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Syndey is the capital city of New South Wales and is the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Sydney has a total land area of 12,267.7 km2 and has a population of 5,312,163, according to the 2019 estimates of the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Sydney has 33 local government areas, which are made up of over 600 suburbs.
Before the arrival of the European settlers, Sydney was already inhabited by indigenous Australians for 30,000 years.
On 29 April 1770 Lieutenant James Cook, arrived on the shores of Sydney on an exploration mission. Almost two decades after, the First Fleet led by Captain Phillip (along with 850 convicts) arrived in Sydney to establish a colony.
Phillip described Port Jackson as “without exception the finest harbour in the world”. The colony was supposed to be called “New Albion”, but Phillip decided to name it Sydney instead. The official proclamation of the new colony took place on 7 February 1788.
By 1840, Sydney already had an elected city council. From its official foundation to 1900, the city was the capital of the British Colony of New South Wales. In 1901, Sydney was named as the state capital of New South Wales after the state joined the Australian Federation.
Today, Sydney is Australia’s largest city and is among the top 10 world cities that are highly integrated into the global economy. The city’s Central Business District (CBD), located at the iconic Sydney Harbour, serves as its main commercial centre. The Sydney CBD is home to some of the largest Australian companies and the Asia-Pacific headquarters of several international companies.
The main retail area in the CBD is along Pitt Street, which is where the Pitt Street Mall and the Sydney Tower are located. For art, souvenirs and gifts, The Rocks are the neighbourhood to go. The Queen Victoria Building and The Strand Arcade are not just heritage buildings, but they are popular shopping destinations as well.
Sydney is the top-ranking city in the world for international students. Over 50,000 international students study in Sydney’s universities. Six public universities are operating in Sydney; these are The University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, Macquire University, Western Sydney Univerity and Australian Catholic University. There are also TAFE facilities across the Sydney metropolitan area, while there are 935 preschools to secondary schools in the city.
Sydney has an excellent network of roads connecting the CBD to other areas of the city. While most residents in the capital city are car-dependent, Sydney has bus services ran by the government and private operators, and there are train services in the CBD and outer suburbs of Sydney. The city also has ferry services, once the largest in the world, running from Circular Quay to Manly and Parramatta.
The Sydney Airport is located in the suburb of Mascot. It is the busiest airport in Australia, and it services 46 international and 26 domestic destinations. A new facility called Western Sydney Airport is currently underway and is expected to be completed in 2026.
Sydney Opera House
This is one of the most distinctive establishments not only in Sydney but also in Australia. The Sydney Opera House located at Bennelong Point on Sydney Harbour is a multi-venue performing arts centre. Over 1,500 performances are held here annually.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Close to the Opera House is another iconic infrastructure, which is the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This is an Australian heritage-listed bridge and is the largest steel arch bridge in the world. With a minimal fee, visitors could walk to the top of the bridge and get a beautiful view of the city and the harbour.
Another popular destination in Sydney is the world-renowned Bondi Beach. The 1 kilometre stretch of fine sand, excellent waves, various activities on the beach and restaurants nearby draw over 2 million visitors each year.