Congwong Beach & Congwong Bay, La Perouse, Australia

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Comments (3)

Ian Stehbens on April 18, 2008

Congwong Bay is the first north-side cove inside Botany Bay. Now part of Botany Bay National Park it popular with locals on summer weekends and holidays. The traditional land of the Eora Tribe, this site was charted by Captain James Cook in April 1770.

In January 1788, the next Europeans arrived here. Under the captaincy of Governor Arthur Phillip, 11 British vessels, "The First Fleet", entered and anchored in Botany Bay. The "Supply" with Phillip had arrived on January 18, other vessels in the fleet arriving over the next 2 days, the transport "Charlotte" with is complement of female convicts, being among the last to enter and anchor in Botany Bay.

On January 24, everyone in the First Fleet were surprised to sight the "L'Astrolabe" and "Boussole" captained by Jean-François de Galaup La Pérouse, approaching the entrance to Botany Bay. Before the weather permitted "L'Astrolabe" and "Boussole" to enter here, Captain Phillip sailed out in search of water and a suitable place to establish the colonial settlement.

However as Phillip left in "HMS Supply" to check out the next bay to the north, La Pérouse was able to enter Botany Bay. Captain John Hunter was still in Botany Bay on "HMS Sirius" and he assisted La Pérouse and his crew to enter, anchor and set up a camp in the next cove to Congwong Bay leeward of Bare Island. La Pérouse stayed here for 6 weeks and sustained good relationships with the English during that period. His vessel was careened, the crew refreshed, he sailed out into the Pacific again. Tragically he was wrecked off Santa Cruz in northern Vanuatu (New Hebrides) with the loss of all lives.

With La Pérouse ashore, Hunter and the 10 vessels left Botany Bay on January 26 and sailed into Port Jackson following Arthur Phillip on the "Supply".

On January 26, 1788, La Pérouse landed in Botany Bay near here, and later that same day Captain Phillip who had been rejoined by John Hunter and the fleet anchored and landed at Sydney Cove and commenced the establishment of the colonial outpost settlement with tents and ground ovens.

This was the birth of modern Australia and the outpost settlement was to become Sydney. Today Sydney covers the land between the two bays, and spreads its urban area far beyond.

The Sydney suburb adjacent to Coowong Bay is La Perouse, which without the 'e acute' of La Pérouse, is pronounced differently. The area is highly significant historically to indigenous Australians, the modern Australian nation, as well as in French Pacific history.

Kepri on October 19, 2010


Ian Stehbens on October 26, 2010

Sydney has many wonderful beaches, Kepri and they are all very popular. Thanks for your appreciation.


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  • Uploaded on October 22, 2007
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    by Ian Stehbens