Cape Banks Walk

40 min to 1 h 30 min

2.5 km
return

↑ 39 m
↓ -39 m

Hard track
This walk combines fine coastal views with two points of historical interest. From the start of this walk, the sidetrip to the coastal cemetery is short and gives a glimpse into lives of past generations. The World War II bunker is worth having a look around as you pass directly by it. Spend some time exploring the exposed headland that is Cape Banks. Look for old historical structures and the shipwreck of the SS Minmi on the western side of Cape Banks. If you're lucky, you could even see migrating whales on this classic Sydney coastal walk. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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Coastal Cemetery near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2007.
Pistol Club Rd near coastal cemetery in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Locked gate to coastal cemetary near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Road near coastal cemetary. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Pistol Club Rd near coastal cemetery in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
View of cemetery from Pistol Club Rd in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Pistol Club Rd near coastal cemetery in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Pistol club and helicopter shed in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Pistol club and helicopter shed. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Sign at the boundary of Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
End of Pistol Club Rd near Cape Banks. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Buildings and locked toilet near helicopter shed. | Photo by admin, 2010.
World War Two fortification. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Westpac Helicopter shed near Cape Banks. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Road near helicopter shed in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Helicopter shed in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Cape Banks management trail towards Cape Banks. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Cape Banks management trail towards Cape Banks. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Cape Banks management trail towards Cape Banks. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Cape Banks management trail towards Cape Banks. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Cape Banks management trail with cape Banks in the distance. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Cape Banks management trail. | Photo by admin, 2010.
End of Cape Banks management trail in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Near Cape Banks in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Sign and bridge at Cape Banks. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Sign and bridge over to Cape Banks in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Bridge and sign near Cape Banks in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Metal bridge to Cape Banks in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Pigface flower on Cape Banks in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Wildflowers (Pigface) on Cape Banks in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Track on Cape Banks in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
View and track on Cape Banks in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Concrete foundations on Cape Banks in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Cape Banks rocky track. | Photo by admin, 2010.
View from Cape Banks Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Concrete steps on Cape Banks in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start At the intersection of Cape Banks Road & Coast Cemetery Management Trail (-33.9907931,151.2484836)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.)
DirectionsFrom Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.
  • Turn on to Oxford Street then drive for 105 m
  • Keep right onto Victoria Street and drive for another 15 m
  • Turn slight right onto South Dowling Street and drive for another 380 m
  • Keep right onto South Dowling Street and drive for another 5.7 km
  • Keep left onto Wentworth Avenue Offramp and drive for another 190 m
  • Keep left onto Wentworth Avenue Offramp and drive for another 2.2 km
  • Turn right onto Bunnerong Road and drive for another 3.8 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Bunnerong Road and drive for another 1 km
  • Turn left onto Cape Banks Road and drive for another 780 m
  • Turn left onto Cape Banks Road and drive for another 960 m
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
Turn left: From the intersection (which is found about 1km past the 'helicopter sign' off Henry Head Rd), this walk follows the road gently uphill for about 140m, to come to views of the coastal cemetery (on the left). Then this walk continues to follow the road gently downhill for about 200m, until coming to a locked gate and 'Botany Bay National Park' sign.....
Turn map Directions & comments
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Coast Hospital Cemetery int.. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
At the intersection of Cape Banks Road & Coast Cemetery Management Trail Start heading along Cape Banks Road (a service road).
After another 160 m continue straight, to head along Cape Banks Road.
Then pass the "Coast Hospital Cemetery" (10 m on your left).
After another 65 m continue straight, to head along Cape Banks Road.
After another 125 m pass the car park (15 m on your right).
Then head through/around the gate.
After another 35 m (at the intersection of Cape Banks Management Trail & Cape Banks Firetrail) continue straight, to head along Cape Banks Management Trail.
After another 35 m continue straight, to head along Cape Banks Management Trail.
After another 25 m find the "World War Two Bunker" (20 m on your left).
World War Two Bunker
World War Two Bunker

This World War Two bunker is near the Westpac Helicopter Shed. This bunker consists of sheltered concrete ammunition storage rooms below, and a circular gun base above, with surrounding coastal views. There are rusted and damaged parts, so take care when exploring.
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This World War Two bunker is near the Westpac Helicopter Shed. This bunker consists of sheltered concrete ammunition storage rooms below, and a circular gun base above, with surrounding coastal views. There are rusted and damaged parts, so take care when exploring.

After another 90 m (at the intersection of Cape Banks Management Trail & Cape Banks Firetrail) turn right, to head along Cape Banks Management Trail.
After another 7 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 380 m find the "Seat" (on your right).
Seat
Seat

A timber slat bench seat, 60cm high, 30cm deep and 1.8m wide with no armrests or backrest.
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A timber slat bench seat, 60cm high, 30cm deep and 1.8m wide with no armrests or backrest.

After another 15 m pass the "Cape Banks Aquatic Reserve" (on your left).
Veer left.
After another 10 m cross the bridge (about 25 m long)
Continue straight.
After another 30 m find the "Cape Banks" (5 m on your left).
Cape Banks
Cape Banks

Cape Banks on the northern side of the entrance to Botany Bay, offers possibly the best view in Botany Bay National Park. From the unfenced cliff top, you can watch the power of the ocean as waves crash into the sandstone rock face below, or watch boats of all shapes and sizes, sail peacefully across the sheltered waters of the bay. If you are lucky, you can enjoy the spectacle of migrating Humpback and Southern Right whales reasonably close to shore, spouting and sometimes breaching as they make their way northward and southward in pods of three or four. The shipwreck of the SS Minmi can be seen at low tide, lying on rocks on the western side of Cape Banks. There are concrete foundations of buildings remaining on Cape Banks, from when World War Two servicemen were stationed there.
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Cape Banks on the northern side of the entrance to Botany Bay, offers possibly the best view in Botany Bay National Park. From the unfenced cliff top, you can watch the power of the ocean as waves crash into the sandstone rock face below, or watch boats of all shapes and sizes, sail peacefully across the sheltered waters of the bay. If you are lucky, you can enjoy the spectacle of migrating Humpback and Southern Right whales reasonably close to shore, spouting and sometimes breaching as they make their way northward and southward in pods of three or four. The shipwreck of the SS Minmi can be seen at low tide, lying on rocks on the western side of Cape Banks. There are concrete foundations of buildings remaining on Cape Banks, from when World War Two servicemen were stationed there.

After another 50 m veer left.
After another 65 m continue straight.
Continue another 175 m to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 1.3 km to get back to the start.

An optional side trip to Coast Hospital Cemetery int..
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Coast Cemetery Management Trail & Cape Banks Road Start heading along Coast Cemetery Management Trail (a vehicle track).
After 65 m head through/around the gate.
After another 25 m find the "Pinch Point" (on your left).
Pinch Point
Pinch Point

Metal bollard pinch points at edge of carpark, beside gate. The gap between the bollards is 48cm they are 85cm high.
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Metal bollard pinch points at edge of carpark, beside gate. The gap between the bollards is 48cm they are 85cm high.

Then come to the "Wheelchair Rough".
Wheelchair Rough
Wheelchair Rough

A 20m section of the trail has exposed sandstone cobbles.
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A 20m section of the trail has exposed sandstone cobbles.

After another 75 m come to the end.
About 35 m past the end is "Coast Hospital Cemetery".
Coast Hospital Cemetery
Coast Hospital Cemetery

The Coast Hospital Cemetery on the northern side of Botany Bay was first established in the early 1880’s and is now home to as many as 2000 graves. It serviced the Coast (Prince Henry) Hospital, originally a smallpox hospital. People who died of smallpox were required to be buried at the hospital grounds. The hospital was built far enough from the city to provide quarantine and for this reason, the hospital in time became an infectious diseases hospital, also treating patients with influenza, bubonic plague, typhoid fever and leprosy. Unfortunately, the cemetery has at times fallen into disrepair and some of the headstones are difficult to read. Many of the graves are unmarked. On the eastern edge of the cemetery is an information sign explaining that in the area are also buried the ancestral remains of the La Perouse Aboriginal people returned from museums. A place steeped in history and worthy of respect.
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The Coast Hospital Cemetery on the northern side of Botany Bay was first established in the early 1880’s and is now home to as many as 2000 graves. It serviced the Coast (Prince Henry) Hospital, originally a smallpox hospital. People who died of smallpox were required to be buried at the hospital grounds. The hospital was built far enough from the city to provide quarantine and for this reason, the hospital in time became an infectious diseases hospital, also treating patients with influenza, bubonic plague, typhoid fever and leprosy. Unfortunately, the cemetery has at times fallen into disrepair and some of the headstones are difficult to read. Many of the graves are unmarked. On the eastern edge of the cemetery is an information sign explaining that in the area are also buried the ancestral remains of the La Perouse Aboriginal people returned from museums. A place steeped in history and worthy of respect.

Turn around and retrace your steps back the 155 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Cape Banks Walk


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 2.5 km
Time 40 min to 1 h 30 min
Quality of track Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required No experience required (1/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Some facilities on route
Seat: There is one 910 m from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Seat
910 mSeat
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