A Timeline of Sydney

By Tim Lambert

26 January 1788 The first colonists come ashore at Port Jackson

17 February 1788 Thomas Barrett is the first person to be hanged in Australia

1790 A second fleet arrives

1791 A third fleet arrives

1793 The first free settlers arrive. The first church is built in Sydney.

1794 The first theatre is built in Sydney

1804 A stone bridge is built over the Tank Stream

1807 The first wool is exported from Australia to England

1808 The Rum Rebellion takes place

1809 A post office opens in Lower George Street

1815-1816 Cadman’s Cottage is built

1816 The Botanic Garden begins

1819 Hyde Park Barracks is built

1824 St James Church is built

1827 The Australian Museum is founded

1830 Hackney carriages begin to run in the streets of Sydney

1831 A newspaper called the Sydney Herald begins publication

1842 Sydney is incorporated

1845 Government House is built

1850 Sydney University is founded

1855-57 Fort Denison is built to protect Sydney

1858 Sydney Observatory is built

1861 The population of Sydney is 56,000. Horse drawn trams begin running in the streets.

1868 St Andrews Cathedral is consecrated

1881 The population of Sydney is 221,000

1885 Customs House is built

1888 Centennial Park is laid out

1892 Strand Arcade opens

1898 The Queen Victoria building is erected

1900 Bubonic plague kills 103 people in Sydney

1901 The population of Sydney is 481,000

1905 St Mary’s Cathedral is consecrated

1916 Taronga Zoo opens

1920 Sydney Airport is founded

1923 The first radio station in Sydney begins broadcasting

1932 Sydney Harbour Bridge opens. Archibald Fountain is erected in Hyde Park.

1934 The Anzac War Memorial is built

1942 Three Japanese midget submarines enter Sydney Harbour

1954 The population of Sydney is 1.8 million

1961 Trams in Sydney stop running

1973 Sydney Opera House opens

1976 Strand Arcade is badly damaged by a fire

1981 Sydney Tower is built

1988 Powerhouse Museum opens. The Chinese Garden of Friendship opens.

1991 On 21 January Northern Sydney is badly damaged by a storm

1992 Sydney Jewish Museum opens. Sydney Harbour Tunnel is built.

1994 Governor Phillip and Governor Macquarie Towers open.

1995 The Museum of Sydney opens

1996 The Anzac Bridge opens

2000 The Olympic Games are held in Sydney

2005 Rocks Discovery Museum opens

2007 Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre opens. Sydney Opera House is made a World Heritage Site.