The Tank Stream Tours
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Captain Arthur Phillip chose Circular Quay as the birthplace of the new colony, in part because of this freshwater stream running right into the harbour from a swamp at the western end of Hyde Park. Having supplied fresh water and fish to the original Gadigal People for tens of thousands of years, it would serve as the main fresh water supply for the first 40 years of Sydney’s European life.
But by the early 1800s its waters were so polluted that the colonists had stopped drinking from them, and in time it became a sewer, still emptying into the harbour. As the burgeoning city grew up around the stream, it was covered over with sandstone blocks. Today the Tank Stream lies underground, a stormwater channel managed by Sydney Water.
In partnership with Sydney Water.