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Country Australia
State New South Wales
Settled 1788
Population 3,502,000
Area (sq mi) 652 sq mi
Population density (/sq mi) 5,370
Current mayor Clover Moore
Demonym Sydneysider
Co-ordinates 33.8° S., 151.2° E.[1]

Sydney is a port city and the capital of the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is the nation's oldest and largest city, as well as its major business centre. Sydney lies on what has been described as "the finest natural harbour in the world". Other notable natural features include many beaches (most famously Bondi Beach and Manly), several national parks, including the Royal National Park and Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, and several waterways including the St George's and Hawkesbury Rivers. City landmarks include the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

The Sydney Skyline.


James Cook had visited Botany Bay (a few kilometres south of Sydney Harbour) in 1770 and later claimed the whole of the east coast of the continent - then known as New Holland - for the British Crown, coining the name New South Wales. After the American War of Independence, Britain decided it needed to establish new colonies to which it could send its growing number of convicts. Thus a plan to dispatch a fleet to New South Wales was drawn up, which would be the first European settlement in Australia. It was soon recognised that Botany Bay was unsuitable for a colony due to the lack of fresh water. The fleet moved north to a site on the shores of Port Jackson, seen by Cook from outside its heads but not investigated. Sydney was founded by Governor Arthur Phillip, commander of this First Fleet, on 26 January 1788 when he established the penal settlement at what is now known as Circular Quay.

Modern Sydney

Sydney's metropolitan area has about 4.3 million inhabitants and ranks 67 in the world. Sydney is the 9th largest urban area on Earth in size (12,100 km2), spreading over 300 different suburbs. It is about the same size as Los Angeles in area, but has only about a third its population. It's boundaries generally follow those surveyed within the first six months of settlement and named by Phillip as the County of Cumberland.

The inhabitants of Sydney call themselves "Sydneysiders". Many Sydney landmarks, such as the Opera House, the AMP Tower, the Queen Victoria Building, Darling Harbour and Hyde Park, are in or close to the Central Business District (CBD). Much of the rest of the metropolitan area falls into three parts: The "North Shore" is an affluent residential area north of the harbour; The "Eastern Suburbs", east of the CBD, contain famous beach suburbs such as Bondi and Coogee, affluent residential areas such as Paddington and Double Bay, and mostly urban areas such as Darlinghurst and Redfern; and the "Western Suburbs" are a mostly suburban residential area that stretches from the CBD to the Blue Mountains. The Western Suburbs are known for their communities of recent immigrants, especially from the Middle East.

Sport and Culture

Sydney is a hotbed of rugby league and other sports, and the city hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 2000. Sydney is home to many teams and sports organizations, including:

  • Nine Rugby League teams out of the 13 in the National Rugby League
  • Sydney Swans and Western Giants in the Australian Football League
  • Two teams in the National Basketball League
  • the Sydney Blues of Australian Major League Baseball
  • Sydney FC, and the Western Sydney Wanderers in Series A Australian Soccer
  • The Waratahs in the Rugby Union Super Rugby international competition.

In Sydney there are three main stages with a capacity of over 40,000. These are the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Sydney Football Stadium (now the Allianz Stadium), and Telstra Stadium (Olympic Stadium).

The hard-rock band AC/DC is from Sydney.

Tourist attractions

Sydney is the most popular city in Australia for international tourists to visit. The following are some of the major attractions:

  • Sydney Opera House [1]
  • Darling Harbour - a former port converted into city harbour attractions and exhibition centres
  • Sydney Tower in the heard of the CBD with panoramic views over the city and the Pacific Ocean [2]
  • The oldest precinct of the city, called The Rocks
  • Circular Quay, is the hub of Sydney Ferries to travel across the harbour and to Manly
  • St Mary's and St Andrew's Cathedral's
  • Chinatown and the Chinese Gardens
  • Sydney Aquarium [3]
  • Bondi Beach - a large wide beach with swimming, surfing and great tourist amenities
  • Manly Beach and Oceanworld [4] []
  • Powerhouse Museum - a museum of science and technology with many interactive displays [5] [6]
  • Taronga Zoo at Mosman [7], naturally specializing in the fauna of Australia


  1. (1922) World Almanac and Book of Facts for 1923, series: World Almanac and Book of Facts (in English). New York: Press Pub Co. (The New York World), 63.  Rounded down toward zero.