Sydney GPO

The Sydney General Post Office Building sits in a commanding position on the corner of Martin Place and George Street in the heart of the Sydney CBD. It is one of Sydney’s most iconic sandstone buildings and was the primary hub of information in and out of the city for more than a century.

The placement of the GPO building has been a key influence and driver for the design and development of the surrounding area. The choice to create the dominant facade of the GPO along what was at one point a mere 3-metre wide laneway was one of the key reference points in transforming Martin Place into the wide pedestrian boulevard it is today, over many decades.

The main building, designed in the Italian Renaissance Palazzo Style, was constructed in two stages starting in 1866. The first stage, along George Street, opened to the public in 1874, whilst the second stage, along Pitt Street, opened in 1887. The two sections came together with the Clock Tower in the middle, completing the grand facade along current-day Martin Place.

Directly underneath the Clock Tower is Sydney’s Tank Stream, the primary source of fresh water in the early days of settlement. Originally a naturally occurring creek, it was eventually turned into a tunnel that runs from Circular Quay in a line roughly parallel to George Street. There was a concern when the Clock Tower was first constructed that the tower and bells would be too heavy to sit atop Tank Stream. The pipe of the Tank Stream is visible today under the basement level of the building.

The GPO was foundational in the establishment of not only Sydney’s primary postal service but in establishing some of the earliest banking services and telephone exchanges in NSW as well.

Whilst there is still an operational post office on the George Street side of the building, Australia Post largely vacated the site of its primary use in 1996. Since that time the building has been incorporated into the adjoining hotel, initially the Westin Hotel and more recently known as The Fullerton Hotel, along with a range of small shops, galleries and hospitality venues.

Sydney GPO




1 Martin Place, Sydney NSW


Best transport options include Wynyard (Buses, Trains and Light Rail), and Martin Place Station (Trains).

Good to know

The Fullerton Hotel run free heritage tours of the GPO Building every week for both guests and the general public. Book online via their website.


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Michael Harris