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Location: Southern edge of the city on Sydney Harbour
Circular Quay is the hub of Sydney Harbour and is the centre spot for the start of any tourist tour. This is the place where most of Sydney's ferries arrive and depart. It is also historically known as the site where the First Fleet settlement first arrived here to pitched up their tents. Close to the quay is a plaque marking the place where the British flag was hoisted on the 26 January 1788.
The "Warrangs", a local Aborigine tribe had known for years that the cove was filled with an ample supply of fresh water and fish. When the First Fleet arrived, they found a stream of fresh water west of the cove and named it Tank stream. Unfortunately maintaining a constant supply of drinkable water did not came without difficulties. High tide would see the entire area under water and was only passable by a single bridge.
The problem of flooding and constant mud became more serious as the town's population grew. The land was reclaimed soon after 1841 and construction of the buildings on Cockatoo Island soon began. From the wharves here, you can catch ferries to Manly, Taronga Zoo, Hunter's Hill and Balmain.
The quay began life as 'Semi Circular Quay' and was not promoted to 'Circular Quay' until extensions were carried out in 1854. With increased commercial trading business and passengers using the ferry system, much of the trading vessels were later moved to other moorings.
TIP: If you are thinking of visiting the quay in the evening, be sure to bring along warm clothing as the breeze from the sea may be biting. Restaurants along the quay may cost a little more than average since it is a top tourist spot but there are other stores located not far that offers good food at a fair price.
Watch out for street performances.
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