Port Jackson | State Library of New South Wales

Port Jackson

The First Fleet was assigned to establish a convict settlement. The sketches, maps and journals reveal some of the major issues faced by the colonists on the other side of the world.

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What was Sydney like in January 1788?

Read from Bowes Smyth's journal and Arthur Phillips' letter


Link to your decision doc

Decide where you would choose to build the settlement. Click to go to the activity then write your article using the newspaper template


William Bradley watercolour entering Harbour 

Entrance of Port Jackson, 27 January 1788 by William Bradley 

map of port jackson 

Click on the map to explore Sydney places and people

Explore More 
  • What are the geographical and resource needs of a new settlement? Clue: think about the natural features and resources of Port Jackson and Sydney Cove. 
  • What crucial problems did the colonists have to face in the early years of the new settlement at Port Jackson? Clue: think about the problems of managing a convict settlement a long way from England. Consider basic resources, the landscape and human factors. 
  • Search for William Bradley's journal on the State Library of NSW catalogue. The watercolours were included with the journal writings.
  • Find the origins of place names in Port Jackson
Click for overview and learning outcomes


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