Boat Harbour (Kurnell)
Aerial view of Boat Harbour Beach, looking north
|Location||Kurnell, New South Wales, Australia|
|Access||Captain Cook Drive (road)|
|Beach length||150 m|
|Beach number||NSW 333|
|Hazard rating||3/10 (least hazardous)|
The original inhabitants of the land were the Gweagal Aborigines who were a clan of the Tharawal (or Dharawal) tribe of Indigenous Australians. They are the traditional custodians of the southern geographic areas of Sydney.
The first land grant was issued in 1815. 700 acres (2.8 km2) of land on the Kurnell Peninsula which also included Boat Harbour was issued to James Birnie, a whaler and merchant. He named his land ‘Alpha Farm’ and built himself a cottage. When James Birnie was declared insane in 1828, John Connell gained possession of his property. John Connell passes away in 1848 leaving his estate to his grandsons.
In 1861 the property was sold to Thomas Holt who purchased the land for £3275. Holt, originally from Yorkshire, sailed into Sydney sometime in 1842. He made his fortune during the gold rushes of the early 1850s. Holt moved to Sutherland, and further increased the size of his property holdings to approximately 13,000 acres (53 km2). He erected several mansions and ran his ‘Sutherland Estate’ in the English manner.
The area contains several habitats which include platforms, crevices, rock-pools, boulders and cobbles. Some of the wildlife includes a variety of birds, such as plovers, ruddy turnstone and red-necked stint. From January to late March 2009, an American golden plover was present with a flock of Pacific golden plovers. This species is very rarely recorded in Australia.
There is no permanent housing located on or near the beach, though the site houses many temporary shacks made from corrugated iron or shipping containers.
Boat harbour used to be the location of a 4WD park where driving on beach and sand dunes was permitted. From May 2010 access to the dunes was closed, but beach access remains.
Boat harbour is home of one of the best kitesurfing and windsurfing spot in Sydney Region. It works well in South Easterly or Southerly winds.
Since it is a private property, there is an entry fee of $30 per vehicle.
- NSW Heritage Office Website - Listing Heritage Items - State Heritage Register - Item View
- The Deep Blue - Spearfishing in Sydney's Sutherland Shire Archived October 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- NPWS: Boat Harbour Aquatic Reserve Archived October 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.