National Heritage List in 2004, the southern headland, otherwise known as the Kurnell Peninsula, is where James Cook first arrived in Australia in 1770.
Perhaps the most popular attraction in the southern section of the Kamay Botany Bay National Park is the Cape Solander lookout.
Every year during the whale migration season from May to November, many Sydney-siders visit Cape Solander to try and spot whales.
It’s for good reason that Cape Solander is regarded as a prime location to spot whales while they migrate to warmer waters. The whales often come as close as 200m to the high cliff walls of the lookout point.
The popular vantage point is named after Daniel Solander, a Swedish botanist who travelled aboard the Endeavour with fellow botanist Joseph Banks and James Cook to Australia in 1768.
This also explains the name Botany Bay which was originally called Botanist Bay, inspired by Solander and Banks.
The viewing platform with useful information boards at Cape Solander is well built but rather small. It’s best to go out and explore the surrounding area as there are many other spots where you can settle and hopefully find some whales.
In June and July there may also be volunteers available at the site who can give you great tips on where to find humpback whales. Especially on windy days, when the water is choppy, it’s not easy to spot the whales with all the occurring whitewash.
While there are lots of parking bays available at Cape Solander, it can get a bit crowded in weekends during the whale watching season.
The Kurnell Peninsula is a great destination for hiking enthusiasts with several coastal and bush walking tracks to choose from. Doing one or more of these tracks is the best way to discover the beauty of the southern headland.
Cape Baily Track
One of the most popular walking tracks in the National Park is the Cape Baily Track.
Starting at Cape Solander, this 7km coastal trail winds its way through sand dunes along the coast to the Cape Baily Lighthouse.
Muru and Yena Tracks
The Muru and Yena walking tracks connect the visitor centre with the Yena picnic area just north of Cape Solander.
The two tracks run parrallel and can easily be combined as a 3km circuit walk with start and finish at the Kurnell Visitor Centre.
Follow Cape Solander Drive in Kamay Botany Bay National Park all the way to the lookout. For only $8 per vehicle you can park your car there all day.
The official Kurnell Visitor Centre is located at 21 Cape Solander Drive in Kurnell.