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.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The rebirth of Perth: how the city got cool

The rebirth of Perth: how the city got cool

Sun-soaked and healthy? Perhaps. A decent gateway to Western Australia? Definitely. But a cool place to spend a few days? Until recently Perth just couldn’t …

27 Apr 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
12 tips for backpacking Australia

12 tips for backpacking Australia

Backpacking Australia will almost certainly exceed your expectations. It’s not just that the places you’ll see will be more stunning than you had imagine…

09 Mar 2017 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right