The 28,717gt Asuka of NYK arriving at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in February 2005. She was built in 1991 by Mitsubishi at Nagasaki. In 2006 she joined Phoenix Reisen as Amadea. (Nigel Lawrence )

The Port of Sydney Harbour (NSW) is administered by the Port Authority of New South Wales, along with Port of Eden and Port of Yamba. N.S.W. Ports manages the ports of Port Botany and Port Kembla on a 99 year lease agreement that began in 2013, and the Port of Newcastle manages Newcastle port on a 98 year lease agreement that began in 2014. The most famous of these six ports is Sydney Harbour with Circular Quay for cruise ships in the Outer Harbour, and several general cargo, and tanker cargoes handled in the Upper Harbour. Sydney grew from a small nucleus around the harbour with continuous waves of immigration during the 20th century, including British, Greeks, Italians, Yugoslavians, Pacific Islanders, Filipinos, Indonesians, Japanese, Arabs and Asian peoples into a cosmopolitan city with a dominant English-speaking population. Some 40% of all of the citizens of Sydney were born overseas and have come together into a working melting port of humanity.

Port Botany to the south of Sydney Harbour has a large container terminal, and handles 1,600 ships per year carrying over 2.5 million TEU of containers for import and export to the large Sydney and Port Botany area. The port also specialises in petroleum products, lpg and natural gas. The Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) is based in Port Botany to monitor ship movements and provide navigational assistance to Masters of ships across the Sydney and Port Botany sea area and beyond this area to the south.


Above: One of the early P&O Australia’s cruise ships was the 46,087gt Pacific Sky seen here leaving Sydney in December 2002. She was built in 1984 by Nord Mediterranee at La Seyne as the Fairsky for Sitmar. In 1988 she joined Princess Cruises as Fair Princess before becoming Pacific Sky in 2000. In 2006 she moved to Pullmantur as Sky Wonder and in 2009 she was renamed Atlantic Star. On 4th October 2013 she arrived at Aliaga, under the name Antic, to be broken up by Izmir GGD. (Nigel Lawrence)


The Aborigine Cadigal peoples inhabited the Sydney Cove and Harbour area for thirty thousand years. Rock carvings, engravings and art are still visible in the Hawkesbury sandstone of the area, but their settlements have been destroyed by the urban construction of Sydney with a population of 4.1 million in 2006, and currently over 6.0 million call Sydney home in 2023.

In 1770, Capt. James Cook landed at nearby Botany Bay, and made an initial contact with the Aborigine people. In early 1788, Capt. Arthur Phillip arrived at Botany Bay with a fleet of eleven ships and some 1,500 people to establish a convict settlement by order of the British Government. However, he realised that Botany Bay would not support the settlement due to its poor soils and scarce fresh water. He moved the colony north to Sydney Cove on 26th January 1788 at Port Jackson, later renaming the new colony as Sydney after Lord Sydney, the British Home Secretary who had authorised the colony as a penal settlement.


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