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Sydney Tower Eye
Level 5, Westfield Sydney
Corner of Pitt St and Market St
Sydney, NSW 2000

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We are open as a proudly COVID-safe venue Thursday to Monday every week during school terms.
10am - 8pm (Last entry 7pm)
Sydney Tower Eye

How Sydney Got its Name

The stories behind Sydney

10 Apr 2019 16:05:39

How Sydney Got its Name

As Shakespeare famously wrote – ‘What’s in a Name?’ Once you fall for this Harbour city, you’ll want to know more than where to get the best breakfast or which beach boasts the best waves. To uncover the heart of a city, you have to scratch the surface; find out about its history and the people and events that have shaped it. Here’s a little story about Sydney.


Sydney After Sydney

In 1788, when Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet dropped anchor in Botany Bay, he went on a search for some freshwater creeks and streams. Discovering a little creek running silently to a sheltered cove near Port Jackson, Phillip moved the fleet there. Then, on January 26, a group of convicts and seafarers cleared some land at the cove. At first, Phillip wanted to name the settlement ‘Albion,’ an elegant name for his Motherland. But instead, he deemed the bay ‘Sydney Cove,’ after Lord Sydney, aka Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney and Secretary State for the Home Office. Although a distinguished politician, Lord Sydney never visited Australia; he’s credited with the plan to settle convicts at Botany Bay.


Introducing Our City Icons

When it comes to distinctive sights, Sydney has more than its fair share. No visit is complete without seeing these beauty-spots; they’re great starting spots to unlock the character of this city.


The Bridge

You can’t miss the largest steel arch bridge in the world. This beauty, affectionately known by Sydneysiders as the ‘Coathanger,’ connects the city’s north and south. It’s a spectacular span that rises to 134 metres above the water at its highest point, with the arch spanning 503 metres.


The Rocks

This is where Old Sydney Town shines through. Check out The Argyle Cut where convicts carved their way through the sandstone with nothing but hammer and chisel. Don’t miss Cadman’s Cottage – one of the country’s oldest structures, and make sure you stop to sample some Australian craft beers.


Luna Park

That Art Deco amusement park with the big smiling face is the shrieking-soul of Sydney. For over 80 years, it’s been an outdoor theatre for thrill seekers, featuring all the carnival favourites. Nostalgia on-tap, this heritage-listed spot is where Sydneysiders go for fun, from tiny tykes to adults alike.


The Opera House

Think Sydney, and no doubt, you’ll summon the image of these stunning tiled sails. This World Heritage site is home to a host of cultural performances, from ballet and opera to theatre and dance. Uncover the stories and history of architect Jørn Utzon’s sculptural masterpiece.


See it From the Sky at Sydney Tower Eye

250 metres above city life, you’ll see a different side of Sydney. From the Observation Deck of the Sydney Tower Eye, get a 360-degree snapshot of the city to kindle your curiosity, and inspire you. While you’re up where the locals call ‘Centrepoint,’ try and spot the four incredible icons described above. As the last place in the city to see final dusk, you can watch the sunset, and the city lights come to life.


Sydney is a blend of past and present. Hearing stories from its history helps us get to know the city beyond its contemporary sights and sounds; there’s a story behind every person and every place here – go and discover them.


Full Price


  • You are required to book a date & timeslot before your visit
  • View 360 views of Sydney & visit our observation deck
  • Price includes a Digi Photo Pass giving you unlimited digital photos – valued at $26!