Port Jackson, Sydney

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Port Jackson, containing Sydney Harbour, is the natural harbour of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The harbour is an inlet of the Tasman Sea. Widely considered to be one of the world's finest harbours, it is known for its beauty, and in particular, as the location of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge which connects central Sydney with the Northern Suburbs region extended metropolitan area.

Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia
Port Jackson, Australia

The location of the first European settlement in Australia, the harbour has continued to play a key role in the history and development of Sydney. The city itself lies on the southern shore. The Parramatta River forms the harbour's western arm. Many recreational events are based on or around the harbour itself particularly the Sydney New Year's Eve celebrations and the starting point of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia
Port Jackson, Australia

Geologically, Port Jackson is a drowned river valley, or ria. It is 19 km long with an area of 55 km². The estuary's volume at high tide is 562 million cubic metres. The perimeter of the estuary is 317 kilometres. According to the Geographical Names Board of New South Wales, Port Jackson is "a harbour which comprises all the waters within an imaginary line joining North Head and South Head. Within this harbour lies North Harbour, Middle Harbour and Sydney Harbour."

Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia
Port Jackson, Australia

These three harbours extend from the single entrance (known as Sydney Heads (North and South Heads). North Harbour is the shortest, and is really just a large bay extending to Manly. Middle Harbour extends to the north-west. It is bridged at The Spit and Roseville. Its headwaters lie in Garigal National Park. The longest arm, Sydney Harbour, extends west as far as Balmain, where it is fed by the estuaries of the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers.

Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia
Port Jackson, Australia

Port Jackson is bridged by the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the ANZAC Bridge (formerly known as the Glebe Island Bridge). A tunnel, the Sydney Harbour Tunnel passes underneath the Harbour, to the east of the bridge, and in 2005 it was proposed that a third harbour crossing, this time a railway line, be constructed to the west of the bridge. The harbour is heavily embayed. The bays on the south side tend to be wide and rounded, whereas those on the north side are generally narrow inlets.

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