Cape Bank Walking Track

Location: La Perouse
The Cape Banks walking track begins at the main car parking area at La Perouse and follows the coastline past Congwong Bay and Little Congwong Bay (an unofficial nudist beach) to Henry Head and Cape Banks. On the way you'll pass Bare Island, Congwong Bay, Endeavour lighthouse which guides ships into Botany Bay; the ruins of Henry Head fortifications and the remains of the coastal steamer, Minm.

North of the wreck are the remains of the Cape Banks fortifications and an old cemetery once attached to Prince Henry Hospital where people who died of infectious diseases were buried (including victims of Leperosy, Smallpox plague of 1881, Bubonic plague of 1901, Spanish Flu brought home by World War I soldiers).

Some freshwater pools were noted in the log of the Endeavour by James Cook in 1770. These pools are located directly below the 128th tee of the N.S.W. Golf Club. Easy to Moderate walk. 4 km return.

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Cape Banks fortifications

Built in 1942, the military installations at Long Bay, Cape Bailly and Cape Banks were two of a number of fortifications built on the coast as first line defence against naval attack by the Japanese. Construction was pre-emptied by Japanese submarine activity off the coast of Sydney in 1941 and 1942 which included a number of homes in the eastern suburbs being shelled and the entry of three minisubs into Sydney Harbour. The Long Bay installation consisted of two 9-inch guns which had a range of 26.4 kilometres, a battery of anti-aircraft guns, barracks and an electricity generating plant. Its pair of gun circles are joined by two tunnels. The guns were fed by shell loaders bringing their defensive cargo up from baffled rooms below. They were never f??Eired in anger as no further naval activity by the Japanese off Sydney occurred. The forts were decommissioned after the war.

Located beyond the Anzac Rifle Range, the buildings of the Long Bay fort remain largely intact though in an advanced state of disintegration. A narrow gauge railway leads through a trench from the start of the Gun Circle tunnels, past a few storage buildings to the base of a three storey lookout tower, then on to emerge 400m west of where it started. The tower has lookouts on two levels, a storage room on the other. The mount for a machine gun still sits in the floor of one of the lookouts. A burnt out 1999 Jeep Cherokee sits in a trench, blocking the passage. A small lookout sits at the cliff edge on the flat area of Boora Point where the fight scenes in the movie Mission Impossible 2 were filmed.

Wreck of the 'Minmi'

The Minmi ran aground on the foggy morning 13th May 1937 1937 and has been washed onto the rocks of Pussycat Bay. Built in Glasgow in 1927, the Minmi was an iron screw steamer which operated as a collier on the NSW coast. Sections of the hull were thrust ashore. Other wreckage is strewn around the wrecksite on the headland's seaward side.

How to get there:
by car to La Perouse headland; or Bus No. 393 from Railway Square; or Bus No. 394, 398, 399 from Circular Quay.

In The Area
Localities and Attractions
  • La Perouse
  • Long Bay
  • Little Bay
  • Brighton-Le-Sands
  • Maroobra
  • Walks
  • South Head Heritage Trail
  • Harbour Bridge to South Head
  • Sydney Harbour South Walks
  • Hermitage Foreshore Trail
  • Guided Coastal Walking Tours

    • Get Directions

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