The Rocks, Sydney
Immediately after the landing in 1788 the first white settlement was built on the tongue of land projecting into Port Jackson from which the Harbour Bridge now spans the harbor. The name of the Rocks no doubt comes from the rocky coast on the west side of Sydney Cove, where the first tents for the convicts were pitched. Cadman's Cottage (Historic Site) is Sydney's oldest surviving house, once occupied by John Cadman, a convict who later earned his living as a coxswain.
On Argyle Street, which runs at right angles to George Street, are the Rocks Police Station (1879), the Orient Hotel (1844) and the Argyle Centre, with new shops modeled on old ones. The Argyle Cut is a tunnel through the rock (constructed 1845-59) linking Sydney Cove with Millers Point (Explorer Bus stop). In this area are some well-preserved 19th c. houses and the Garrison Church of 1844. On the south side of Argyle Place is Observatory Hill, with the Observatory (1858) and the National Trust Centre (built in 1815 as a military hospital). In Kent Street (corner of Argyle Street) is the Lord Nelson Hotel (1834).
Argyle Place, a stretch of gardens within the city center, was so named by Governor Macquarie in 1810 after his home area of Argyll in Scotland. The surrounding houses, built around 1830 and later, are typical of the period. There are also some Victorian terraced houses dating from the end of the 19th C. In Lower Fort Street, opposite the Garrison Church, are well-restored detached and terraced houses in a mixture of colonial, Georgian and Regency styles, of a kind that may be seen in 19th C streets in London. At the corner of Lower Fort Street is the Hero of Waterloo Hotel (1845), with a pointed gable.
At the northern tip of the promontory on the west side of Sydney Cove is Dawes Point, now a small garden in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge, with good view of the Opera House and Circular Quay. In 1788 William Dawes, a naval officer who was also an astronomer, built an observatory here and a battery protected by earth ramparts. A later stone-built fort was destroyed during the construction of the piers for the Harbour Bridge. The cannon of 1843 and 1844 at the foot of the southeast pier mark the site of Dawes's battery.The curving bay between Dawes Point and Millers Point, to the west of the Harbour Bridge, was an anchorage for whalers and sailing ships between 1790 and 1840. After the outbreak of plague around 1900 all the landing stages were rebuilt. In 1912 the first Ocean Passenger Terminal was built, and thereafter hundreds of thousands of immigrants entered Australia here. The terminal was closed down in 1963 and Pier 1 became the site of a shopping, entertainment and restaurant complex, while the buildings on Piers 4 and 5 were converted into a theatre.