La Perouse Circuit Walk to Cape Banks

The La Perouse circuit walk to Cape Banks is a moderately challenging trail through various landscapes, such as beaches, coastal cliffs, and bushland.

The beautiful natural scenery, complemented by several historical sites, makes this walk very enjoyable. The La Perouse walk is also far less busy than some of the better-known trails along Sydney’s coastline.

In this article, we are going to describe this fantastic coastal walk in Kamay Botany Bay National Park in more detail, including highlights and landmarks.

La Perouse Circuit Walk
Distance: 7.5 km (circuit)
Duration: 3 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate
Dogs: Not allowed
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How to Get There

The best place to start this walking track is at the southern end of Cann Park in La Perouse (see map location).

To get there, follow Bunnerong Road or Anzac Parade to La Perouse Point. Ample parking is available right in front of Cann Park.

Should that car park be at capacity, try parking somewhere along the loop road in La Perouse or nearby suburban street parking.

Public transport is also a good option, with various bus stops on Anzac Parade close to the start of the walking track.

Cann Park in La Perouse
Cann Park in La Perouse

Map and Highlights

We are going to describe this fantastic walk along the following highlights and landmarks:

  1. Congwong Beach
  2. Little Congwong Beach
  3. Browns Rock
  4. Henry Head
  5. Cape Banks
  6. Coast Hospital Cemetery
  7. Jennifer Street Boardwalk
  8. Henry Head Lookout

The map below shows these highlights and landmarks marked from 1 to 8, starting and finishing at Cann Park.

The red lines represent short side trips to various landmarks.

Map and route of the La Perouse walk

Track Notes

We rate the La Perouse Circuit Walk as an easy to moderately challenging walking track.

Overall, the track is well-maintained and signposted, and anyone with a reasonable fitness level can do this hike without issues.

1. Congwong Beach

The walking track to Cape Banks and beyond starts at the signpost at the southern end of Cann Park, as per the below picture.

Start of the La Perouse walk to Cape Banks
Start of the walk

After approximately one hundred metres, the track arrives at Congwong Beach, a beautiful southwest-facing strip of sand with great views of Botany Bay and Bare Island.

Congwong Beach is a popular destination for families in the summer months, and it’s also known as a good spot for scuba diving and snorkelling.

Congwong Beach
Congwong Beach

To continue the trail, walk to the other side of Congwong Beach, where you will see an intersection with a path to Little Congwong Beach.

2. Little Congwong Beach

The side trip to Little Congwong Beach is optional, but if you’ve never been there before, it’s a lovely little beach to visit.

As the name suggests, Little Congwong Beach is smaller than Congwong Beach and also has a more secluded atmosphere with usually calm water to swim in.

Little Congwong Beach
Little Congwong Beach

Do note, though, that while this beach is not an officially recognised nude beach, you may encounter nudist activity when visiting. It’s just something to be aware of.

To continue on the main track, retrace your steps to the intersection and make a right turn heading northbound.

3. Browns Rock

The trail soon arrives at an intersection with the Henry Head Walking Track, where you again make a right turn going eastbound.

This part of the circuit walk is a pleasant bush walking track. There are a few slightly confusing intersections on this stretch, but you need to follow the signs for Henry Head to stay on the right track.

Browns Rock
Browns Rock

After about 1 km of bushwalking, you will see a four-way intersection where you have the option to do another side trip, this time to Browns Rock. This side trip is only a few hundred metres long, but it is quite steep.

Browns Rock is a popular fishing spot in the La Perouse area, with an unfenced rock platform and other flat areas for fishermen to settle in.

4. Henry Head

From Browns Rock, retrace your steps up the hill back to that intersection, where you need to turn right to get to Henry Head.

Henry Head Lighthouse
Henry Head Lighthouse

Henry Head is a headland best known for the historic Henry Head Battery that was installed there at the end of the 19th century and used in WWI to defend the city against hostile activity.

Henry Head Battery
Henry Head Battery

The remains of the fortifications of this battery can still be explored on the headland, in addition to a 1955 lighthouse.

5. Cape Banks

From Henry Head, the circuit walk continues along the coast, heading towards Cape Banks.

This stretch is perhaps the best part of the entire circuit walk because the scenery and the coastal views are pretty amazing.

Cape Banks in La Perouse
Cape Banks

The path consists of several boardwalks through a heath landscape mixed with sections of rock and sand, including the very secluded Cruwee Cove Beach.

This is also where the track crosses a section of the New South Wales Golf Club, before arriving at a small footbridge that gets people across to the Cape Banks headland.

Footbridge to Cape Banks
Footbridge to Cape Banks

Cape Banks is a beautifully raw headland with a rocky landscape, a wonderful area to explore and enjoy the coastal views.

If you look closely, you may even find the remains of an old shipwreck named the SS Minmi, which stranded at Cape Banks in 1937.

6. Coast Hospital Cemetery

From the headland, retrace your steps to the footbridge, where you can continue on the main walking track heading towards the historic Coast Hospital Cemetery.

To get there, stay on the path closest to the shore, which first passes the Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Base, followed by a few hundred metres on Cape Banks Road.

Signpost for the Cemetery Trail
Cemetery Trail

Keep an eye out for the Cemetery Trail signpost, where you can turn right to go and have a look at the old hospital cemetery.

From that signpost, it’s only a few hundred metres to the cemetery, which is a smaller section of the Cemetery Firetrail.

Coast Hospital Cemetery
Coast Hospital Cemetery

The cemetery formed part of an old quarantine hospital that was established there in the 1880s to treat victims of infectious diseases.

It is believed to be the home of 2,000 graves, but after many years of neglect, only a small amount of graves in the cemetery is still visible.

7. Jennifer Street Boardwalk

From the Cemetery Trail, the main track continues on Cape Banks Road for a little while. It’s a quiet road, but please be careful with cars.

Signpost for the Jennifer Street Boardwalk
Signpost for the Jennifer Street Boardwalk

After about 1 km, the road arrives at the starting point of the Jennifer Street Boardwalk, where you can do a side trip to explore this boardwalk and its surroundings further.

Jennifer Street Boardwalk
Jennifer Street Boardwalk

The Jennifer Street Boardwalk is an elevated walking path through a section with endangered plants and trees that once flourished in the Sydney coastal areas.

It’s only 350 metres long, but it’s an interesting little detour. Note that the boardwalk is wheel-friendly and can also be accessed from Jennifer Street in Little Bay.

8. Henry Head Lookout

The last highlight of the circuit walk is the unofficial Henry Head Lookout, but getting there from the boardwalk may be a little confusing.

From Cape Banks Road, follow the walking path along Henry Head Lane, and make a right turn at the intersection where you cross the road going northbound.

Henry Head Lookout
Henry Head Lookout

After some bushwalking, the track arrives at a rock platform where you can enjoy views of Bare Island, Henry Head, and Kurnell.

It’s certainly not the most amazing lookout in Sydney, but it’s a nice way to end the Cape Banks circuit walk.

From there, the path crosses Henry Head Lane and then soon arrives back onto Anzac Parade, from where you can walk back to Cann Park.

We enjoyed the La Perouse Circuit Walk so much that it has earned a spot on our list of greatest walks in Sydney.

 

La Perouse walk to Cape Banks

 

Published: July 20, 2023
Updated: May 11, 2024

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Author:

AJ Mens

AJ Mens is a digital publisher based in Sydney, Australia, and the editor-in-chief of Sydney Uncovered and Blue Mountains Uncovered.

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2 Comments
  1. This track is so worth it because it is so beautiful at the end. I highly recommend this to all bushwalkers or just if you want to enjoy a little hike.

    Reply
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