Henry Head Walk
Gadigal & Bidjigal Country

1 h 30 min to 3 h

4 km
return

↑ 96 m
↓ -96 m

Moderate track
A worthwhile walk, traversing beach and headland to explore the WWII battlements of Henry Head. Both the Little Congwong Beach and Brown’s Rock sidetrips are recommended on this walk, as they are short detours and break the journey. Henry Head is good spot to stop for something to eat, grab a torch and explore the concrete structures or just watch the boats passing in and out of Botany Bay. A recommended and pleasant walk. Let us begin by acknowledging the Gadigal & Bidjigal people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Southern end of Cann Park near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Sign down to Congwong Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Sign to Congwong Beach near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Steps down to Congwong Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track down to Congwong Beach near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Congwong Beach near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Congwong Beach La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Congwong Beach La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track at eastern end of Congwong Beach near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Little Congwong Beach near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track near Congwong Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Track near Congwong Beach in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track intersection in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Parks Depot near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Shallow dry creek on track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
On Henry Head Track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track intersection near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Browns Rock in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Flannel Flowers in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
View of Bare Island. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Seat on the way to Henry Head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Flower near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
World War One fort on Henry Head Track near La Perouse . | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Sandy track on Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track near Henry Head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Timber post on Henry Head Track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Trail near Henry Head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Seats at Henry Head near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
White tower on Henry Head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Battlements on Henry Head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Battlements on Henry Head in Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-33.988559,151.2336045)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.)
DirectionsFrom General Holmes Drive, M1
  • Turn on to Foreshore Road Offramp then drive for 225 m
  • Turn slight right onto Foreshore Road and drive for another 3.3 km
  • Continue onto Botany Road and drive for another 1.7 km
  • Turn right onto Bunnerong Road and drive for another 1.1 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Bunnerong Road and drive for another 1.5 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the southern end of Cann Park, this walk follows the concrete track down a series of stairs, passing the 'Congwong Beach Walk' sign on your right. This walk continues gently downhill on a sandy track for about 40m, to find the western end of Congwong Beach. Then this walk follows the beach, with the water to your right, for about 140m until coming to a three-way intersection, with the 'Henry Head/Little Congwong Beach' sign.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Find the Cann Park at the start.
Find the Tombstone of Pere Receveur at the start.
Tombstone of Pere Receveur
Tombstone of Pere Receveur

The tombstone near Bare Island belongs to Pere Receveur. Pere Laurent Receveur died on 17th February 1788 (due to injuries sustained en route in Samoa) and this grave is therefore the first known European grave on Australia’s soil. Receveur was a priest and botanist serving under De La Pereuse on the French scientific expedition to the Pacific. The tomb itself dates from 1829 but has since been restored several times .
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The tombstone near Bare Island belongs to Pere Receveur. Pere Laurent Receveur died on 17th February 1788 (due to injuries sustained en route in Samoa) and this grave is therefore the first known European grave on Australia’s soil. Receveur was a priest and botanist serving under De La Pereuse on the French scientific expedition to the Pacific. The tomb itself dates from 1829 but has since been restored several times .

Find the Seat at the start.
Seat
Seat

2 metal mesh bench seats, 42cm high, 35cm deep and 1.4m wide with a 60cm high backrest and 20cm high arm rests.
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2 metal mesh bench seats, 42cm high, 35cm deep and 1.4m wide with a 60cm high backrest and 20cm high arm rests.

Find the The Barrack Tower at the start.
The Barrack Tower
The Barrack Tower

The monument to De La Perouse, near Cape Banks is named after Jean-Francois de Galaup (1741-88) (aka La Perouse), who landed on the northern shore of Botany Bay on 26 January 1788. Perouse’s ships, the Astrolabe and the Boussole, disappeared shortly after visiting Australia with no surviving crew, making the landing in Botany Bay the last known point of contact of the scientific expedition .
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The monument to De La Perouse, near Cape Banks is named after Jean-Francois de Galaup (1741-88) (aka La Perouse), who landed on the northern shore of Botany Bay on 26 January 1788. Perouse’s ships, the Astrolabe and the Boussole, disappeared shortly after visiting Australia with no surviving crew, making the landing in Botany Bay the last known point of contact of the scientific expedition .

Find the Driftwood at the start.
Find the Bare Grill at the start.
Find the water tap at the start.
Find the Parking Accessible at the start.
Parking Accessible
Parking Accessible

There are more than 50 car parking bays in the area. Two are marked mobiilty parking bays. The mobility parking area is concrete, 2.6m wide and 6m deep, with a shared 2m gap between the parks.
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There are more than 50 car parking bays in the area. Two are marked mobiilty parking bays. The mobility parking area is concrete, 2.6m wide and 6m deep, with a shared 2m gap between the parks.

After another 20 m find the "Potable Water" (50 m on your right).
Potable Water
Potable Water

Drinking water fountain. 90cm high with concrete base.
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Drinking water fountain. 90cm high with concrete base.

After another 10 m pass the toilet (45 m on your right).
After another 6 m find the "Seat" (90 m on your right).
Seat
Seat

2 metal mesh bench seats, 42cm high, 35cm deep and 1.8m wide with a 60cm high backrest and 20cm high arm rests.
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2 metal mesh bench seats, 42cm high, 35cm deep and 1.8m wide with a 60cm high backrest and 20cm high arm rests.

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Little Congwong Beach. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip turn right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 175 m veer left.
After another 345 m pass the "Cann Park" (230 m on your left).
Turn sharp right.
After another 235 m turn right.
After another 25 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 155 m pass the sign (55 m on your left).
After another 3 m veer right.
After another 10 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 30 m continue straight.
After another 195 m find the "Little Congwong Beach" (120 m on your right).
Little Congwong Beach
Little Congwong Beach

Little Congwong Beach, located at La Perouse, is a sheltered sandy beach that has been described as one of the most beautiful beach oases in Sydney. Little Congwong beach has also been used for over 40 years as an unofficial and secluded nude beach. If you see any offensive behaviour please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000 or the Maroubra Police on 02 9349 9299. This beach is very popular on summer weekends and has limited shade in the afternoon.
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Little Congwong Beach, located at La Perouse, is a sheltered sandy beach that has been described as one of the most beautiful beach oases in Sydney. Little Congwong beach has also been used for over 40 years as an unofficial and secluded nude beach. If you see any offensive behaviour please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000 or the Maroubra Police on 02 9349 9299. This beach is very popular on summer weekends and has limited shade in the afternoon.

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Browns Rock. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 160 m continue straight.
After another 50 m pass the sign (on your left).
Then pass the sign (5 m on your left).
Then pass the sign (on your right).
After another 6 m pass a seat (5 m on your left)., has no backrest.
After another 195 m turn right.
After another 300 m turn right.
After another 55 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 15 m veer left.
After another 115 m come to "Henry Head".
About 45 m past the end is "Henry Head".
Henry Head
Henry Head

The Henry Head Battery is located on the northern side of the entrance to Botany Bay at Henry Head. The battery was constructed on an unfenced headland between 1892 and 1895 and operated until 1910 when it was closed down. The battery and observation posts was re-utilised during World War Two to defend against approaches to Botany Bay. The battery consisted of two disappearing guns, ammunition storage and observation posts. The underground bunker and tunnel complex consisted of vaulted ammunition storage rooms with double walls and ceilings. The doubling-up of walls and ceilings was a preventative measure meant to stop the walls from collapsing in the event of a direct hit. The battery is currently not in use. The white tower on the battery is the Endeavour Tower, not a lighthouse as such, but a red marker light nonetheless.
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The Henry Head Battery is located on the northern side of the entrance to Botany Bay at Henry Head. The battery was constructed on an unfenced headland between 1892 and 1895 and operated until 1910 when it was closed down. The battery and observation posts was re-utilised during World War Two to defend against approaches to Botany Bay. The battery consisted of two disappearing guns, ammunition storage and observation posts. The underground bunker and tunnel complex consisted of vaulted ammunition storage rooms with double walls and ceilings. The doubling-up of walls and ceilings was a preventative measure meant to stop the walls from collapsing in the event of a direct hit. The battery is currently not in use. The white tower on the battery is the Endeavour Tower, not a lighthouse as such, but a red marker light nonetheless.

About 45 m past the end is "Endeavour Light".

An optional side trip to Little Congwong Beach.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 305 m come to the end.
"Little Congwong Beach".
Little Congwong Beach
Little Congwong Beach

Little Congwong Beach, located at La Perouse, is a sheltered sandy beach that has been described as one of the most beautiful beach oases in Sydney. Little Congwong beach has also been used for over 40 years as an unofficial and secluded nude beach. If you see any offensive behaviour please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000 or the Maroubra Police on 02 9349 9299. This beach is very popular on summer weekends and has limited shade in the afternoon.
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Little Congwong Beach, located at La Perouse, is a sheltered sandy beach that has been described as one of the most beautiful beach oases in Sydney. Little Congwong beach has also been used for over 40 years as an unofficial and secluded nude beach. If you see any offensive behaviour please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000 or the Maroubra Police on 02 9349 9299. This beach is very popular on summer weekends and has limited shade in the afternoon.

Turn around and retrace your steps back the 305 m to the main route.

An optional side trip to Browns Rock.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After 10 m pass the sign (5 m on your left).
Then pass the sign (6 m on your left).
Then pass a seat (9 m on your left)., has no backrest.
After another 6 m pass the sign (5 m on your left).
After another 290 m come to the viewpoint (on your left).
The end.
"Browns Rock".
Browns Rock
Browns Rock

Browns Rock is a popular fishing spot at La Perouse, with an unfenced shelf of rock and concrete from which to cast fishing rods. Unfortunately, this area suffers from littering - Please help by carrying out your own rubbish and a few extra bits where safe (the rangers do a great job, but it is hard to keep up).
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Browns Rock is a popular fishing spot at La Perouse, with an unfenced shelf of rock and concrete from which to cast fishing rods. Unfortunately, this area suffers from littering - Please help by carrying out your own rubbish and a few extra bits where safe (the rangers do a great job, but it is hard to keep up).

Turn around and retrace your steps back the 310 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Henry Head Walk


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 4 km
Time 1 h 30 min to 3 h
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There is one 45 m from the start.

Seat: There are 3 on route, on average they are 990 m apart with the largest gap of 2.7 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
45 m[toilet]
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