Most visitors heading from the airport into Sydney’s CBD either brush the outskirts or pass directly through the suburb of Eastlakes, a place of contrast and ambiguity.
There’s small-scale industry and commercial activity flourishing between densely-packed housing with a widely-multicultural population.
And all of this flanks two of Sydney’s most exclusive and challenging golf courses, The Lakes and the Australian.
Botany Bay is just a couple of kilometres from here, it’s only 7km or so into the city, and nearby Maroubra and Coogee beaches beckon from the east.
The lagoon system which gives the suburb its name is the centrepiece of a green belt that embraces the Australian, The Lakes, Bonnie Doon and Eastlake golf courses.
The lake system empties into Botany Bay on the southern fringe of the airport. Botany Council which administers the area, has been heavily involved over the last 10 years in a greening program which has seen more than 2 million trees planted.
Pride of the community is the 6ha Sir Joseph Banks Pleasure Garden and Foreshore Reserve which includes a large slice of land reclaimed from the bay and magnificent gardens, a $1.2 million Bicentennial gift to the people.