250 years after Endeavour anchored in Botany Bay, a few of us commemorated Captain Cook’s secret discovery of Sydney Harbour in 1770, when he walked along the well-worn Aboriginal trading track from Botany Bay to Bellevue Hill.1
Filled with Franco-British rapport, we also celebrated the French officers from La Pérouse’s two ships, who walked along the same ancient track 18 years after Cook, to visit the English colonists at Sydney Cove in 1788.
We carried the contemporary flag of France, with its pre-revolutionary white field and golden fleur de lys, and the British flag, which at the time had just two crosses (of St Andrew and St George).
Setting off from Botany Bay (at Frenchmans Beach), we paused halfway to salute Captain Cook’s statue at Randwick, then continued along Frenchmans Road, and up to the trig point (triangulation station) of Bellevue Hill. From here we enjoyed the wonderful view that James Cook saw 250 years ago, and the French saw 232 years ago!
Our walk took three and a bit hours as we had to dodge schools, shops and hospitals that have been built over the ancient track.
Glimpses of what we saw are illustrated. Please excuse all of the silly hats, which were oddments from the dress-up box.
It was great fun!
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 14, volume 43, number 3 (2020).
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