Situated on the low hills surrounding Port Jackson on the southeast Australian coast, Sydney is widely regarded as Australia’s first city. It is the capital of New South Wales and home to more than half the state’s population. The city was named after Lord Thomas Townshend Sydney, an eighteenth-century politician.
The territory surrounding Sydney shows signs of habitation going back 50,000 years. At the time of European colonization, most of the land belonged to the Aboriginal Cadigal clan. Captain Arthur Phillip was the first Westerner to establish a settlement in the area, docking at Port Jackson in 1798. His original destination had been the nearby Botany Bay discovered by Captain James Cook 10 years earlier. Phillip, along with around 750 convicts and some military staff under his order, set up camp in a small inlet which he named Sydney Cove, now referred to as Darling Harbour.
Though blessed with a beautiful shoreline, the land was poor and the environment...