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Sydney Cove

Sydney Cove

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Sydney Cove is a small bay on the southern shore of Port Jackson
Port Jackson
Port Jackson, containing Sydney Harbour, is the natural harbour of Sydney, Australia. It is known for its beauty, and in particular, as the location of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge...

 (which contains several harbours, including in particular Sydney Harbour), on the coast of the state of New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

.

History of Sydney Cove


Sydney Cove was named after the British Home Secretary
Home Secretary
The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the Home Office of the United Kingdom, and one of the country's four Great Offices of State...

, Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney
Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney
Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney PC , was a British politician who held several important Cabinet posts in the second half of the 18th century...

. It was the site chosen by Captain Arthur Phillip
Arthur Phillip
Admiral Arthur Phillip RN was a British admiral and colonial administrator. Phillip was appointed Governor of New South Wales, the first European colony on the Australian continent, and was the founder of the settlement which is now the city of Sydney.-Early life and naval career:Arthur Phillip...

 between 21 and 23 January 1788 for the British penal settlement which is now the city of Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, and where possession of New South Wales was formally declared on 26 January (now commemorated as Australia Day
Australia Day
Australia Day is the official national day of Australia...

).
Today, the exact site where the flag was planted is not apparent, as in its place is Circular Quay and Buildings of Sydney CBD.
Phillip's instructions were to establish the settlement at Botany Bay
Botany Bay
Botany Bay is a bay in Sydney, New South Wales, a few kilometres south of the Sydney central business district. The Cooks River and the Georges River are the two major tributaries that flow into the bay...

, a large bay (further south of Sydney Cove) down the coast. Botany Bay had been discovered by Lieutenant James Cook
James Cook
Captain James Cook, FRS, RN was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer who ultimately rose to the rank of captain in the Royal Navy...

 during his voyage of discovery in 1770, and was recommended by the eminent botanist Sir Joseph Banks
Joseph Banks
Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, GCB, PRS was an English naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences. He took part in Captain James Cook's first great voyage . Banks is credited with the introduction to the Western world of eucalyptus, acacia, mimosa and the genus named after him,...

, who had accompanied Cook, as a suitable site for a settlement. But Phillip discovered that Botany Bay offered neither a secure anchorage nor a reliable source of fresh water. Sydney Cove offered both of these, being serviced by a fresh water creek which was soon to be known as Tank Stream
Tank Stream
The Tank Stream is a fresh water course which empties into Sydney Cove in New South Wales, Australia. Today it is little more than a storm water drain, but originally it was the fresh water supply for the fledgling colony of New South Wales in the late 18th century...

.

Today the Tank Stream is encased in a concrete drain beneath the streets of the central business district and all native bushland has been cleared. The head of the cove is occupied by the Circular Quay ferry terminal. On Bennelong Point at the northern end of the eastern shore of the cove stands the Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in the Australian city of Sydney. It was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, finally opening in 1973 after a long gestation starting with his competition-winning design in 1957...

. On the western shore is the historic district known as The Rocks
The Rocks, New South Wales
The Rocks is an urban locality, tourist precinct and historic area of Sydney's city centre, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, immediately north-west of the Sydney central business district...

.

Sydney Cove Medallion


A sample of the dark grey clay of Sydney Cove was collected by Governor Phillip and given to Sir Joseph Banks
Joseph Banks
Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, GCB, PRS was an English naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences. He took part in Captain James Cook's first great voyage . Banks is credited with the introduction to the Western world of eucalyptus, acacia, mimosa and the genus named after him,...

, who gave it to the great pottery maker Josiah Wedgwood
Josiah Wedgwood
Josiah Wedgwood was an English potter, founder of the Wedgwood company, credited with the industrialization of the manufacture of pottery. A prominent abolitionist, Wedgwood is remembered for his "Am I Not A Man And A Brother?" anti-slavery medallion. He was a member of the Darwin–Wedgwood family...

to test for suitability for making pottery. Wedgewood found it excellent, and made a commemorative medal which became known as the Sydney Cove Medallion.

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