Just a plaque marks the site of the Well.
The site of this monument passed into public ownership in 1899, and became part of the ‘Captain Cook’s Landing Place Reserve’ in which historical monuments were preserved and displayed. including the one above.
On 28th April 1899, Sir Frederick Darley, the Lt Governor of New South Wales dedicated the site of Captain Cook’s Landing on Kurnell Beach, in Botany Bay for public use.
This public space was under the auspices of the Departments of Lands, and managed by a Trust, for the following 74 years. It was during this time that work was done on erecting monuments and plaques, memorials to Cook and his crew.
In 1967 the Reserve was passed to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, which had custody of the historic sites. By 1974, the Service took on full management and the Trust was disbanded. In 1988 it became the Botany Bay National Park.
In 1970, on the bicentenary of Cook’s landing at Botany Bay, there was a protest from the indigenous people about their rights and recognition within Australian society. This was resolved during the 1990s with a shift towards reconciliation between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
The site has since been reviewed from a different angle, reinterpreted as a place for both races to embrace their shared history.
On the plaque, attached to a stone nearby:
The Records of H.M.S. “ENDEAVOUR”
point to this spot (where at one time a
well existed, known as “Cook’s Well”
to the early settlers of Botany Bay)
as the “Watering Place” frequently
mentioned in Captain Cook’s journal,
from which the following is an extract:-
“I sent a party of men ashore in
the morning to the place
where we first landed to dig holes in the
sand, by which means and a small
stream they found fresh water
sufficient to water the ship.”
NOTE – the stream is shown on Cook’s Chart, and
is that now crossed by the dam near the present cottage.
It is apparent from the logs and other records that it was
undiscovered when the Watering Place was formed.
GPS Coordinates: -34.00465, 151.216994
Morning Post, Wednesday 26th April 1899. p.7.