The Centre Of Everything: Sydney’s Circular Quay

Circular Quay is the central hub of Sydney Harbour and is the starting point for numerous attractions in the area. It’s located in Sydney Cove, a small, picturesque inlet, which was actually the founding site of Sydney and Australia as a whole.

With such an exciting collection of attractions within its clutches, the Circular Quay is often a hive of activity, bursting with vibrant scenes of locals and tourists alike, especially when the sun is shining. A regularly rotating schedule of ferries leaves every few minutes, connecting up other parts of the harbour, including popular spots like Manly, Watsons Bay, and Taronga Park Zoo. The Quay also provides exceptional views of the Harbour Bridge which languishes nearby.

The Circular Quay is also home to the Sydney Opera House, and there’s a walkway that joins the two together, as well as the Royal Botanical Gardens. To the north of the Quay, you can take a stroll along lush, landscaped pathways to The Rocks, which form one of the oldest parts of the city.

Because of its location at the end of the central business district and on the edge of the historic part of the city, there is a unique mix of old and new architecture, shops, restaurants, and sights. It is well worth taking the time to grab a cup of coffee in one of the numerous cosy outdoor cafes that line the Quay and watch life unfold around you. Circular Quay – Family Walking

The History of Circular Quay

As well as an exciting collection of attractions, Circular Quay also has a fascinating history. Sydney Cove, where the Quay is situated, was the initial landing spot back in 1788, and is considered to be the founding spot of Australia by the western world.

The Quay quickly became an important hub for shipping and, over time, became the go to place for transport, leisure, and recreational activities. Back then it was known as Semi-Circular Quay to reflect its true shape, but its name has since been shortened for ease and convenience.

During its time as a favourite transport hub, the Quay acted as a focal point for many of the electric tram services that weaved throughout Sydney, connecting up the east and west parts of the city. But before that, the Circular Quay was accessed by a horse-drawn tram service which ran from the old Sydney Railway station along to Pitt Street during the mid-19th Century.

Come and experience Circular Quay on our Sydney City Tour!