A large model of an anchor is sited at the entrance to the park, with a plaque near the base.
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.
An earlier plaque (since replaced):
EXTRACT FROM CAPT COOKS JOURNAL
Saturday 28th April, A.D. 1770.
At daybreak we discovered a bay,
and anchored under the south shore,
about two miles within the entrance in
six fathom water, the south point bearing
S.E. and the north point East.
Latitude 34° S. Longitude 203° 37W
Plaque near the base of the anchor:
SUNDAY 29th APRIL 1770
“IN THE PM WINDS SOUTHERLY CLEAR
WEATHER WITH WHICH WE STOOD INTO
THE BAY AND ANCHOR’D UNDER THE
SOUTH SHORE ABOUT 2 MILE WITHIN
THE ENTRENCE IN 6 FATHOMS WATER.”
FROM THE JOURNAL OF LIEUTENANT JAMES COOK
GPS Coordinates: -34.004667, 151.217556
Cook’s Log, page 833, vol. 15, no. 2 (1992)
Morning Post, Wednesday 26th April 1899. p.7.
Image gallery (click to enlarge)