Have you ever thought - 'Where do they start measuring all the road distances from Sydney?' Located on the corner of Bridge and Loftus streets, not far from Circular Quay, Macquarie Place is a small triangular park that you might flash through without realising its significance.
Along with Hyde Park, it is Sydney's oldest park dating from 1810. In the early days of the colony, it was surrounded by convict Sydney's most important buildings, including the Governor's residence and Government Stores building.
In 1818, an obelisk was erected on the orders of Governor Lachlan Macquarie which marked the distances to early towns of the colony such as Parramatta, Liverpool and Windsor. It remains today as Australia's oldest public monument. Despite its prominent location in the CBD, it has survived remarkably well and is still in fine condition, built from Sydney sandstone and designed by Francis Greenway, the colonies architect.
The park, now greatly reduced in size since the building of Circular Quay, contains others interesting memorabilia of Sydney's past including a 1870s drinking fountain, a men's lavatory dating from 1907 and a cannon and anchor salvaged from the 1790s wreck of HMS Sirius.