unsw hOME



Botany Bay is an estuarine embayment located on the central New South Wales coast of Australia that forms part of the metropolitan region of Sydney.


The Botany Bay Studies Unit (BBSU) focuses on issues within an area defined broadly as Botany Bay and its hydrological catchment of the Georges River and Cooks River -an area of 960 sq. km., with 14 local government authorities and about 40 per cent of Sydney’s population..


Botany Bay is one of Australia’s most important social environments (Aboriginal heritage of settlement and land management, European colonisation, industrial heritage and the growth of seaside suburbia) where there is a strong interaction of the natural and social environments. Its values include:

  • Unique role in shaping Sydney and Australia, for its status of a site of first contact between ancient and modern Australia.
  • Unique and diverse blend of people and cultures, a range of distinctive lifestyles, and special significance as a place for Aboriginal people.
  • Unique and diverse range of micro-organisms, plants and animals, its habitats, and natural processes, many of which are recognized as being significant both for the Sydney and international communities.
  • Botany Bay with an airport and port is Sydney’s pre-eminent centre for trade and as a gateway for national and international tourism.
  • It is a significant provider of regional and local employment, but cumulative impacts of development proposals must be better understood.


Authorised by: BBSU | UNSW Sydney NSW 2052 Australia | Enquiries: j.black@unsw.edu.au
CRICOS CODE: 00098G | Disclaimer | ©UNSW | Graphics reproduced with permission:
New South Wales Department of Infrastructure Planning and Natural Resources and WBM Oceanics

UNSW Science