Port Jackson as seen from the air.
|Location||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|River sources||Parramatta, Lane Cove, Middle Harbour|
|Ocean/sea sources||Tasman Sea of the South Pacific Ocean|
|Islands||Clark, Shark, Goat, Fort Denison|
Port Jackson, consisting of the waters of Sydney Harbour, Middle Harbour, North Harbour and the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers, is the ria or natural harbour of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The harbour is an inlet of the Tasman Sea (part of the South Pacific Ocean). It is the location of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The location of the first European settlement and colony on the Australian mainland, Port Jackson has continued to play a key role in the history and development of Sydney.
Middle Harbour, a semi–mature tide dominated drowned valley estuary, is the northern arm of Port Jackson, an inlet of the Tasman Sea located north of Sydney central business district on the coast of New South Wales, Australia.
The Lane Cove River, a northern tributary of the Parramatta River, is a tide-dominated, drowned valley estuary west of Sydney Harbour, located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The river is a tributary of the Parramatta River, winding through a bushland valley. It joins Parramatta River at Greenwich and Woolwich, where together they form an arm of Sydney Harbour.
The Parramatta River is an intermediate tide dominated, drowned valley estuary located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. With an average depth of 5.1 metres (17 ft), the Parramatta River is the main tributary of Sydney Harbour, a branch of Port Jackson. Secondary tributaries include the smaller Lane Cove and Duck rivers.
Many recreational events are based on or around the harbour itself particularly the Sydney New Year's Eve celebrations and the starting point of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Sydney New Year's Eve is an annual multi-tiered event held every New Year's Eve in Sydney, Australia. Centering on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and surrounding Port Jackson, its main events are two pyrotechnic displays: the 9pm Family Fireworks and the Midnight Fireworks, both of which are televised nationally with the more popular Midnight Fireworks televised globally.
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is an annual event hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, starting in Sydney, New South Wales on Boxing Day and finishing in Hobart, Tasmania. The race distance is approximately 630 nautical miles (1,170 km). The race is run in conjunction with the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, and is widely considered to be one of the most difficult yacht races in the world.
The waterways of Port Jackson are managed by the Roads & Maritime Services. Sydney Harbour National Park protects a number of islands and foreshore areas, swimming spots, bushwalking tracks and picnic areas.
The Sydney Harbour National Park is an Australian national park comprising parts of Port Jackson, Sydney and its foreshores and various islands. The 392-hectare (970-acre) national park lies in New South Wales and was created progressively, from 1975.
The land around Port Jackson was occupied at the time of the European arrival and colonisation by the Eora clans, including the Gadigal, Cammeraygal, and Wangal. The Gadigal occupied the land stretching along the south side of Port Jackson from what is now South Head, in an arc west to the present Darling Harbour. The Cammeraygal lived on the northern side of the harbour. The area along the southern banks of the Parramatta River to Rose Hill belonged to the Wangal. The Eora occupied Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour), south to the Georges River and west to Parramatta.
The Cammeraygal, variously spelled as Cam-mer-ray-gal, Gamaraigal, Kameraigal, Cameragal and several other variations, were a clan of the Eora tribe of Indigenous Australians who were united by a common language, strong ties of kinship and survived as skilled hunter–fisher–gatherers in family groups or clans that inhabited the Lower North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
The Wangal people were a clan of the Eora Aboriginal people whose heirs are custodians of the lands and waters of the current Municipality of Strathfield and surrounding areas of Sydney, New South Wales.
The first recorded European discovery of Sydney Harbour was by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770. Cook named the inlet after Sir George Jackson, one of the Lord Commissioners of the British Admiralty, and Judge Advocate of the Fleet.As the Endeavour sailed past the entrance at Sydney Heads, Cook wrote in his journal "at noon we were...about 2 or 3 miles from the land and abrest of a bay or harbour within there appeared to be a safe anchorage which I called Port Jackson."
Captain James Cook was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. He made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.
Sir George Jackson Duckett, 1st Baronet was a British naval administrator and politician.
The Admiralty, originally known as the Office of the Admiralty and Marine Affairs, was the government department responsible for the command of the Royal Navy first in the Kingdom of England, later in the Kingdom of Great Britain, and from 1801 to 1964, the United Kingdom and former British Empire. Originally exercised by a single person, the Lord High Admiral (1385–1628), the Admiralty was, from the early 18th century onwards, almost invariably put "in commission" and exercised by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, who sat on the Board of Admiralty.
No-one on the ship recorded seeing any of the Harbour's many islands. This would have been because their line of sight was blocked by the high promontories of South Head and Bradleys Head that shape its dog-leg entrance.
The Sydney Heads are a series of headlands that form the 2 km (1.2 mi) wide entrance to Sydney Harbour in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. North Head and Quarantine Head are to the north; South Head and Dunbar Head are to the south; and Middle Head, Georges Head, and Chowder Head are to the west and within the harbour. The Heads are contained within the Sydney Harbour National Park.
Bradleys Head is a headland protruding from the north shore of Sydney Harbour, within the metropolitan area of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is named after the First Fleet naval officer William Bradley. The original Aboriginal inhabitants belonged to the Borogegal clan of the Eora nation, and was known as Borogegy, Booraghee, Booragy or Burrogy. Also on the headland is an active lighthouse, Bradleys Head Light, constructed in 1905.
However, these islands were known to Captain Arthur Phillip, the First Fleet commander, before he departed England in 1787.
Seemingly, Cook had seen the main body of the Harbour in 1770 and, on returning home, he had reported his important discovery to the Admiralty.
An explanation of Cook's discovery was first proposed in the book Lying for the Admiralty (2018).While the Endeavour was anchored in Botany Bay, Cook may have followed one of the ancient Aboriginal tracks that connect Botany Bay to Port Jackson, a distance of some ten kilometres. The Admiralty had ordered Cook to conceal strategically valuable discoveries, so he omitted the main Harbour from his journal and chart.
Eighteen years later, on 21 January 1788, after arriving at Botany Bay, Governor Arthur Phillip took a longboat and two cutters up the coast to sound the entrance and examine Cook's Port Jackson. Phillip first stayed over night at Camp Cove, then moved down the harbour, landing at Sydney Cove and then Manly Cove before returning to Botany Bay on the afternoon of 24 January. Phillip returned to Sydney Cove in HM Armed Tender Supply on 26 January 1788, where he established the first colony in Australia, later to become the city of Sydney. In his first dispatch from the colony back to England, Governor Phillip noted that:
...we had the satisfaction of finding the finest harbour in the world, in which a thousand sail of the line may ride in the most perfect security...— Governor Arthur Phillip, 15 May 1788.
The Great White Fleet, the United States Navy battle fleet, arrived in Port Jackson in August 1908 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. From 1938, seaplanes landed in Sydney Harbour on Rose Bay, making this Sydney's first international airport.
In 1942, to protect Sydney Harbour from a submarine attack, the Sydney Harbour anti-submarine boom net was constructed. It spanned the harbour from Green (Laings) Point, Watsons Bay to the battery at Georges Head, on the other side of the harbour. On the night of 31 May 1942, three Japanese midget submarines entered the harbour, one of which became entangled in the western end of the boom net's central section. Unable to free their submarine, the crew detonated charges, killing themselves in the process. A second midget submarine came to grief in Taylor's Bay, the two crew committing suicide. The third submarine fired two torpedoes at USS Chicago (both missed) before leaving the harbour. In November 2006, this submarine was found off Sydney's Northern Beaches.
The anti-submarine boom net was demolished soon after World War II, and all that remains are the foundations of the old boom net winch house, which can be viewed on Green (Laings) Point, Watsons Bay. Today, the Australian War Memorial has on display a composite of the two midget submarines salvaged from Sydney Harbour.The conning tower of one of the midget submarines is on display at the RAN Heritage Centre, Garden Island, Sydney.
Fort Denison is a former penal site and defensive facility occupying a small island located north-east of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney Harbour.
There are fortifications at Sydney Heads and elsewhere, some of which are now heritage listed. The earliest date from the 1830s, and were designed to defend Sydney from seaborn attack or convict uprisings. There are four historical fortifications located between Taronga Zoo and Middle Head, Mosman, they are: the Middle Head Fortifications, the Georges Head Battery, the Lower Georges Heights Commanding Position and a small fort located on Bradleys Head, known as the Bradleys Head Fortification Complex. The forts were built from sandstone quarried on site and consist of various tunnels, underground rooms, open batteries and casemated batteries, shell rooms, gunpowder magazines, barracks and trenches.
Geologically, Port Jackson is a drowned river valley, or ria. It is 19 km long with an area of 55 km2. The estuary's volume at high tide is 562 million cubic metres. The perimeter of the estuary is 317 kilometres.
According to the Geographical Names Board of New South Wales, Port Jackson is "a harbour which comprises all the waters within an imaginary line joining North Head and South Head. Within this harbour lies North Harbour, Middle Harbour and Sydney Harbour."
Port Jackson extends westward from the single entrance known as Sydney Heads (North and South Heads) and encompasses all tidal waters within North Harbour, Middle Harbour, Sydney Harbour, Darling Harbour, Parramatta River and Lane Cove River.
The harbour is heavily embayed. The bays on the south side tend to be wide and rounded, whereas those on the north side are generally narrow inlets. Many of these bays include beaches. The Sydney central business district extends from Circular Quay.
There are several islands within the harbour, including Shark Island, Clark Island, Fort Denison, Goat Island, Cockatoo Island, Spectacle Island, Snapper Island and Rodd Island. Some other former islands, including Bennelong Island, Garden Island and Berry Island, have subsequently been linked to the shore by land reclamation. Exposed at low tide is Sow and Pigs Reef, a well-known navigation obstacle near the main shipping lane.
Port Jackson is bridged from north to south by the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Gladesville Bridge, the Ryde Bridge, and the Silverwater Bridge.
Other bridges spanning Port Jackson waterways are Pyrmont Bridge spanning Darling Harbour; the Anzac Bridge (formerly known as the Glebe Island Bridge), spanning Blackwattle Bay; the Iron Cove Bridge spanning Iron Cove; the Spit Bridge spanning Middle Harbour; the Roseville Bridge spanning Middle Harbour; the Tarban Creek Bridge spanning Tarban Creek.
A road tunnel, the Sydney Harbour Tunnel passing underneath the Harbour to the east of the bridge was opened in August 1992.
In 2005, 2010 and in 2014 the NSW Government proposed a rail tunnel be constructed to the west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Construction of a pair of tunnels as part of the Sydney Metro project was approved in January 2017 and is scheduled to start later in the year.
Permanent cruise ship terminals are located at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay, Sydney Cove and at the White Bay Cruise Terminal at White Bay. White Bay's evolution to a cruise terminal came with the closure of Darling Harbour terminal to make way for the Barangaroo development.
White Bay and adjacent Glebe Island have been working ports since the mid-1800s, handling just about everything from timber and paper, coal, sugar and cement to cars and containers. The NSW Government identified both as vital to the City's economy and in March 2013 announced its commitment to maintaining both as working ports as it frees up neighbouring bays for public access. Glebe Island is Sydney's last remaining deepwater port able to supply the City's ongoing demand for dry bulk goods such as sugar, gypsum and cement.
Sydney Ferries operate services from Circular Quay to Manly, Mosman, Taronga Zoo, Watsons Bay, Rose Bay, Barangaroo, Balmain, Parramatta, Milsons Point and other destinations.
Water taxi and water limousine operators offer transport not restricted by timetables or specific routes, and can also provide a service to or from private wharfs and houses on the waterfront. Sightseeing harbour cruises are operated daily from Circular Quay. Whale watching excursions are also operated from Port Jackson.
The Mortlake Ferry, also known as the Putney Punt, crosses the Parramatta River, connecting Mortlake and Putney.
Australian National Maritime Museum, at Darling Harbour, has themed exhibitions ranging from Indigenous lore and European seafaring to aquatic sport and maritime defence.
Sydney Heritage Fleet is a largely volunteer organisation dedicated to the restoration and operation of heritage vessels. The barque James Craig of the SHF sails regularly from Port Jackson.
RAN Heritage Centre at Garden Island has many exhibits, artefacts and documents relating to the history of the Royal Australian Navy.
Port Jackson is associated with the voyages of Richard Siddins.
Port Jackson has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
A Sydharb is a unit of volume used in Australia for water. One sydharb (or sydarb), also called a Sydney Harbour, is the amount of water in the Sydney Harbour (Port Jackson): approximately 500 gigalitres (410,000 acre⋅ft).
Sydney Cove is a small bay on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, one of several harbours in Port Jackson, on the coast of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Gladesville Bridge is an arch bridge near Gladesville that spans the Parramatta River, west of central Sydney, Australia. It links the suburbs of Huntleys Point and Drummoyne. It is a few kilometres upstream of the more famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and is part of Victoria Road. When it was completed in 1964, Gladesville Bridge was the longest single span concrete arch ever constructed. Gladesville Bridge is the largest of a complex of three bridges, including Fig Tree Bridge and Tarban Creek Bridge, designed to carry traffic as part of the North Western Expressway. The bridge was the first phase of this freeway project that was to connect traffic from the Newcastle via Wahroonga/Lane Cove, then through Glebe/Annandale to connect into the city. Due to community action the freeway project was abandoned by the Wran government in 1977, leaving the Gladesville bridge connecting the existing arterial roads.
Broken Bay, a semi–mature tide-dominated drowned valley estuary, is a large inlet of the Tasman Sea located about 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Sydney central business district on the coast of New South Wales, Australia; being one of the bodies of water that separate greater Metropolitan Sydney from the Central Coast. Broken Bay is the first major bay north of Sydney Harbour.
The Inner West is the metropolitan area directly west of the Sydney central business district, New South Wales, Australia. The suburbs of the Inner West are predominantly located along the southern shore of Port Jackson, stretching south to the shores of the Cooks River. The western boundary is Homebush Bay Drive & Centenary Drive.
Rozelle is a suburb in the inner west of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 4 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Inner West Council.
The Pyrmont Bridge, a heritage-listed swing bridge across Cockle Bay, is located in Darling Harbour, part of Port Jackson, west of the central business district in the City of Sydney local government area of New South Wales, Australia. Opened in 1902, the bridge initially carried motor vehicle traffic via the Pyrmont Bridge Road between the central business district and Pyrmont. Since 1981 the bridge has carried pedestrian and bicycle traffic only, as motor vehicles were diverted to adjacent freeway overpasses. The bridge was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 28 June 2002.
Watsons Bay is a harbourside, eastern suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Watsons Bay is located 11 km north-east of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Municipality of Woollahra.
The Glebe Island Bridge is a heritage-listed disused swing road bridge over Rozelle Bay, located at Bank Street, Victoria Road, in the inner city Sydney suburb of Pyrmont in the City of Sydney local government area of New South Wales, Australia. The bridge, which connects Rozelle to Pyrmont by road, is one of the last remaining swing bridges of its type in Australia and in the world. It was designed by Percy Allan and built from 1899 to 1903 by Bridges Branch of NSW Public Works Department. It is also known as RMS Bridge No. 61. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 29 November 2013.
Iron Cove is a bay on the Parramatta River, in the inner-west of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) due west of Sydney's central business district. It is surrounded by the suburbs of Birchgrove, Balmain, Rozelle, Lilyfield, Haberfield, Five Dock, Rodd Point, Russell Lea and Drummoyne. The bay extends from Longnose Point to the south-west and is fed by the Hawthorne Canal and the Iron Cove Creek.
The Sydney Freight Network is a network of dedicated railway lines for freight in Sydney, Australia linking the state's rural and interstate rail network with the city's main yard at Enfield and Port Botany. Its primary components are the Southern Sydney Freight Line (SSFL) and a line from Sefton to Enfield and Port Botany. The Network has been managed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) since 2012. Prior to the completion of the SSFL, it was managed by RailCorp as the Metropolitan Freight Network.
The geography of Sydney is characterised by its coastal location on a basin bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Blue Mountains to the west, the Hawkesbury River to the north and the Woronora Plateau to the south. Sydney lies on a submergent coastline on the east coast of New South Wales, where the ocean level has risen to flood deep river valleys (rias) carved in the Sydney sandstone. Port Jackson, better known as Sydney Harbour, is one such ria.
Double Bay ferry services connect wharves in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs with Circular Quay by commuter ferry. The services are provided by Sydney Ferries, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. The route is coloured dark green on the current Sydney Ferries network map. SuperCats are the primary vessel on the route with some Double Bay services operated by First Fleet ferries.
Iron Cove Creek, a southern tributary of the Parramatta River, is an urban stream west of Sydney Harbour, located in the inner-western Sydney suburbs of Croydon, Ashfield, Haberfield and Five Dock in New South Wales, Australia.
Johnstons Creek, formerly Johnston's Creek, is an urban gully, located in Sydney, Australia and situated in the Leichhardt local government area. The creek flows from Petersham, past Annandale, Camperdown, Forest Lodge and Harold Park, before spilling into Rozelle Bay, within Sydney Harbour.
Glebe Island was a major port facility in Sydney Harbour and, in association with the adjacent White Bay facility, was the primary receiving venue for imported cars and dry bulk goods in the region until 2008. It is surrounded by White, Johnstons, and Rozelle Bays. Whilst retaining its original title as an "island", it has long been infilled to the shoreline of the suburb of Rozelle and connected by the Glebe Island Bridge to Pyrmont.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Sydney:
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Sydney Harbour .|
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