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Visit The Shire

Nature, Parks & Wildlife

Majestic rainforests, vast woodlands, wild coastal heathland –these are just some of the best-kept secrets hiding in the Shire’s national parks that sprawl over thousands of acres of land from coast to bushland.


The Royal National Park

This historic national park, the first in Australia has now been placed on the National Heritage List and is easily accessible from Sydney. Your welcome to join the many thousands of visitors who come each year, and who care so deeply for the park and what is represents. The Royal National Park covers 16,000 hectares of spectacular scenery and in summer is bursting with colour with more than 700 species of flowering plants.

3  people hiking through the Kamay Botany Bay National Park

There's loads of activities to do in the park including swimming, surfing, canoeing, beach fishing, bushwalking, cycling, bush camping, picnics, barbeques, guided tours and nature studies.

Kamay Botany-Bay National Park 

Kamay Botany Bay National Park straddles the two headlands at the entrance to Botany Bay and is famous as the spot where Captain James Cook first made contact with Australia’s Aborigines. Enjoy one of the six coastal walking tracks, spot the whales as they migrate up and down the coast, take in the soundscape of the Burrawang Walk and explore the Visitor Centre and Museum.


Heathcote National Park

Enjoy the rugged beauty of the Australian bush at Heathcote National Park. This untamed park is characterised by magnificent native vegetation and wildlife, rocky outcrops, hidden freshwater pools. Heathcote is a great place for bushwalking and camping, and is within easy reach of Sydney.

Enjoy the rugged beauty of the Australian bush at Heathcote National Park. This untamed park is characterised by magnificent native vegetation and wildlife, rocky outcrops, hidden freshwater pools. Heathcote is a great place for bushwalking and camping, and is within easy reach of Sydney.
Seasoned bushwalkers will enjoy the excellent walking tracks and bush camping experiences on offer in the park. This park has limited facilities so it is ideal for those who are comfortable with self-sufficient and relatively isolated walking and camping experiences.


Camellia Gardens

Located in Caringbah and overlooking the beautiful Yowie Bay, the EG Waterhouse Camellia Gardens are a favourite spot for visitors and locals.

The gardens offer a magnificent array of colour all year round. The camellias are in season during autumn and winter. Camellia sasanqua blooms in early spring followed by Camellia japonica in February, with Camellia reticulata in bloom from mid winter to September/October. During springtime the spring annuals are in bloom, these are followed by roses during the summer months.

The gardens began as a project under the 1970 Captain Cook Bicentenary program, with the first plantings in 1969. Named after the late Professor E.G Waterhouse, a leading authority on camellias, the Garden today is a tranquil oasis. For a $1 donation you can pick up a map featuring walks through the gardens from the Teahouse.


Sir Joseph Banks

The Joseph Banks Native Plant Reserve is one of only a few specialised gardens in Sydney devoted entirely to Australian native plants. Sutherland Shire Council established the reserve in 1969 as a tribute to Sir Joseph Banks, who collected numerous flora specimens when he visited nearby Botany Bay in 1770. The vast array of native plants forms a delightfully relaxing garden and a home for many birds and other native fauna.


Burnum Burnum Sanctuary

A haven of serenity and solitude, Burnum Burnum sanctuary offers a range of great bushwalking tracks revealing stunning rock escarpments & formations. Keep an eye out for “Eagle Rock” the shape of the rock is much like the head of an eagle. You may come across an array of wildlife; blue tongue lizards, black cockatoos and tiny wrens. The sanctuary also offers lots of parking, picnic areas, play ground and a wetland area to explore along with a front row view of the Woronora River.

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