The city of Sydney was first founded and inhabited by the local Aboriginal people, who experienced their first contact with Europeans when Governor Phillip and the First Fleet arrived in 1788. It has grown from traditional hunting and gathering grounds and a convict settlement, to a city of more than five million people and has expanded to cover the country around Botany Bay.
Remarkably some areas of natural bushland have survived, mainly where the rocky foreshores were set aside for defence purposes in the 19th century, or were too difficult to access for suburban housing. More than two hundred years after Banks and Solander first saw them, you can still see the descendants of many of those plant species in the small bushland reserves around the Bay, though others have disappeared as their habitat has been destroyed by Sydney's continuing urban and industrial expansion.
We have highlighted the main natural areas of Botany Bay and their connections with its botanical exploration. For those who wish to explore the botany of Botany Bay through the natural landscape and its plants, these areas are worth a visit. Most are now part of Kamay Botany Bay National Park