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Sydney travel guide — Sydney tourism and travel information

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about Sydney

Sydney is the capital city of the Australian state of New South Wales and Australia's largest and oldest city, founded in 1788. With a population exceeding 4 million, the Sydney metropolis is the larger - and arguably the more influential - of the two main financial, transport, trade and cultural centres of Australia (the other being Melbourne, Sydney's long term rival to the title of pre-eminent Australian city). Sydney is a significant global and domestic tourist destination and is regularly declared to be one of the most beautiful and livable cities in the world, admired for its harbour, beaches and cosmopolitan culture. Sydney significantly raised its global profile in recent years as the host city of the 2000 Summer Olympics. The city's name is pronounced "SID-nee" (SAMPA: ["sIdni], IPA: [ˈsɪdni]).

Sydney geography

Sydney is located between the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Blue Mountains to the west. Sydney features the largest natural harbour in the world, and also enjoys over 70 beaches, including the famous Bondi Beach. Greater Sydney has one of the world's largest urban areas, especially for its population. It is almost twice the size of Beijing, and six times the size of Rome or Greater London. A number of national parks are contained within the city's boundaries.

Although Sydney does not suffer from cyclones, and the earthquake risk is considered very low, some areas of Sydney have experienced bushfires, including ones in 1994 and 2002. The city is also subject to infrequent severe hail storms and wind storms (maybe once every 5 to 10 years). The city has also faced occasional water shortages due to drought conditions in the general region.

The central business district (CBD) extends southwards for about 2 km from the point of first European settlement, Sydney Cove. The CBD is an area of very densely concentrated skyscrapers and other buildings, interspersed by several parks such as Wynyard Park and Hyde Park. The CBD is bounded on the east side by a chain of parkland that extends from Hyde Park through the Domain and Royal Botanic Gardens to Farm Cove on Sydney Harbour. The west side is bounded by Darling Harbour, a popular tourist precinct. Central Station marks the southern end of the CBD. George St is the Sydney CBD's main north-south thoroughfare. The streets run on a slightly warped grid pattern in the southern CBD, but in the older northern CBD the streets are less logical, reflecting their random placement in the early days of the city.

Although the CBD dominated the city's business and cultural life in the early days, significant other business/cultural districts have developed since World War II, in a radial pattern. As a result of business development in other districts, the proportion of white-collar jobs located in the CBD declined from more than 60% at the end of World War II to less than 30% in 2004. The four most significant other business districts are Parramatta in the central-west, Liverpool to the southwest, Chatswood to the north and Hurstville to the south.

Sydney sights

The city's most famous landmarks are the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, both of which are located on Sydney Harbour. Sydney's principal river is the Parramatta River, which enters Sydney Harbour from the west. While the Harbour is famous for its racing yachts, the Boxing Day start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and 18ft skiffs, the river is used for dinghy sailing and rowing as well as recreational boating, racing small yachts, recreational fishing, and occasional Dragon Boat racing. Another famous landmark is the Sydney Tower (also known as Centrepoint Tower or the AMP Tower) which is the second tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. Darling Harbour is also a popular tourist attraction. Sydney also has an interesting subway system, one of only two in the country (Melbourne has the other). The Sydney Cricket Ground, which retains several beautiful 1920s-era grandstands, hosts several international cricket matches and the Sydney Swans football team. Sydney Olympic Park, after holding a large proportion of the major events in the 2000 Olympic Games, now regularly hosts sporting and cultural events, especially at Telstra Stadium. Sydney is also known for the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Sydney is the home of the Australian Stock Exchange. It also has 6 universities: the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, the University of Technology, Sydney, the University of Western Sydney, and two of the campuses of the Australian Catholic University.

Tourist attractions

Sydney is noted for its tourist attractions, including:

Sydney history

The area surrounding Sydney Harbour has been inhabited by Aboriginal tribes, notably the Eora and Cadigal, for at least 40,000 years. Although urbanisation has destroyed most evidence of these settlements (such as shell middens), there are still rock carvings in several locations. European interest arose with the sighting of Botany Bay (now a southern suburb of Sydney) in 1770 by Captain James Cook. Under instruction from the British government, a convict settlement was founded by Arthur Phillip in 1788. Phillip first landed at Botany Bay, but found it unsatisfactorily shallow for a permanent settlement. After a brief sail north, Phillip founded the colony at Sydney Cove on Port Jackson (the correct name for Sydney Harbour).

Phillip originally named the colony "New Albion", but for some uncertain reason the colony acquired the name "Sydney", after the (then) British Home Secretary, Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney (Viscount Sydney from 1789). This is possibly due to the fact that Lord Sydney issued the charter authorising Phillip to establish a colony. Prisoners were quickly set to work to build the settlement and by 1822 the town had banks, markets, well-established thoroughfares and an organised constabulary; by 1847, convicts accounted for only 3.2 per cent of the population.

Each week, ships would arrive from Europe with Irish, English, and European immigrants looking to start a new life in a new country. The first of several gold rushes was in 1851, since which time the port of Sydney has Sydney expanded rapidly, and by the early 20th century it had a population well in excess of one million. Throughout the 20th century Sydney continued to expand with various new waves of European and (later) Asian immigration, resulting in its highly cosmopolitan atmosphere of the present day.

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Sydney real estate

City Travel Guide comes with Sydney real estate guide with several tips on home valuation, realtors comparison, secrets on finding the "right" home, loans guide and other helpful real estate advices. Our partners also maintain Sydney property for sale and rental listings, real estate laws and reviews. We will try to help you with buying property in Australia, choosing real estate agents, property finders, relocation help, and information for English speakers wanting to buy real estate in Sydney.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sydney".

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