About seventy years ago a small colony of convicts first made the
forests ring with the blows of the axe, and a few tents were erected
where Sydney now stands. The tents, and they who dwelt beneath them,
have long since disappeared, and instead we have one of the finest
cities that our colonial empire ever produced.
The streets in Sydney are, as in Melbourne, built at right angles
with one another; they are macadamized, well lighted with gas, and
perambulated by a number of policemen during the night. Some of
the shops almost rival those of London, and the public buildings are
good and numerous. There is a custom-house, a treasury, police-office,
college, benevolent asylum, banks, barracks, hospitals, libraries,
churches, chapels, a synagogue, museum, club-house, theatre, and many
splendid hotels, of which the largest is, I think the "Royal Hotel," in
George Street, built at the cost of 30,000 pounds.
Hyde Park is close at hand, with un-numbered public walks, and a
botanical garden, the favourite resort of all classes.
In the neighbourhood of Sydney are some good oyster-beds, and many are
the picnics got up for the purpose of visiting them. The oysters cling
to the rocks, and great numbers are easily obtained.
The distance from Sydney to Melbourne, by the overland road, is about
six hundred miles; but the steamers, which are constantly plying,
afford a more comfortable mode of transit.
The gold diggings of New South Wales are so well known as to
require but a cursory notice.