The La Perouse coastal walk in Sydney is a great walk to do if you have discovered Sydney’s other coastal walks. Starting at La Perouse, the coastal walk passes some historic sites and beautiful beaches before making it’s way through Botany Bay National Park and around Henry Head and Cape Banks where you can often spot migrating humpback whales during the winter months. Depending on how much energy you have, you can finish the walk at Little Bay, Malabar or even Maroubra. The walk does cross three golf courses so it definitely helps if you know what to expect before you start the walk – all the information you need is explained below, as well as all the many things to do in La Perouse!
How to get to La Perouse
Incase you hadn’t realised La Perouse is French, you’ll certainly realise when you see the French flag by the bus stop. The area was named after the French explorer Jean-Francois de Galaup Com de La Perouse who landed here in 1788. There is a sign by the bus stop explaining more.
La Perouse is located in Botany Bay and from here you can see across to the white sandy beaches of Brighton Le Sands and Lady Robinsons Beach on the other side of the bay. You can also see across to Kurnell – where Captain Cook landed, which lies on the Cronulla peninsula. You’ll also see the rather un-aesthetically pleasing cranes at Port Botany which kind of ruins the view a little, but just don’t look that way and you’ll be fine!
There is a great atmosphere in La Perouse and there are so many things to do here despite it being quite small! So before you do the Coastal Walk that will take you around Cape Banks and up to Malabar, Maroubra and even further if you wish, let’s not forget to enjoy what La Perouse has to offer. It packs in a lot and you can easily spend a few hours here before heading off on the walk.
WHAT TO DO IN LA PEROUSE
La Perouse Museum
LA PEROUSE COASTAL WALK
Little Congwong Beach
Kamay Botany Bay National Park
At the crossroads where you turned off to go to Little Congong Beach, bear right down the path. The walk then continues through Kamay Botany Bay National Park (often just called Botany Bay National Park). Botany Bay National Park is split into two and this is the northern headland of the National Park. The rest of the National Park is on the southern headland at Cape Solander, between Kurnell and Cronulla. Both spots are a really good place for whale watching during the winter months!
From the start of the track Henry Head is about a 1.5km walk and Cape Banks is 3km away. Everything is signposted quite well so the path is easy to follow and fairly flat most of the way. I did this walk a few days after it had rained and so parts of the path were muddy. I was definitely glad I had appropriate footwear with me as flip-flops definitely wouldn’t have sufficed! Parts of the path lead on to boardwalk for a bit but the majority of it is on the dirt path and on the sandy Fire Trail. For this part of the walk you’ll be walking slightly inland in the bush so it will provide you with some much needed shade if it is a sunny day. The inland path means so you won’t have ocean views but there are a couple of openings in the bushes where you can look back onto Congwong Beach and Bare Island. You’ll also see (and hear!) several lizards scurrying around!
After about a kilometre or so on the track you’ll see a turning that leads down to Brown’s Rock. In my opinion the effort it takes to go down here and back up is not worth it. There are a lot of small steps and it is quite uphill going back to get back on the path! The walk down to Browns Rock is pretty uneventful and you get the same view across to Kurnell as you do from Congwong Beach.
Carry on along the path and you’ll come to Henry Head. Here you’ll see WWII bunkers and the Henry Head Lighthouse. There are lots of rocks to sit on if you wish to relax here for a bit and enjoy the view. Again whilst I was here there was a fair bit of water on the path so do wear trainers or walking shoes if it has rained lately.
The walk continues along to Cruwee Cove which is mostly just rocks and not sand like the map made it to look. You’ll then walk through the New South Wales Golf course. There is a walking track here that has only been recently built so you don’t have to walk through the golf course. Then turn right and go across the bridge to Cape Banks to look out to the ocean and try to spot some humpback whales between June and September.
Continue along the path and you’ll see a WWII artillery placement by the rescue helipad and helicopter. You’ll probably want to use an offline map to help you for the next part of the walk – personally I always use maps.me. There are a few different small turnings you can turn off on your right, or walk along the Cape Banks Road inland and turn right at the Cemetery Firetrail. You should end up walking alongside a second golf course (The Coast Golf Club). There is a faint trodden path – just follow this and the wooden marker posts. Be really careful if people are playing golf and try to get onto the road safely as the walking path here still isn’t official and golfers will get annoyed at you. The road goes past the Golf Club building and you can get some takeaway food here at The Club House if you wish.
Little Bay Beach
Once you’ve managed to safely make it through the golf course head down to Little Bay Beach on your right. This is a cute sandy cove and the water is really lovely here. There are showers and toilets here if you need to freshen up, and Randwick Council provide free wifi here on the beach if you need it!
When you leave Little Bay Beach to continue the walk you will briefly walk along a Golf Course again (sigh!) – this time the Randwick Golf Club. Do be careful when you turn the corner, especially if you are there on a sunny Saturday afternoon (prime golf time) like I was, as I nearly got hit by a golf ball! You can follow the footpath all the way along the coast to Malabar – just keep near to the coast and look out for golfers. Or you can walk across and into estate (onto Bilga Crescent and follow it round) and walk to Malabar through there if like me you are just sick of being paranoid you’re going to get knocked out by a golf ball. Maybe if you aren’t there on a Saturday like I was it won’t be so bad.
Finally after Randwick Golf Course you will make it to Malabar. You’ll first come to Malabar rock pool which is just on your right at the end of Howe Street. Malabar rock pool is really beautiful and is fairly quiet as it is next to the rocks and not the beach – perhaps it is 200 metres or so to the right of the beach.
You can walk to Malabar Beach on the rocks from the rock pool (most of the way!) but there is a footpath above with nice views that is better to walk on. There is also a sign saying that snakes have been spotted in this area so don’t go walking on the thick grassy parts and stick to the paths!
At Malabar Beach there is a water station where you can refill your water bottle, there are also toilets, benches, a playground and BBQ stations above the beach for you to enjoy. There is plenty parking here if you will be driving to Malabar instead.
Malabar to Maroubra Walk
Note if you plan to continue the walk along the coast to Maroubra that often on Saturdays the coastal walk is closed. This is because the rifle range which is in close proximity to the coastal walk is often in use on Saturdays. Therefore check before you come to see if the path is closed, or just avoid coming on a Saturday! I had to come back the following day to complete this part of the walk!
If you still want to reach Maroubra though there is a shortcut you can take, so instead of walking to Maroubra on the coastal path you can walk on the streets. Go up Dacre Street and then at the roundabout at Franklin Street turn right. You and can reach Maroubra Beach from there in about 20 minutes and still get a view along the walk. Toilets are here at the roundabout if you need to go. Otherwise walk up to Anzac Parade to get the bus (again 394 or 399) if you are ready to head back home!
Toilets on the La Perouse Coastal Walk
– behind La Perouse Beach (Frenchmans Beach)
– next to the entrance to the track to Congwong Beach on Anzac Parade
– Little Bay Beach
– Malabar Beach
What to bring on the La Perouse Coastal Walk
- sunhat and suncream
- water bottle
- jacket incase it gets windy