The southern suburbs of Sydney, arranged around huge Botany Bay, are seen as the heartland of red-tiled-roof suburbia, a terracotta sea spied from above as the planes land at Mascot. Clive James, the area’s most famous son, hails from Kogarah – described as a 1950s suburban wasteland in his tongue-in-cheek Unreliable Memoirs. The popular perception of Botany Bay is coloured by its proximity to an airport, a high-security prison (Long Bay), an oil refinery, a container terminal and a sewerage outlet. Yet the surprisingly clean-looking water is fringed by quiet, sandy beaches and the marshlands shelter a profusion of birdlife. Whole areas of the waterfront, at La Perouse, with its associations with eighteenth-century French exploration, and on the Kurnell Peninsula where Captain Cook first set anchor, are designated as part of Botany Bay National Park, and large stretches on either side of the Georges River form a State Recreation Area. Brighton-Le-Sands, the busy suburban strip on the west of the bay, is a hive of bars and restaurants and is something of a focus for Sydney’s Greek community. Its long beach is also a popular spot for windsurfers and kitesurfers.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

A Rough Guide to: visiting Australia's Great Barrier Reef

A Rough Guide to: visiting Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s greatest natural wonders – it’s the largest structure ever built by living things and is even visib…

25 Oct 2017 • Penny Walker insert_drive_file Article
The best aerial views in the world

The best aerial views in the world

Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…

17 Oct 2017 • Olivia Rawes camera_alt Gallery
Undiscovered Australia: 7 places to get off the tourist trail

Undiscovered Australia: 7 places to get off the tourist trail

Australia is a vast country, though most visitors stay on the same tried and tested track, ticking off well-touristed pitstops along the way. But, of course, …

07 Aug 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook