Tank Stream Fountain
Public Art : Tank Stream Fountain
Sculptor : © Stephen
Date Unveiled : April the 16th, 1981
Description : Where does one start describing this 5
pool fountain. It is full of various Australian wildlife bronze figures, some creepy, some crawly and some
cute, all frolicking in pools of water. Plonked straight in the middle of the busy Herald Square, the fountain
attracts curious glances as the wildlife interacts amongst itself and its bronze landscape. The menagerie of
animals include frogs, snakes, goannas, echidnas, crabs, birds and tortoises.
Donated By: The Tank Steam Fountain was donated to
the City by John Fairfax and Sons LTD in 1981 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the
Sydney Morning Herald. At the time it was the largest private gift ever received by the City of Sydney.
Location : The fountain is located at Herald Square,
Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia. Trust me, you can't miss it!
A stream flows into Sydney Cove the European settlement of Australia begins along its sandstone banks,
soon drought strikes and storage tanks are carved from the stone hence the name Tank Stream
The seasons pass.
The Tank Stream fountain recalls mankinds dependence on this flowing stream and our links with life
around this region.
Sculptor : Stephen Walker
The Tank Stream Fountain
and the landscaping of the square were donated to the city of SYdney
for the pleasure and enjoyment of citizens and visitors by
John Fairfax & sons limited proprietors of
The Sydney Morning Herald
to commemorate the 150th anniversary
of the first publication of the Sydney
Herald on April 18, 1831
The Right Hon, The Lord Mayor of Sydney
Alderman Douglas W Sutherland A.M.
accepted the gift on behalf of the citizens on April 16th 1981.
John Fairfax Limited
L.P. Carter O.B.E.
History of the Tank Stream : In 1788, when the First
Fleet arrived in Australia, they found Botany Bay unexceptable as a settlement. So Captain Arthur Phillip took
off with a small group of men to find a more suitable location. On their journey they found a fantastic harbour
that lead to a cove. Fortunately a stream of fresh water was discovered flowing into the cove and the settlement of
Sydney was built around that stream. It was also a popular watering hole for the local aboriginals. The
Tank Stream originated from a swamp to the west of present day Hyde Park and emptied into the cove near where
Bridge and Pitt Streets intersect. As the settlement grew, the need for fresh water increased
dramatically, placing great strain on the limited water supply. During a drought in 1790, convicts were forced
to dig three holding tanks along the watercourse. The stream soon became known as the Tank Stream. In 1826 the
whole Tank Stream was abandoned and a new source of water was discovered in Busby's Bore. The Tank Stream was no
more than an open sewer until 1850 when the swamp near Hyde Park was drained .
As a Matter of Fact : Today the Tank Steam still
flows beneath the city as part of the stormwater system.
The Historical House Trust offers a tour of the stream twice a year, these special tours take
visitors underground along a length of the stream hidden under the city. Because of the popularity of the tour, can
you believe, there is a ballot system in place for securing a ticket. You better be quick, click here for more
details on the Tank Stream Tours.
Rumor Has It : It seems that a few people have
been making suggestions around town that the Tank Stream should be brought back from under the city and turned into
a tourist feature for the city (Hmm).