Botany Bay

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Botany Bay
Sting Ray Harbour;[1] Botanist Bay[citation needed]
an open oceanic embayment[2]
Sydney from Botany Bay looking north (aerial).jpg
Aerial photo of Sydney showing Botany Bay in the foreground.
Name origin: great quantity of plants[1]
CountryAustralia
StateNew South Wales
RegionGreater Metropolitan Sydney
MunicipalitiesBotany Bay, Randwick, Rockdale, Sutherland
Primary sourceGeorges River
 - locationTaren Point
 - coordinates34°0′35.994″S 151°7′47.6394″E / 34.00999833°S 151.129899833°E / -34.00999833; 151.129899833
Secondary sourceCooks River
 - locationKyeemagh
 - coordinates33°56′57″S 151°10′06″E / 33.94917°S 151.16833°E / -33.94917; 151.16833
MouthTasman Sea
 - locationKurnell
 - coordinates33°59′52.7994″S 151°13′58.8″E / 33.997999833°S 151.233000°E / -33.997999833; 151.233000
Length10 km (6 mi)
Depth11.4 m (37 ft)
Volume440,815.8 m3 (15,567,263 cu ft)
Basin54.9 km2 (21 sq mi)
Area39.6 km2 (15 sq mi)
Website: NSW Environment & Heritage webpage
 
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Coordinates: 33°59′52.7994″S 151°13′58.8″E / 33.997999833°S 151.233000°E / -33.997999833; 151.233000
Botany Bay
Sting Ray Harbour;[1] Botanist Bay[citation needed]
an open oceanic embayment[2]
Sydney from Botany Bay looking north (aerial).jpg
Aerial photo of Sydney showing Botany Bay in the foreground.
Name origin: great quantity of plants[1]
CountryAustralia
StateNew South Wales
RegionGreater Metropolitan Sydney
MunicipalitiesBotany Bay, Randwick, Rockdale, Sutherland
Primary sourceGeorges River
 - locationTaren Point
 - coordinates34°0′35.994″S 151°7′47.6394″E / 34.00999833°S 151.129899833°E / -34.00999833; 151.129899833
Secondary sourceCooks River
 - locationKyeemagh
 - coordinates33°56′57″S 151°10′06″E / 33.94917°S 151.16833°E / -33.94917; 151.16833
MouthTasman Sea
 - locationKurnell
 - coordinates33°59′52.7994″S 151°13′58.8″E / 33.997999833°S 151.233000°E / -33.997999833; 151.233000
Length10 km (6 mi)
Depth11.4 m (37 ft)
Volume440,815.8 m3 (15,567,263 cu ft)
Basin54.9 km2 (21 sq mi)
Area39.6 km2 (15 sq mi)
Website: NSW Environment & Heritage webpage

Botany Bay, an open oceanic embayment,[2] is located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 13 km (8 mi) south of the Sydney central business district. Botany Bay has its source in the confluence of the Georges River at Taren Point and the Cooks River at Kyeemagh and flows 10 km (6 mi) to the east before meeting its mouth, the Tasman Sea, midpoint between La Perouse and Kurnell.

The total catchment area of the bay is approximately 55 km2 (21 sq mi) and the area surrounding the bay is generally managed by Roads and Maritime Services.

Despite its relative shallowness, the bay serves as greater metropolitan Sydney's main cargo seaport, located at Port Botany, with facilities managed by Sydney Ports Corporation. Two runways of Sydney Airport extend into the bay. Botany Bay National Park is located on the northern and southern headlands of the bay.

On 29 April 1770, Botany Bay was the site of James Cook's first landing of HMB Endeavour on the continent of Australia, after his extensive navigation of New Zealand. Later the British planned Botany Bay as the site for a penal colony. Out of these plans came the first European habitation of Australia at Sydney Cove.

The land adjacent to Botany Bay was occupied for many thousands of years by the Tharawal and Eora Aboriginal peoples and their associated clans. They used the bay as an important source of food and a place for trade.

History[edit]

Aboriginal history[edit]

Archaeological evidence from the shores of Botany Bay has yielded evidence of Aboriginal settlement dating back 5,000 years. The Aboriginal people of Sydney were known as the Eora with sub-groups derived from the languages they spoke. The people living between the Cooks River and the Georges River were the Bidjigal clan; on the southern shores of the bay were the Gweagal clan;[3] while on the northern shore it was the Kameygal clan.[4]

European history[edit]

Isaac Smith became the first European to set foot on eastern Australian soil, Cook telling him "Jump out, Isaac" as the ship's boat touched the shore at Botany Bay.
Botany Bay, 1788 watercolour by Charles Gore

Captain James Cook first landed at Kurnell, on the southern banks of Botany Bay, on Saturday 29 April 1770, when navigating his way around Australia on his ship, HMS Endeavour. Cook's landing marked the beginning of Britain's interest in Australia and in the eventual colonisation of this new ‘southern continent’.[5] Initially the name Sting Ray Harbour was used by Cook and other journal keepers on his expedition, for the stingrays they caught. That name was also recorded on an Admiralty chart.[6] Cook's log for 6 May 1770 records "The great quantity of these sort of fish found in this place occasioned my giving it the name of Stingrays Harbour". However, in the journal prepared later from his log, Cook wrote instead:(sic) "The great quantity of plants Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander found in this place occasioned my giving it the name of BotanistBotany Bay".[6]

Governor Arthur Phillip sailed the armed tender HMS Supply into the bay on 18 January 1788. Two days later the remaining ships of the First Fleet arrived to found the planned penal colony. However, the land was quickly ruled unsuitable for settlement as there was insufficient fresh water; Phillip also believed the swampy foreshores would render any colony unhealthy. Phillip decided instead to move to the excellent natural harbour of Port Jackson to the north.[7]

On the morning of 24 January the French exploratory expedition of Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse was seen outside Botany Bay. On 26 January, the Supply left the bay to move up to Port Jackson. It anchored in Sydney Cove and the British Flag "Queen Anne"[clarification needed] was hoisted on shore. On the afternoon of 26 January, the remaining ships of First Fleet arrived at Sydney Cove.

In 1789, Captain John Hunter surveyed Botany Bay after returning from the Cape of Good Hope, trading for grain. The good supply of fresh water in the area led to the expansion of its population in the 19th century.

Landmarks[edit]

Monument at La Perouse.

Sydney Airport, Australia's busiest airport, sits on northwestern side of Botany Bay. Land was reclaimed from the bay to extend its first north-south runway and build a second one parallel to it. On 30 November 1961 an incident occurred involving Ansett-ANA Flight 325, a Vickers Viscount aircraft, that crashed into Botany Bay nine minutes after taking off from Sydney Airport. All fifteen people on board died in the accident. The wreckage was recovered from the bay by Police and Navy clearance divers and HMAS Kimbla.[8]

The first container terminal at Port Botany, to the east of the airport, was completed during the 1970s, and is the largest container terminal in Sydney. A second container terminal was completed during the 1980s and bulk liquid storage facilities are located on the northern and southern edge of the bay. A third container terminal was completed in 2011 and is scheduled to be operational during 2013.

The land around the headlands of the bay is protected by the National Parks and Wildlife Service as Botany Bay National Park. On the northern side of the mouth of the bay is the historic site of La Perouse, and to the south is Kurnell. Despite its relative isolation, the southern shore of the bay is dominated by an unusual mixture of pristine national park and heavy industrial use that includes Kurnell Desalination Plant, the Caltex Oil Refinery, sewer treatment, and historical sand mining facilities.[9] On the southern side of the bay, a section of water has been fenced off under the authority of the National Parks and Wildlife Service at Towra Point for environmental conservation purposes.

The western shores of the bay feature many popular swimming beaches including Brighton-Le-Sands and is highly urbanised.

Marine life[edit]

Botany Bay has a diverse marine population, and the area around its entrance is a popular area for scuba diving. In recent times,[when?] the Botany Bay Watch Project[10][dead link] has begun with volunteers assisting to monitor and protect the Bay Catchment and its unique marine life.

The world's largest population of weedy sea dragon ever surveyed is found at the 'Steps' dive site, on the Kurnell side of the Botany Bay National Park. Weedy sea dragons are just one of hundreds of territorial marine creatures found within Botany Bay. The eastern blue grouper[11] is the state fish of New South Wales; and are commonly found following divers along the shore line of Botany Bay.

Popular culture[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Botany Bay". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Roy, P. S; Williams, R. J; Jones, A. R; Yassini, I; et. al. (2001). "Structure and Function of South-east Australian Estuaries". Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 53: 351–384. 
  3. ^ Lawrence, Joan (1996). St. George Pictorial Memories: Rockdale, Kogarah, Hurstville. Crows Nest, NSW: Kingsclear Books. p. 3. ISBN 0-908272-45-6. 
  4. ^ "A Short History of the City of Botany Bay". City of Botany Bay. 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland (1773). Entrance of Endeavour River in New South Wales. Botany Bay in New South Wales (Map). http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~24019~870064. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  6. ^ a b Beaglehole (ed.) 1968, p. ccix
  7. ^ Governor Phillip to Lord Sydney, 15 May 1788, cited in Britten (ed.) 1978, pp. 121-123
  8. ^ "Blast from the Past – November 30, 1961 Botany Bay Air Crash". Mandingo. 27 September 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Kurnell Peninsula: a guide to the plants, animals, ecology and landscapes". Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority. 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Botany Bay Watch Project". Botanybaywatch.com.au. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Marine Blue Groper". Botanybaywatch.com.au. [dead link][dead link]

References[edit]

External links[edit]