Captain Cook's Landing Place Historic Site covers an area of about 324 hectares on the eastern edge of Kurnell Peninsula, on the southern shore of Botany Bay.
Main access to the site is via Captain Cook Drive and there are two rough dirt roads from Joseph Banks Drive.
The flora is the last remnant of the type of vegetation which would have dominated the Botany Bay Heads area. The former population of large land mammals such as grey kangaroos, possums and native cats, has largely disappeared, but some small native mammals such as bandicoots and rats can still be found. The area is still rich in birds, with about 200 species recorded. Honeyeaters and Wattlebirds feed on Banksia flowers.
Cook landed here on 29th April 1770. The approximate position of the Endeavour anchorage is marked today by a ball-buoy visible from the shore.
In 1899, in order to commemorate the landing of Cook, an area of 100.86 hectares was set apart and dedicated as a Public Recreation Reserve. It was subsequently given its present name and expanded in size.
A museum contains exhibits on Cook's life, exploits and one of the six guns from the Endeavour. An obelisk was erected to Cook in 1870, a monument to Solander in 1914 and a memorial to Sir Joseph Banks in 1947.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 215, volume 6, number 3 (1983).