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The colony was not founded on the principles of freedom and prosperity.Maps from this time show no prison buildings; the punishment for convicts was transportation rather than incarceration, but serious offences were penalised by flogging and hanging.Its natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, and the Royal Botanic Garden.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.The official proclamation and naming of the colony happened on 7 February 1788.Lieutenant William Dawes produced a town plan in 1790 but it was ignored by the colony's leaders.Lieutenant James Cook first landed at Kurnell in 1770, when navigating his way up the east coast of Australia on his ship, HMS Endeavour.It was not until 1788 when the First Fleet, which contained convicts and was led by Captain Arthur Phillip, arrived in Botany Bay to found Sydney as a penal colony, the first European settlement in Australia.

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The colony was at first to be titled "New Albion", after Albion in Great Britain, but Phillip decided on "Sydney".

Sydney's layout today reflects this lack of planning.

Between 17 about 4,300 convicts were landed at Sydney.

Britain—before that, England—and Ireland had for a long time been sending their convicts across the Atlantic to the American colonies.

That trade was ended with the Declaration of Independence by the United States in 1776.

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