An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

I like to think that I know this city fairly well. Well for this post I ended up in an awesome tourist attraction that I'd never kn...

Bastille Day: La Perouse


I like to think that I know this city fairly well.

Well for this post I ended up in an awesome tourist attraction that I'd never known about, teeming with both Aboriginal and European history. Still in Southeast Sydney, this is

La Perouse

Last I left you, I was heading into the bush from my previous suburb at Phillip Bay to cross the suburban border.

It turns out that this is the Guriwal Aboriginal Bush Tucker track.

Historically, the Aboriginal inhabitants of La Perouse took advantage of the area's many local plants for bush tucker and medicine. This trail has been set up alongside the knowledge of Aboriginal elders as a way of maintaining the knowledge of these plants and the associated culture. Here is a great little pamphlet about this track if you want more information.

While identifying plants is not one of my abilities, the trail also features a number of blocks of wood carved with images of animals. Looking at pictures of animals is amongst my abilities so that's handy.

While I'm not certain, I can only assume that the "captions" on some of the blocks are the names of the animals in the local language.

Along this trail, you also get a few more peeks here and there of the beautiful blue waters of Botany Bay.
 
Once you emerge from the forested area, Yarra Bay House, the "headquarters" for the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council makes itself visible. The Land Council represents the local Aboriginal community. Interestingly, as of the last census, 37% of the suburb's population identified themselves as indigenous, much higher than the national average of around 3%. That being said, from this spot, you don't get the greatest view of the historic building.

In addition to its Aboriginal story, La Perouse is also home to a gorgeous shoreline. This is Frenchmans Beach and is rather lovely indeed.

As I continued along, I eventually hit the street.

Many of the beachside houses are, as you may expect, pretty fancy looking,

but I couldn't help but be most interested by this house which has more layers than Shrek.

Also at the beach is this decidedly unfriendly parking sign: "don't come here at night please".

Anyway, I was running out of daylight. While that means that everything was beginning to turn a lovely shade of orange, it also meant that I needed to hustle to see the place before it got dark.

The main touristy bit of La Perouse is a little bit of a peninsula. This is roughly laid out as a cliff-side hill with some old stuff dotted all around.

For instance, this is the historic La Perouse museum. I didn't have time to check it out today, but apparently it's a free little museum about the local history of the area. Neat.

From the cliffside, you can sit and enjoy the view of the water,

or look at more of those Star Wars walking robots that we saw from Phillip Bay too.

One of the main attractions here is the very impressive Bare Island Fort.

Built in the late 1800s as a defence for southern Sydney, today it's just a photogenic spot for tourists, wedding photos and goofy bloggers trying to visit every Sydney suburb.

Crossing the bridge, it turns out that sunset is kind of a perfect time to come here,

even though you might die.

You actually can't explore the fort by yourself, but on Sundays they offer tours of the place.

Alternatively, it seems that there is also an Aboriginal market held here a few times a year. At the time of writing, the next "Blak Markets" are being held on Saturday 19 September. This actually sounds quite interesting so you may just see me here in September.

With the end of the day's light marking the end of my long day exploring Southeast Sydney, I began to make my way to the bus stop.

From here, you can get a bus back into the city. 

Before I sign off, between the French name of the suburb and "Frenchmans beach" that we saw earlier, you may be wondering what's the deal with all the French stuff here? Well this may be common knowledge, but it was new to me, courtesy of the good editors at Wikipedia.

It turns out that once the French found out that the British had claimed this Great Southern Land in the late 1700s, they sent an explorer of their own out here - a man named La Perouse. The French expedition landed in this area only a few days after the first fleet in 1788. La Perouse and his mates chilled here for around six weeks before attempting an ill-fated journey back to France. The wreckage of the ships was not found until 1964. How about that.

La Perouse: It's historic, it's scenic, what more do you want?

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