Unlock the secrets of Customs House
In 1928, customs officials deemed DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover blasphemous, indecent and obscene. So they banned it.
The scarcity of coffee in the new colony led to experiments in roasting local seeds.
“The frequent state of inebriation of the colony threatens the destruction of health and the ruin of industry!” Governor Hunter
First Fleet convicts would steal anything in exchange for rum and tobacco – including a possum.
When Mary Hughes first applied for a customs agent’s licence in 1926, she was told the wharves were no place for a lady.
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.
During the dead of night, customs officers paced the wharves searching for swindlers smuggling banned products into Sydney.
For 150 years, Sydney was the undisputed wool capital of the world.