The government is spending almost $50 million to commemorate the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s first voyage to Australia

A replica of James Cook’s HM Bark Endeavour, moored alongside the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour. iStock

The government has allocated $48.7 million over four years to commemorate the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s first voyage to Australia.

The package, detailed in the budget, will support events and exhibitions including a digital platform and educational material for the anniversary.

Funding will towards the Kamay Botany Bay National Park 250th Anniversary project, which will see new visitor infrastructure and facilities established to support an increase in visitor capacity, new community education and interpretation programs at the landing site of then Lt James Cook and the HMB Endeavour.

The site is in the electorate of Cook, named after the explorer and held by federal Treasurer Scott Morrison.

Cook arrived to Australian shores on 29 April 1770.

The funding will also include a new aquatic monument that takes in the original mooring site and foreshore as well as improvement works to the existing Cook monument built in the 19th century, a new visitors centre, cafe and exhibition space, ferry wharves at La Perouse and Kurnell and disabled access.

In 2005, the Kurnell Precinct of the Kamay Botany Bay National Park was registered on the National Heritage List.

“As the 250th anniversary approaches it is time that this historical and nationally significant precinct, receives the genuine attention it deserves. This is the place where our ancient Australian story began a new chapter that has led us to the free, peaceful and prosperous nation we are today,” Morrison said in April, when the funding was first announced, in a joint statement with other ministers.

“The meeting place precinct at Kurnell will play a major role in events to recognise the 250th anniversary of Cook’s arrival. This milestone provides the perfect opportunity to ensure we mark this important occasion and provide a legacy for future generations to reflect and hear the stories of this important place.”

Work on the new monument will be completed in time for the 250th anniversary with the other funded works to be completed during the next few years.