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In 1928, customs officials deemed DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover blasphemous, indecent and obscene. So they banned it.

Coffee Customs

The scarcity of coffee in the new colony led to experiments in roasting local seeds.

Drinking Customs

“The frequent state of inebriation of the colony threatens the destruction of health and the ruin of industry!” Governor Hunter

Early trade

First Fleet convicts would steal anything in exchange for rum and tobacco – including a possum.

No place for a lady

When Mary Hughes first applied for a customs agent’s licence in 1926, she was told the wharves were no place for a lady.

Queen Gooseberry

Cora Gooseberry and her son Bowen Bungaree were often seen at Circular Quay in the 1800s selling fish and oysters and demonstrating how to throw boomerangs.

Smuggling: the tricks of the trade

During the dead of night, customs officers paced the wharves searching for swindlers smuggling banned products into Sydney.

Woollen yarns

For 150 years, Sydney was the undisputed wool capital of the world.