Cape Banks Circuit
Gadigal & Bidjigal Country

2 h 15 min to 3 h

6.5 km
circuit

↑ 163 m
↓ -163 m

Hard track
This Cape Banks Circuit has a lot to offer and is thoroughly recommended. The walking travels over beaches, through coastal forest and across exposed headlands. Historically, this walk shows glimpses into the fortifications required during both World Wars. The optional side trip to the coast hospital cemetery, with over 2000 graves, is worthwhile. The Cape Banks Circuit makes for a fascinating walk, both scenically and historically, and is recommended. 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. 
Show all
Sign down to Congwong Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Steps down to Congwong Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Congwong Beach near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Sign on Congwong Beach near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Little Congwong Beach near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Henry Head Track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Sign on Henry Head Track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Intersection on Henry Head Track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Brown's Rock near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
View from 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.
Henry Head Track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Timber post on Henry Head Track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Seats at Henry Head near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
White tower at Henry Head near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Fortifications near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Fortifications near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Fortifications near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Fortifications near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track at Henry Head near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Stone steps near Henry Head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Sandy track near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Track down to Cruwee Cove near Cape Banks. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Cruwee Cove near Cape Banks. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Sandy track out of Cruwee Cove near Cape Banks. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Golf Course track near Cape Banks. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Metal bridge over to Cape Banks. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
View from Cape Banks Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Cape Banks trail near Cape Banks. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
World War Two fortification. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Westpac Helicopter shed near Cape Banks. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
End of Pistol Club Rd near Cape Banks. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Locked gate to coastal cemetary near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Coastal Cemetery near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Pistol Club Rd near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Sign to Jennifer Street boardwalk near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Jennifer Street Boardwalk and shelter. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Intersection of Pistol Club Rd and Gold Club Rd near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Golf club Rd near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Parks Depot sign near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Lane near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Track near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Track near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
View from Henry Head Viewpoint. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Timber steps on Henry Head Track near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Track near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Henry Head Track near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Track as it crosses Henry Head Lane near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
timber bridge on Henry Head Track near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Track near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Car park on Anzac Avenue near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Henry Head Track near Botany Bay National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Cann Park sign near La Perouse. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Southern end of Cann Park near La Perouse. | 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 (-33.9885865,151.2336658)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.)
DirectionsFrom Oxford Street
  • Turn on to Oxford Street then drive for 105 m
  • Keep right onto Victoria Street and drive for another 15 m
  • Turn slight right onto South Dowling Street and drive for another 380 m
  • Keep right onto South Dowling Street and drive for another 5.7 km
  • Keep left onto Wentworth Avenue Offramp and drive for another 190 m
  • Keep left onto Wentworth Avenue Offramp and drive for another 2.2 km
  • Turn right onto Bunnerong Road and drive for another 3.8 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.
After 35 m pass the toilet (45 m on your right).
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 185 m veer left.
After another 205 m turn sharp right.
After another 235 m turn right, to head along Henry Head Walking Track.
After another 25 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 160 m veer right, to head along Henry Head Walking Track.
After another 10 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 30 m continue straight, to head along Henry Head Walking Track.
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 360 m continue straight, to head along Henry Head Walking Track.
After another 50 m pass the sign (on your left).
Then pass a seat (5 m on your left)., has no backrest.
After another 195 m (at the intersection of Henry Head Walking Track & Henry Head Fire Trail) turn right, to head along Henry Head Walking Track.
After another 300 m (at the intersection of Henry Head Lane & Henry Head Walking Track) turn right, to head along Henry Head Lane (a service road).
After another 55 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 15 m continue straight, to head along Henry Head Lane.
After another 105 m continue straight.
After another 80 m pass the "Endeavour Light" (10 m on your right).
Then find the "Henry Head" (15 m on your right).
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.

Continue straight, to head along Henry Head Track.
After another 60 m pass the "Henry Head" (on your right).
After another 300 m pass the "Henry Head to Cape Banks" (on your left).
After another 100 m come to the viewpoint (on your right).
Then pass a seat (on your right)., has a backrest.
After another 320 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 100 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 50 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 55 m pass the sign.
After another 5 m turn left.
After another 225 m turn left.
After another 20 m pass the "Cape Banks Aquatic Reserve" (10 m on your right).
Veer left, to head along Cape Banks Management Trail.
Then find the "Seat" (on your right).
Seat
Seat

A timber slat bench seat, 60cm high, 30cm deep and 1.8m wide with no armrests or backrest.
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A timber slat bench seat, 60cm high, 30cm deep and 1.8m wide with no armrests or backrest.

After another 150 m find the "Wheelchair Steep Rough" (on your right).
Wheelchair Steep Rough
Wheelchair Steep Rough

There are two very steep and eroed sections of trail each about 20m long.
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There are two very steep and eroed sections of trail each about 20m long.

After another 220 m (at the intersection of Cape Banks Firetrail & Cape Banks Management Trail) veer left, to head along Cape Banks Management Trail.
After another 25 m pass the sign (on your right).
After another 90 m turn sharp right.
After another 90 m find the "World War Two Bunker" (on your left).
World War Two Bunker
World War Two Bunker

This World War Two bunker is near the Westpac Helicopter Shed. This bunker consists of sheltered concrete ammunition storage rooms below, and a circular gun base above, with surrounding coastal views. There are rusted and damaged parts, so take care when exploring.
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This World War Two bunker is near the Westpac Helicopter Shed. This bunker consists of sheltered concrete ammunition storage rooms below, and a circular gun base above, with surrounding coastal views. There are rusted and damaged parts, so take care when exploring.

Veer right, to head along Cape Banks Management Trail.
After another 35 m (at the intersection of Cape Banks Management Trail & Cape Banks Firetrail) continue straight, to head along Cape Banks Management Trail.
After another 90 m head through/around the gate.
Then find the "Pinch Point" (on your right).
Pinch Point
Pinch Point

Metal bollard pinch points at edge of carpark, beside gate. The gap between the bollards is 55cm they are 85cm high.
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Metal bollard pinch points at edge of carpark, beside gate. The gap between the bollards is 55cm they are 85cm high.

After another 180 m pass the "Coast Hospital Cemetery" (20 m on your right).
Continue straight, to head along Cape Banks Road.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Coast Hospital Cemetery int.. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip veer right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 160 m (at the intersection of Coast Cemetery Management Trail & Cape Banks Road) continue straight, to head along Cape Banks Road.
After another 50 m continue straight, to head along Cape Banks Road.
After another 700 m continue straight, to head along Cape Banks Road.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Int of Jennifer Street Boardwalk & Jennifer Street. To start this optional side trip turn sharp right here. On returning from this side trip continue straight when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 35 m (at the intersection of Jennifer Street Boardwalk & Cape Banks Road) continue straight, to head along Cape Banks Road.
After another 20 m find the "Pinch Point" (on your left).
Pinch Point
Pinch Point

Timber bollard pinchpoints around edge of carpark. The gap between the bollard are 84cm they are 85cm high.
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Timber bollard pinchpoints around edge of carpark. The gap between the bollard are 84cm they are 85cm high.

After another 10 m continue straight, to head along Cape Banks Road.
After another 180 m (at the intersection of Cape Banks Road & Henry Head Avenue) turn right, to head along Cape Banks Road (a vehicle track).
After another 20 m (at the intersection of Cape Banks Road & Henry Head Avenue) continue straight, to head along Cape Banks Road.
After another 30 m continue straight, to head along Cape Banks Road.
After another 40 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 150 m (at the intersection of Henry Head Walking Track & Cape Banks Road) turn right, to head along Henry Head Walking Track (a walking track).
After another 255 m find the "Henry Head Viewpoint" (10 m on your left).
Henry Head Viewpoint
Henry Head Viewpoint

The Henry Head view point is located above Henry Head Lane and offers good views on the surrounding coastline. From the unfenced sandstone platform, good views are available to the west, south and east, including Bare Island, the Barracks Tower and Henry Head.
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The Henry Head view point is located above Henry Head Lane and offers good views on the surrounding coastline. From the unfenced sandstone platform, good views are available to the west, south and east, including Bare Island, the Barracks Tower and Henry Head.

After another 55 m continue straight, to head along Henry Head Walking Track.
After another 330 m pass the sign (on your left).
At the intersection of Henry Head Walking Track & Cape Banks Road continue straight, to head along Henry Head Walking Track.
After another 25 m cross the bridge (about 15 m long)
After another 45 m pass the sign (on your left).
Turn left.
After another 80 m continue straight.
After another 70 m pass the car park (10 m on your right).
After another 100 m pass the "Cann Park" (on your left).
After another 115 m come to a water tap.
About 130 m past the end is "Driftwood".
Turn left.
After another 6 m come to "Parking Accessible".
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.

About 120 m past the end is a car park.
The end.
About 55 m past the end is a water tap.

An optional side trip to Little Congwong Beach.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start heading along Little Congwong Beach Track.
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 another 305 m come to 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 305 m to the main route.

An optional side trip to Coast Hospital Cemetery int..
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Cape Banks Road & Coast Cemetery Management Trail Start heading along Coast Cemetery Management Trail (a vehicle track).
After 65 m head through/around the gate.
After another 25 m find the "Pinch Point" (on your left).
Pinch Point
Pinch Point

Metal bollard pinch points at edge of carpark, beside gate. The gap between the bollards is 48cm they are 85cm high.
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Metal bollard pinch points at edge of carpark, beside gate. The gap between the bollards is 48cm they are 85cm high.

Then come to the "Wheelchair Rough".
Wheelchair Rough
Wheelchair Rough

A 20m section of the trail has exposed sandstone cobbles.
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A 20m section of the trail has exposed sandstone cobbles.

After another 75 m come to the end.
About 35 m past the end is "Coast Hospital Cemetery".
Coast Hospital Cemetery
Coast Hospital Cemetery

The Coast Hospital Cemetery on the northern side of Botany Bay was first established in the early 1880’s and is now home to as many as 2000 graves. It serviced the Coast (Prince Henry) Hospital, originally a smallpox hospital. People who died of smallpox were required to be buried at the hospital grounds. The hospital was built far enough from the city to provide quarantine and for this reason, the hospital in time became an infectious diseases hospital, also treating patients with influenza, bubonic plague, typhoid fever and leprosy. Unfortunately, the cemetery has at times fallen into disrepair and some of the headstones are difficult to read. Many of the graves are unmarked. On the eastern edge of the cemetery is an information sign explaining that in the area are also buried the ancestral remains of the La Perouse Aboriginal people returned from museums. A place steeped in history and worthy of respect.
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The Coast Hospital Cemetery on the northern side of Botany Bay was first established in the early 1880’s and is now home to as many as 2000 graves. It serviced the Coast (Prince Henry) Hospital, originally a smallpox hospital. People who died of smallpox were required to be buried at the hospital grounds. The hospital was built far enough from the city to provide quarantine and for this reason, the hospital in time became an infectious diseases hospital, also treating patients with influenza, bubonic plague, typhoid fever and leprosy. Unfortunately, the cemetery has at times fallen into disrepair and some of the headstones are difficult to read. Many of the graves are unmarked. On the eastern edge of the cemetery is an information sign explaining that in the area are also buried the ancestral remains of the La Perouse Aboriginal people returned from museums. A place steeped in history and worthy of respect.

Turn around and retrace your steps back the 155 m to the main route.

An optional side trip to Int of Jennifer Street Boardwalk & Jennifer Street.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Cape Banks Road & Jennifer Street Boardwalk Start heading along Jennifer Street Boardwalk (a footpath).
After 100 m find the "Seat" (6 m on your right).
Seat
Seat

A timber slat bench seat, 45cm high, 32cm deep and 2.1m wide with a 38cm high backrest.
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A timber slat bench seat, 45cm high, 32cm deep and 2.1m wide with a 38cm high backrest.

After another 35 m find the "Wheelchair Steep" (8 m on your right).
Wheelchair Steep
Wheelchair Steep

An approximalty 15m section of the boardwalk is 1.5:12 steep.
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An approximalty 15m section of the boardwalk is 1.5:12 steep.

After another 205 m find the "Seat" (on your left).
Seat
Seat

A timber slat bench seat, 42cm high, 31cm deep and 2.1m wide with a 38cm high backrest.
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A timber slat bench seat, 42cm high, 31cm deep and 2.1m wide with a 38cm high backrest.

Then pass the sign (on your left).
After another 30 m find the "Jennifer Street Boardwalk" (on your left).
Jennifer Street Boardwalk
Jennifer Street Boardwalk

Jennifer Boardwalk provides you with an elevated view through a rare and endangered ecological community known as the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub. This community of native plants is protected under the Threatened Species Conservation Act. These Banksia once occupied around 5,300 hectares of land between North Head and Botany Bay in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Currently, surviving stands totalling approximately 146 hectares have been recorded by the local government areas of Botany, Randwick, Waverley, and Manly .
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Jennifer Boardwalk provides you with an elevated view through a rare and endangered ecological community known as the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub. This community of native plants is protected under the Threatened Species Conservation Act. These Banksia once occupied around 5,300 hectares of land between North Head and Botany Bay in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Currently, surviving stands totalling approximately 146 hectares have been recorded by the local government areas of Botany, Randwick, Waverley, and Manly .

After another 3 m (at the intersection of Jennifer Street & Jennifer Street Boardwalk) turn right, to head along Jennifer Street (a residential road).
After another 15 m come to the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 380 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Cape Banks Circuit


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 6.5 km
Time 2 h 15 min to 3 h
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Minimal directional signs (4/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There is one 40 m from the start.

Seat: There are 5 on route, on average they are 1.2 km apart with the largest gap of 1.9 km.


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