Not long after the arrival of the First Fleet, there were quickly attempts made at growing traditional European crops, but due to the poor soil in the surrounds of the new settlement, there was little success. Farming efforts were made further out, such as in Parramatta, about 20 kms. due west of the city center.
Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1816 created the Royal Botanic Garden where the old farm had failed, around Farm Cove. Made into a park reserve and also as a place to continue researching farming and the flora in Australia, the RBG is still there today for your enjoyment.
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Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair and the point is a good place for views of Sydney Opera House, the bridge and the harbour. Not far away from here is Fort Denison, a small island that occupied a strategic position in the approach to old Sydney Town.
This island, initially called ’Pinchgut Island’, named as place of punishment for infractions committed by the convicts after arrival. Allowed only bread and water, they were there to reflect on their crimes, out in the elements. Later in 1796 a gibbet was built there.
A fort was later built on the island for the defense of Sydney, finally completed in 1857, part of a network of defensive positions around the harbour.
The Martello tower in the fort is remarkable, it has walls up to 6.7 metres thick. Its guns were never fired in anger, three of them are still inside the walls as they were too large to be removed once the tower was completed.
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Main Photo: The Sydney Opera House, Farm Cove and the Royal Botanic Garden - Click to Zoom Out © www.sydney-australia.biz
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