Dawes Point and Tar-Ra Park

Dawes Point

Views across the harbour from Dawes Point

If you are in The Rocks area of Sydney then make sure to make a trip to Dawes Point. The area is also known as Tar-Ra as this is what Aboriginal people call it.

Dawes Point is the area under the southern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is adjacent to The Rocks.

The area is only small but there’s a few really interesting things to do here. Here’s our top 5 things to do in Dawes Point.

1. See the Dawes Point Battery remains

Dawes Point Gun Battery

Visitors can climb onto the historic cannon

With its great vantage points Dawes Point was the site of Australia’s first fortified position.

Francis Greenway was responsible for the design and construction of the battery in 1819. Five cannons were installed in the 1850s and these are all that remain today. Visitors can see and touch the cannons and you can even get up on one and take aim if you dare.

2. Visit the site of Sydney’s first Observatory

Dawes Point Observatory

An observatory was the first building to be built at Dawes Point. It was constructed in early 1788 by Lieutenant William Dawes. Visitors can visit the site of the observatory and wander around its remains.

Onsite you will also find the remains of Former Officer Quarters.

3. Learn about the history of the area

Dawes Point History

Learn about the history of Dawes Point

Dawes Point is one of the first places where the contact between Aboriginal and European people was recorded. Rich in history both pre-1788 and post, visitors will enjoy the informative historical display.

4. Marvel at the under carriage of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Dawes Point Sydney Harbour Bridge

You can never get enough of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

It’s fair to say that most of us can’t get tired of seeing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Enjoy some time here marveling at the bridge and the majesty of its construction.

5. Enjoy the views

Dawes Point Sydney Opera House

Even on a moody Sydney day the sweeping views across the harbour are one of the best things you can do in Dawes Point. So take some time to just simply enjoy the view.

Freedays summary

  • Entry: Free
  • Toilets: No
  • Wheelchair friendly: Yes (in some areas)
  • Free carparking: No
  • Free BBQ facilities: No
  • Time to spend here: 1 hour
  • Food available: No
  • Address: Hickson Road, The Rocks NSW 2000
  • Further details: Visit Dawes Point directory listing


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