Sydney is somehow the face of Australia: welcoming, sunny, smiling, super technological, sporty and fashionable. It is located in the southern part of the East Coast of the continent, in New South Wales.
Sydney is the most famous city of Australia: with its 4.9 million inhabitants, is the most populous city of the country and of the whole Oceania. For this reason, many people think it as Australia Capital City, which is actually a much smaller one, Canberra.
Sydney is also one of the most multicultural cities in the world, fourteenth in the list of global cities. The majority of Sydney-siders have English and Irish origin, since they were the first to colonise Australia, using its land as an “exile” for prisoners and criminals. However, in the 1900 there has been a large European migration, mainly composed by Italians, Greeks and Serbs-Croatians, and in recent years, Arabs and Asians.
Morphologically, Sydney has a very particular territory: it was created around a large harbour. Therefore, the sea becomes a distinctive feature and has a great influence on the lifestyle of the inhabitants. The climate of the city is classified as subtropical humid, with hot summers, cold winters and regular rainfall throughout the year.
Sydney is the headquarters of two-thirds of the regional offices of multinational corporations; financial services, tourism and technology are the most prosperous sectors of the city’s economy, which contribute to its advanced development.
Thanks to the abundance of natural and artificial attractions, Sydney is a popular destination for domestic and international travellers and tourists: boundless beaches, parks and monuments such as the Opera House and many more, Sydney is a city that never bore!
The urban area is mainly developed in the place where the city was founded, The Rocks: around it was created the port of Circular Quay, that gained popularity thanks to the two landmark buildings of the city, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
The main street, George Street, which crosses Sydney, pass through the squares of Martin Place, Town Hall and Central Station. On the same street is located also one of the biggest shopping centre of the city, the Westfield, with the Sydney Tower overlooking it.
Within the urban area there are other very suggestive spots: to the west, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour and China-town: to the east there are the Royal Botanic Garden, not far from Saint Mary’s Cathedral and some museums, and Oxford Street, where’s located the widest green area of the city, Centennial Park.
Out of the CBD, there are residential suburbs, with the characteristic terrace houses and good venues for food & drink.
The eastern side of the city features some suggestive bays, among the many, Watson Bay and Bondi, with one of the world’s most famous surf beaches, Bondi Beach. Another cultural-worthy spot in the southern part of the city is Botany Bay, the place where the first ship that reached these coasts docked, and where it has been created a monumental park dedicated to Captain Cook, captain of the expedition, considered the discoverer of Australia!
Northwards, beyond the Harbour Bridge, is North Sydney; it was a residential area until recent years, when several skyscrapers have been built. Despite that, North Sydney also deserves a visit! The Luna Park and the Taronga Zoo are located in this part of the city, but most importantly, here is Manly Beach, stunning location of a number of surf competition. It is recommended to travel to North Sydney by sea, using the ferry, a very popular public transport that gives the opportunity to take a typical picture of the city skyline!
Everyone love the Opera House. It is a 64-meter structure which has become UNESCO World Heritage Site and a distinctive 20th century building. It has a total capacity of 5,738 people, including six different venues: three theatres, an opera house, the studio and a multi-function hall. The Opera House is open to visitors every day from 7 a.m. onwards; in addition, the program features more than forty performances per week, so many to get spoilt for choice. There is also the possibility to book a backstage tour, to experience the theatre as actors. In the end of the visit, a must-try is the delicious cuisine of Peter Gilmore’s Bennelong Restaurant, while savouring the beauty of Harbour.
This work of art is a steel bridge that connects the southern and the northern part of the city. It was nicknamed “coat hanger” because it was one of the first bridges to have an arched design. It can it by car, train, bicycle and on foot. One of Sydney attractions is actually to climb it and reach the summit: a spectacular panoramic view is guaranteed! This, of course, only with the appropriate equipment.
More than 300 meters high, it is the tallest structure in Sydney: it is one of major touristic attractions of the city. This huge tower is divided into four sections, accessible by elevators. At the top, one can toast and dine in the restaurants, admiring the beautiful skyline of the city. The entrance to the Sydney Tower Eye is fundamental: it is the fourth floor of the tower from which you can have a 360-degree view of the panorama. Here is located also a 4D cinema.
Royal Botanic Garden
This prominent attraction covers a width of 74 acres in the heart of Sydney. It is one of the world’s most important historical botanical institutions, created in 1816. The entrance is free and is a perfect place to enjoy nature in the middle of the city. The garden is divided in four parts and also includes some villas with their private gardens.
In the Lower Gardens there are the main lakes, Victoria Lodge, Band Lawn and much more. The Middle Gardens include the Succulent Garden, the Palm House, the Begonia Garden, the Herbarium and the Wollemi Pine. The Palace Gardens feautres the Rainforest Walk, the Pioneer Garden, the Morshead fountain, the Herb Garden and the Tropical Centre. In the Bennelong Precint there are the Australian Native Rockery, the Bennelong Lawn, the Parade Ground, the Government House and the Queen Elizabeth II Gate.
Blue Mountains National Park
Looking towards the hinterland from the city, there is a mountainous relief, called Blue Mountains, because of their blue colour. This is due to the fact that they are covered with gumtrees (eucalyptus plant) which leaves are green on one side and blue on the other. This leaf is also mainly what koala feeds on. A excursion to the Blue Mountains park is warmly recommended, to visit its small villages, walk the hiking trails, and take the ritual photo of the unique rock formation called Three Sisters.