Bungaree first came to prominence in 1798, when he accompanied Matthew Flinders on a coastal survey as an interpreter, guide and negotiator with local indigenous groups.
He later accompanied Flinders on his circumnavigation of Australia between 1801 and 1803. Flinders was the cartographer of the first complete map of Australia, filling in the gaps from previous cartographic expeditions,and was the most prominent advocate for naming the continent "Australia". Flinders noted that Bungaree was "a worthy and brave fellow" who, on more than one occasion, saved the expedition.
Bungaree continued his association with exploratory voyages when he accompanied Phillip Parker King to north-western Australia in 1817.
In 1815, Governor Lachlan Macquarie dubbed Bungaree "Chief of the Broken Bay Tribe" and presented him with 15 acres (61,000 m2) of land on George’s Head. He was also known by the titles "King of Port Jackson" and "King of the Blacks". Bungaree spent the rest of his life ceremonially welcoming visitors to Australia, educating people about Aboriginal culture (especially boomerang throwing), and soliciting tribute. He died at Garden Island on 24 November 1832 and was buried in Rose Bay.Obituaries of him were carried in the Sydney Gazette and the Australian.
Bongaree in Queensland is named after him.