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• Recognition
• Resumption

Landing Place Reserve


On 20 th March 1822 an old Aborigine, "white haired and hoary with age", who had witnessed Cook's landing, accompanied members of the executive of the Philosophical Society of Australasia to Kurnell and pointed out the landing place to them. They fixed a brass plate (to commemorate 50 years since the landing of Captain Cook) on the cliff-face a little to the north east of the Landing Place as the nearest available spot.
Pencil drawing by Samuel Thomas Gill of Captain Cook's Landing Place, 1856. Alpha Farm is to the right. In 1822 the Philosophical Society fixed a tablet to the rocks east of Inscription Point to commemorate the landing. Cook landed in front of Alpha House. National Library of Australia
Details of the tablet that the Philosophical Society fixed to the cliffs in 1822.
1822 Philosophical Society's plaque in its second position nearer Solander than Inscription Point. National Library of Australia
In 1870 Thomas Holt erected an obelisk at his own expense to celebrate the centenary of Captain Cook's landing at Kurnell.
Holt's obelisk with Silver Beach in background, about 1900. Caroline Davis/Weir
On Saturday 8 th August 1881 the two visiting royal princes, Prince Albert, Duke of Clarence, and the future king, George, Prince of Wales, travelled to Kurnell by boat from Botany. The Sydney Morning Herald reported:
"The one spot in all Australia which can claim to be called Classic Ground is undoubtedly that little area by the southern shore of Botany Bay, where, more than a century ago, Captain Cook first set foot on the soil of this continent; where the seaman Forby Sutherland was buried; and it was but right that the Royal Princes, now amongst usone of whom will probably ascend the throne of Great Britain; should not be allowed to leave the colony without being asked to visit the scene . Nearly everyone took a sip of the water from the historic stream."
Near the obelisk, Prince Albert and Prince George planted four pine trees, one of which was Araucaria Cookii which Holt had brought over from New Caledonia.  Cook had identified it as a separate species and Banks named it there during his voyage. The tree planting and official proceedings over, the party strolled around inspecting the historic area. The princes joined a group of Kurnell residents in a game of cricket before sitting on the ground for lunch. "A marauding dog, which had pilfered a plump turkey, was hotly pursued by the waiter; whereupon Prince Albert joined in the chase, and outpacing the waiter, made a cut with his stick at the thief. The dog dropped his prey; and the prince retrieved the bird."
Prince Albert and Prince George during their Australian visit, 1881. NPWS, Kurnell
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