Circular Quay History

Sydney Cove, The Rocks, Dawes and Millers Points are all important sites in Sydney's history. For modern Sydney, Circular Quay is the new focus.

From The Rocks to the west of Circular Quay, to the fertile soil of The Royal Botanic Gardens, situated to the east, and once Australia's first farm, Circular Quay is surrounded by the rich history and architecture of the first European settlement, much of which has been preserved.

sydney ferry

European settlement commenced at Sydney Cove in 1788. The Aboriginal flag is flown at the beautifully restored Customs House in recognition that it was built on the site where Australia's indigenous people reportedly watched the arrival of the First Fleet and where the British Flag was raised.

Initially used to unload sailing ships from England, Sydney Cove became the embarkation point for cargo and passenger ships, wool clippers, government and private boats.

Now, the appropriately named Circular Quay is the central multi-storey terminus for all ferries and cruises, rail and bus services and a venue for a range of restaurants and shopping outlets, a far cry from when whalers began to weigh anchor outside Sydney Cove in 1790.

The history of Circular Quay including information on Sydney Cove is as diverse as its modern setting.

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Circular Quay Walks


Circular Quay is the perfect setting to begin your walking tour of some of the most famous of Sydney's attractions. Circular Quay Walks >>

Circular Quay Restaurants


Restaurants in Circular Quay and its surrounds offer an astounding range in both menu and price. Circular Quay Restaurants >>

Circular Quay Shopping

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Within easy distance of Circular Quay, Sydney, you will find some of the best shopping venues and outlets in Australia. Circular Quay Shopping >>

Circular Quay Accommodation


If you're staying in Circular Quay, Sydney you'll find that everything is in easy reach. Circular Quay Accommodation >>