AUSTRALIA'S FIRST CITY
Australia's best known city is spread around the bays and inlets of Port Jackson. Sydney’s most famous landmarks the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are in the heart of the city. The waters of the harbour are home to commuter ferries, cruise ships, speed boats and yachts. Sydney’s foreshore stretches nearly 250km around the bay. The Pacific Ocean laps world famous surf beaches such as Manly and Bondi.
The pride and joy of Sydney is its magnificent harbour. Hundreds of bays, coves and beaches and waterways contribute to one of the world’s most beautiful cities. The ultimate way to capture the excitement is from the water. Lining the shores of the harbour are extensive green parklands and botanic gardens. Elegant sandstone buildings add charm and atmosphere to the Rocks, the oldest part of Sydney where you can enjoy shopping and entertainment. Circular Quay is the hub of Sydney’s water traffic where buskers gather to entertain passers-by. At the head of Sydney Harbour are the towering cliffs of North and South Heads. Amazing city views from the bluff along with the pounding of the surf makes this an impressive place to admire the glory of Sydney.
Located on Bennelong Point. It is very significant that it is called Bennelong Point as it was named after Bennelong the first Aboriginal who chose to speak English. As a result, Governor Philip built a 12 foot square sandstone home on Bennelong point for Bennelong to live in, and it was occupied on and off for 3 years. The first use of Bennelong point by the Europeans was for cattle grazing, and when Governor Macquarie arrived he was quite worried that Sydney did not have a fort, so he built Fort Macquarie there which stood for almost 100 years. Tramsheds for Sydney were then built on the site. In 1957 there was a worldwide competition held to find a design for the Sydney Opera House– prize winner’s name was Joern Utzon. It took 14 years to build and was opened in 1973.
Cremorne Point / Bradley’s Head
You will see a granite pole in water off Bradley’s Head, it came from the first General Post office in Martin Place in 1880. From this pole to Fort Denison measures exactly 1 nautical mile, it is the only measurement on Sydney Harbour of its kind. Also located at Bradley’s Head is the mast from the first HMAS Sydney that sank a German vessel off the Cocos islands during WWI. There have been 4 HMAS Sydney’s in the navy. The 2nd was sunk in WWII and never found.
Bradley’s Head bristles with military history. When four American warships arrived in Sydney Harbour undetected in 1839, Sydneysiders began to feel vulnerable. Convict labourers built a battery on Bradleys Head, and a circular parapet was installed some years later. Defensive ditches were then added in the late-19th century, after British troops left Sydney. You can see the original timber gun carriage and slide from this period - along with remnants of the earlier fortifications - on the Bradleys Head walking tracks.
Watsons Bay offers some fabulous walks to South Head and an even better `watering hole’ (the Watson’s Bay Hotel) to quench your thirst on your return. South Head is well known for its sandstone cliffs and rugged scenery. You can explore the headland's historic forts and lighthouse or go on a walk around the lookouts. You'll see different angles of the harbour from a variety of lookouts on the South Head Heritage Trail, which starts from Camp Cove in Watsons Bay. Follow the path over the 1870s cobblestone road, past Lady Bay Beach and onto the headland. Here, you can see the 19th-century Hornby Lighthouse and the lightkeepers' cottages, and walk around the historic gun emplacements. Enjoy the view, then retrace your steps back to Watsons Bay.
Lane Cove River
The Lane Cove River is a beautiful and little-known corner of Sydney with hills on both sides covered with beautiful homes, and quiet water views. Along the southern side lies Hunters Hill with over 300 heritage-listed homes in what became Sydney’s first suburb in the mid-1800’s. By contrast, while the north shore of the river today offers prestigious suburbs like Riverview and Lane Cove, it was once the haunt of escaped convicts and on-the-run criminals who holed up in the caves there to evade capture – in fact what we call Burns Bay now was once Murdering Bay!
This is the site of the First European settlement. Male convicts were sent ashore on the 26th January 1788. It took them 3 weeks to chop down the trees, built lean-tos and dig out sandstone to set up ovens. Only then were the female convicts and children allowed to come and join them. This living museum of early British settlement has a lot to offer, from street entertainment and one of Sydney’s best weekend markets, to historic sites, walking tours and parks. The Observatory and the Harbour Bridge pylons are also located here. Many of the city’s best pubs and eateries are found here, as well as it is a great shopping area.
The Parramatta River is very different – flatter land to the south with large bays such as Hen and Chicken Bay and Five Dock Bay. Where large industrial sites once sprawled in their ugliness, modern housing developments are mushrooming.