The area to the south of Sydney was rejected in 1788 as the site of the colony of NSW in favour of Sydney Cove by Sydney s first governor, Arthur Phillip. A century later, the growing Sydney metropolitan area had reached the shores of Botany Bay where James Cook and botanist Sir Joseph Banks had landed in 1770 and sent back glowing reports of its suitability as a site for a new British colony. By its bincentennial, Sydney had further grown beyond Botany Bay to incorporate the shores of the Georges River and Port Hacking within its boundaries.
Situated on the southern fringe of inner Sydney, Newtown and Redfern were once remote farming areas. Over the years they developed their unique character, flavoured by a rich cultural heritage and the students of the University of Sydney. At nearby Alexandria, industry has made its mark on the urban landscape. To its south, on the opposite shore of Botany Bay to which James Cook came, is Sydney Airport, the busiest international gateway in Australia.
Around the shores of Botany Bay, the Georges River, Port Hacking and beyond are extensive residential areas where once existed market gardens which provided the vegetables for the tables of Sydney. Many of the suburbs that replaced them enjoy picturesque waterfront and bushside settings. Beyond these suburbs, and forming a natural southern boundary to City, is Royal National Park, which abounds in natural flora and fauna. It contains remnants of the now vanished local Aboriginal culture and some of the most dramatic coastal scenery one could wish to see.