Historical points of interest Sydney Harbour

Date :
May 15, 2018

History From The Harbour – 6 Amazing Historical Points of Interest You Never Knew About

Sydney is a veritable treasure trove of beautiful historical and cultural sites – particularly the harbour, where European Australia had its origins. Long before Europeans even arrived in Australia, the harbour was a significant cultural space for indigenous Australians. Check out this list of historical points of interest around Sydney Harbour, perfect for your next city wander. 

Inscription Point, Captain Cook’s Landing Place

In 1770, James Cook, then a Lieutenant, landed at Inscription Point in Botany Bay. Obviously, this landing had a significant impact on Australian history, and remains an 

important historical site in the story of the interpretation of the meeting of European and Aboriginal cultures. It’s a lovely picturesque place as well, and well worth a visit.

Cadman’s Cottage

This gorgeous cottage was built in 1816, and is one of only a few of the buildings that remain from the first 30 years of the original colony in Sydney. Built from sandstone, the cottage has served as headquarters for water transport, a sailor’s home, and a water police station. The construction of Circular Quay has meant that the edge of the harbour has moved about 100 metres away from where it was when the cottage was constructed.


Bare Island Fort

Bare Island was first spotted by Captain Cook in 1770, and the fort was built in the early 1880s to protect Sydney’s rear. It ceased operation in 1908 to become Australia’s very first home for war veterans. The structure of the fort is stunning and provides spectacular views all over La Perouse. As well as being one of Sydney Harbour’s historical points of interest, the island is also one of the most popular scuba diving and snorkelling sites in New South Wales.

Farm Cove and the Botanic Gardens

Farm Cove started out life as an Aboriginal ceremonial ground called Woggan-ma-gule. After the arrival of Europeans, it was renamed and then planted out in an attempt to grow food. By the 1830s, Farm Cove was a scientific institution established to assess the acclimatisation of various botanical species. From there, plants were introduced and nurtured, in order that people could use them in domestic gardens. It still remains a place of research and enjoyment today.

Little Sirius Artist’s Camp

Sydney Harbour has always attracted artists and writers – particularly those who wish to record its beauty for future generations. In the 19th century, an artists’ camp was set up in a small north shore cove called Little Sirius, after one of the First Fleet ships. Artists such as Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton visited and painted the harbour’s natural beauty and international writers and artists including Mark Twain were also said to have visited.



May Gibb’s Nutcote

Located in Sydney’s Neutral Bay, the beautiful harbourside home of May Gibbs is known as Nutcote. The house is now a wonderful museum celebrating the life of Australia’s most celebrated children’s author and illustrator, and includes an enchanting garden to explore. You never know – a bush baby may be waiting for you somewhere in its depths.

Enjoyed checking out historical points of interest around Sydney Harbour where our most beloved children’s author took so much of her inspiration? Now discover more about the magical world of May Gibbs and her iconic creations here.

Librarian Bec This is a contribution From Librarian Bec – Right now, Librarian Bec’s hard at work at your local library, sharing a passion for reading with little people and big.  Bec writes about inspiring little readers and embracing lovely literature.