Timeline of Sydney

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


Sydney Cove, Port Jackson, 1792
  • 50,000–45,000 BP – Near Penrith, a far western suburb of Sydney, numerous Aboriginal stone tools were found in Cranebrook Terraces gravel sediments dating to this time period; at first when these results were new they were controversial. More recently in 1987 and 2003, dating of the same strata has revised and corroborated these dates.[1]
  • 30,000 BP – Radiocarbon dating suggests human activity occurred in and around the Sydney basin, as evidenced by an archaeological dig in Parramatta, in Western Sydney.[2][3] The finds show that the Aboriginal Australians in that region used charcoal, stone tools and possible ancient campfires.[4][5]
  • 21,100–17,800 BP – Stone artifact assemblages dating to this time period discovered in Shaws Creek (near Hawkesbury River) and in Blue Mountains. A rock shelter with flakes dating to this period discovered near Nepean River.[6]
  • 5,000–7000 BP – The Sydney rock engravings, a form of Australian Aboriginal rock art consisting of carefully drawn images of people, animals, or symbols, date to this time period.[7]
  • 4,000–2,000 BC – The first backed stone artifacts developed, such as blades and spears. The stones would drill, scrape, cut and grind material. They were also associated with woodworking.[8]
  • 1,000–500 BC – Bone and shell usage dating to this period discovered. They would've been attached to fishing spear prongs, which would mean that multi-pronged fishing spears occurred at this time. The evidence of spear-throwing is suggested by an excavated shell in Balmoral Beach.[9]

18th–19th centuries

Government House, 1819

20th century


King Street, circa 1900


Aerial view of Sydney, 1932
Martin Place in 1939, prior to pedestrianisation.


Sydney hosts the 2000 Summer Olympics.

21st century



A Sydney Metro train

See also


  1. Attenbrow, Val (2010). Sydney's Aboriginal Past: Investigating the Archaeological and Historical Records. Sydney: UNSW Press. pp. 152–153. ISBN 978-1-74223-116-7. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  2. Geoffrey Blainey; A Very Short History of the World; Penguin Books; 2004; ISBN 978-0-14-300559-9
  3. Blainey, Geoffrey (2004). A Very Short History of the World. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-300559-9.
  4. Macey, Richard (2007). "Settlers' history rewritten: go back 30,000 years". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  5. Mulvaney, D J and White, Peter, 1987, Australians to 1788, Fairfax, Syme & Weldon, Sydney
  6. V Attenbrow, G Robertson and P Hiscock, 'The changing abundance of backed artefacts in south-eastern Australia: a response to climate change?', Journal of Archaeological Science, vol 36, no 2009, pp 2765–70
  7. McDonald, J. 1999. Bedrock notions and isochrestic choice: evidence for localised stylistic patterning in the engravings of the Sydney region. Archaeology in Oceania 34(3): 145–160.
  8. P Hiscock, Archaeology of Ancient Australia, Routledge, New York, 2008
  9. J McDonald, Dreamtime Superhighway. An Analysis of Sydney Basin Rock Art and Prehistoric Information Exchange, Terra Australis 27, ANU EPress, Canberra, 2008
  10. "Australia Profile: Timeline". BBC News. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  11. Collins, D., An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 1, Cadell and Davies, London, 1798.
  12. Willey, K., When the sky fell down : the destruction of the tribes of the Sydney region, 1788-1850s, Collins, Sydney, 1979
  13. Townsend 1867.
  14. "Colonial fort that never was". Sydney Morning Herald. 21 October 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  15. Bain 2007.
  16. Waugh's Australian Almanac. Sydney: Sherriff and Downing. 1863.
  17. "Sydney (N.S.W.) Newspapers". WorldCat. USA: Online Computer Library Center. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  18. Steven Anzovin and Janet Podell, ed. (2000). Famous First Facts. H.W. Wilson Co. ISBN 0824209583.
  19. Heaton 1879.
  20. Britannica 1910.
  21. Old Times 1903.
  22. Reekie 1987.
  23. Golder 1995.
  24. "City Boundaries and Wards, 1842–2004". Historical Atlas of Sydney. City of Sydney Archives. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  25. Leon E. Seltzer, ed. (1952), "Sydney", Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer of the World, New York: Columbia University Press, p. 1856, OL 6112221M
  26. Proudfoot 1986.
  27. Moore's Australian Almanac. Sydney: J.J. Moore. 1878.
  28. Yearbook 1891.
  29. Haydn 1910.
  30. "Australian Trade Union Archives". Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  31. Annual Report 1903.
  32. Sydney University Museums. "Commercial Photographers". Collections. University of Sydney. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  33. Annual Report 1904.
  34. Board of Studies. "Australian 20th Century Timeline". Teaching Heritage. New South Wales Government. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  35. Rod Kirkpatrick (2012). "Press Timeline". Australian Newspaper Plan. National Library of Australia.
  36. Exchange 2011.
  37. "Australia, 1900 A.D.–present: Key Events". Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  38. "Movie Theaters in Sydney, New South Wales". CinemaTreasures.org. Los Angeles: Cinema Treasures LLC. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  39. "Our History". Paddington Society. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  40. "San Francisco Sister Cities". USA: City & County of San Francisco. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  41. Punter 2004.
  42. "Organizations". International Relations and Security Network. Switzerland: Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  43. "Local history groups". City of Sydney. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  44. "Australia". Art Spaces Directory. New York: New Museum. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  45. "City of Sydney Historical Association". Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  46. "Population of Capital Cities and Cities of 100,000 or More Inhabitants". Demographic Yearbook 2012. United Nations Statistics Division. 2013.
  47. "Sydney population hits 5 million". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.


Published in the 19th century

Published in the 20th century

Published in the 21st century

  • Sydney: the Emergence of a World City. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • P. Spearritt. (2000), Sydney's Century: a History. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.
  • Sydney, Condensed Guides, Lonely Planet, 2000, OL 8647599M
  • "Sydney: On Top of the World Down Under", National Geographic Magazine, USA, 198, 2000
  • Ken Bernstein (2003), "Sydney", Pocket Guide Australia, Berlitz, OL 9196697M
  • "Sydney". Understanding Slums: Case Studies for the Global Report 2003. United Nations Human Settlements Programme and University College London. 2003.
  • John Punter (2004). "From the Ill-Mannered to the Iconic: Design Regulation in Central Sydney 1947–2002". Town Planning Review. 75 (4): 405–445. doi:10.3828/tpr.75.4.3. JSTOR 40112621.
  • Jim Bain (2007). A Financial Tale of Two Cities: Sydney and Melbourne's Remarkable Contest for Commercial Supremacy. UNSW Press. ISBN 978-0-86840-963-4.
  • History Program (2011). "Exchange: Commercial & Retail Sydney". Historical Walking Tours. City of Sydney.