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The earliest Europeans to visit the area noted that the indigenous people were conducting activities such as camping and fishing, using trees for bark and food, collecting shells, and cooking fish.
Britain—before that, England—and Ireland had for a long time been sending their convicts across the Atlantic to the American colonies.
Man-made attractions such as Sydney Tower, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Sydney Opera House (which became a World Heritage Site in 2007 The first people to inhabit the area now known as Sydney were indigenous Australians having migrated from northern Australia and before that from southeast Asia.
Radiocarbon dating suggests human activity first started to occur in the Sydney area from around 30,735 years ago.
However, numerous Aboriginal stone tools were found in Western Sydney's gravel sediments that were dated from 45,000 to 50,000 years BP, which would indicate that there was human settlement in Sydney earlier than thought.
Prior to the arrival of the British there were 4,000 to 8,000 native people in Sydney from as many as 29 different clans.
The municipal council of Sydney was incorporated in 1842 and became Australia's first city.
Its natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, and the Royal Botanic Garden.
Conditions in the colony were not conducive to the development of a thriving new metropolis, but the more regular arrival of ships and the beginnings of maritime trade (such as wool) helped to lessen the burden of isolation.
Roads, bridges, wharves, and public buildings were constructed using convict labour and by 1822 the town had banks, markets, and well-established thoroughfares.
The Great Depression of the 1930s had a severe effect on Sydney's economy, as it did with most cities throughout the industrial world.