Botany Bay

Botany Bay is a bay in Sydney, New South Wales, a few kilometres south of the Sydney central business district. Two runways of Sydney Airport extend into the bay.

Botany Bay was the site of James Cook's first landing of HMS "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.

James Cook's visit

James Cook's landing marked the beginning of Britain's interest in Australia and in the eventual colonisation of this new "Southern continent" ( [ Captain Cook's map of Botany Bay] ).

Initially the name Stingray Bay or Stingray Harbour was used by Cook and other journal keepers on his expedition, for the stingrays they caught. That name was recorded on an Admiralty chart too. [gutenberg|no=8106|name=Captain Cook's Journal During the First Voyage Round the World, editor W. J. L. Wharton's footnote to 6 May 1770.] 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 his journal (prepared later from his log), he changed to "The great quantity of plants Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander found in this place occasioned my giving it the Name of Botany Bay". [Ray Parkin, "H. M. Bark Endeavour", Miegunyah Press, second edition 2003, ISBN 0-522-85093-6, page 203.] Initially the name Botanist Bay was also sometimes used.

First Fleet arrives

Captain Arthur Phillip led the First Fleet into the bay on 18 January 1788 to found a penal colony there. Finding that the sandy infertile soil of the site in fact rendered it most unsuitable for settlement, Phillip decided instead to move to the excellent natural harbor of Port Jackson to the north. On 26 January, while still anchored in the bay, the British encountered the French exploratory expedition of Jean-François de La Pérouse. Panicked by the thought that the French might beat them to it, the colonists sailed that afternoon to found a settlement at Sydney Cove.

The good supply of fresh water in the area led to the expansion of its population in the 19th century.


According to the most recent census, Botany Bay has a population of 35,897 (17,735 males and 18,162 females).

There were 558 people 1.6% (274 males and 284 females) who identified as being of Indigenous origin. 22.07% of residents are of Southern European descent (principally Italians and Greeks). Eastern/South East Asian and people from Indian subcontinent make 19.24% of the population, followed by Middle Eastern and Northern African people at 7.17% and Pacific Islanders at 2.72%.The three most common languages spoken at home other than English in the 2001 census were Greek 7.4%, Chinese languages 5.05% and Spanish 4.5%.

The median weekly individual income for people aged 15 years and over in the 2001 census was $300-$399. 49.8% of households have children and 3.5% of the people were in group households.

ydney Airport and Port Botany

Today, the Bay is one of the major industrial ports of the city. On the north side of the bay is Sydney Airport, Australia's largest airport. Land was reclaimed from the bay to extend its first north-south runway and build a second one parallel to it.

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. 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.

Port Botany, to the east of the airport, was built in 1930 and is the largest container terminal in Sydney.

Despite being such a busy port, Botany Bay has a diverse marine population and the area around its entrance is some of the best scuba diving in the Sydney Metropolitan Area. In recent times the [ Botany Bay Watch Project] has begun with volunteers assisting to monitor and protect the Bay Catchment and it's unique marine life.

In popular culture

Despite the move, for many years afterward, the Australian penal colony would be referred to as "Botany Bay" in England - and in convict ballads such as Ireland's "The Fields of Athenry".

A song named "Botany Bay" was performed in the 1890s, based on older tunes.

A song entitled "The Shores of Botany Bay" was written by Brian Warfield and recorded by The Wolfe Tones in the early 1970s. This satirical song deals with a group of Irishmen volunteering for the transportation process in the hopes of finding wealth in Australia.

Residences in Trinity College Dublin are named for Botany Bay as a tongue in cheek reference.

In the Star Trek universe the S.S. Botany Bay is the ship that Khan and his genetically modified followers are discovered on by Captain James T. Kirk and crew.

Marine Life

Botany Bay is home to some unique marine lifeFact|date=September 2008. The worlds largest population of [ Weedy Sea Dragons] ever surveyed* is found at the ‘Steps’ dive site, on the southern side (Kurnell) of the Botany Bay National Park. Weedy Sea-Dragons are just one of hundreds of territorial marine creatures that are found within Botany Bay. Meaning that they cannot survive out of their selected ecosystemFact|date=September 2008.

The [ Eastern Blue Grouper] is the New South Wales state fish. They are commonly found following divers along the shore line of Botany Bay.



"Expédition à Botany Bay, La fondation de l'Australie coloniale", Watkin Tench, préface d'Isabelle Merle, 2006, Editions Anacharsis Le texte fondateur de l'Australie, Récit de voyage d'un capitaine de la First Fleet durant l'Expédition à Botany Bay []

ee also

* Georges River

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Botany Bay — Image satellite de Botany Bay. Géographie humaine Pays côtier(s) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Botany Bay — Bot a*ny Bay A harbor on the east coast of Australia, and an English convict settlement there; so called from the number of new plants found on its shore at its discovery by Cook in 1770. [1913 Webster] Note: Hence, any place to which desperadoes …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Botany Bay —   [ bɔtənɪ beɪ], geschützte Meeresbucht an der Pazifikküste Australiens, rd. 10 km südlich von Sydney, mit dem Industrievorort Botany (Erdölraffinerie, bedeutender Containerhafen). In der Botany Bay landete am 29. 4. 1770 J. Cook und entdeckte… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Botany Bay — [bät′ n ē] bay on the SE coast of Australia, near Sydney: site of Captain Cook s original landing in Australia …   English World dictionary

  • Botany Bay — es una ensenada del Océano Pacífico sur ubicada al sudeste de Australia. Localizándose al sur de Sydney al salir de Port Jackson, cuenta con aproximadamente 6 millas (10 km) de extensión. Fue el escenario de la primera población australiana… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Botany Bay — Botany Bay, bahía de * * * Ensenada del océano Pacífico sur, en el sudeste de Australia. Se ubica al sur de Sydney cerca de Port Jackson y mide alrededor de 10 km (6 mi) en su punto más ancho. Fue el escenario del primer desembarco en tierras… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Botany Bay — Luftaufnahme der Botany Bay 33.983333333333151.18333333333 Koordinaten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Botany Bay — /bɒtəni ˈbeɪ/ (say botuhnee bay) noun 1. a bay on the eastern coast of Australia, 8 km south of Sydney; site of Captain James Cook s first landing in Australia; original destination of the First Fleet. –adjective 2. Obsolete of or relating to NSW …   Australian English dictionary

  • Botany Bay —    Voir Les Bagnards de Botany Bay …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

  • Botany Bay — Admin ASC 2 Code Orig. name Botany Bay Country and Admin Code AU.02.11100 AU …   World countries Adminstrative division ASC I-II

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