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Sydney Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Sydney

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Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and Australia’s and Oceania’s most populated metropolis.

The city, located on Australia’s east coast, surrounds the world’s biggest natural harbour and sprawls westward to the Blue Mountains. Sydney residents are referred to as “Sydneysiders.” Sydney is the second official seat and house of the Governor-General of Australia, the Prime Minister of Australia, and the Australian Cabinet.

Sydney is Australia’s biggest, oldest, and most cosmopolitan metropolis, with an excellent reputation for being one of the world’s most beautiful and liveable cities. It is surrounded by miles of coastal shoreline and sandy surf beaches and is rich in history, nature, culture, art, fashion, food, and design. The Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, two of the world’s most recognizable buildings, are also located in the city.

Sydney is a big worldwide metropolis and one of the most important financial centers in the Asia-Pacific region. Sydney hosted the Olympic Games in 2000, and the city continues to attract and host major international events. Nature and national parks surround the city, extending through the suburbs and all the way to the harbor’s coastlines.

Indigenous Australians have been in the Sydney region since the Upper Paleolithic era. The first British settlers landed in 1788 to establish Sydney as a penal colony, the country’s first European settlement. Since the cessation of convict transportation in the mid-nineteenth century, the city has grown from a colonial outpost to a significant worldwide cultural and commercial center. Sydney’s economy is sophisticated, with strengths in banking, industry, and tourism.

At the time of the 2011 census, Sydney had a population of 4.39 million people, 1.5 million of whom were born abroad, representing many different countries and making Sydney one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.

More than 250 languages are spoken in Sydney, and over one-third of inhabitants speak a language other than English at home.

Sydney – Info Card

POPULATION : City: 4,840,600
FOUNDED :  Established 26 January 1788
TIME ZONE : AEST (UTC+10)  Summer: AEDT (UTC+11)
LANGUAGE : English
RELIGION : 
AREA : 12,367.7 km2 (4,775.2 sq mi)
ELEVATION : 
COORDINATES : 33°51′54″S 151°12′34″E
SEX RATIO : Male: 49.76%
 Female: 50.24%

Tourism in Sydney

In 2013, Sydney welcomed over 2.8 million foreign tourists, accounting for roughly half of all international visitors to Australia. These tourists stayed in the city for 59 million nights and spent a total of $5.9 billion. China, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong, and India were the nations of origin, in decreasing order. In 2013, the city had 8.3 million domestic overnight visitors who spent a total of $6 billion.

Since 2000, Sydney has been classified among the top fifteen cities in the world for tourism. On a daily basis, the tourist sector provides $36 million to the city’s economy.

The Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Watsons Bay, The Rocks, Sydney Tower, Darling Harbour, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Royal National Park, the Australian Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Queen Victoria Building, Taronga Zoo, Bondi Beach, the Blue Mountains, and Sydney Olympic Park are all popular tourist attractions.

The Sydney Harbour

Port Jackson is Sydney’s natural harbor. It is well-known for its breathtaking natural beauty, as well as the site of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The region along the harbour front has pockets of bushland that were previously prevalent across Sydney, and it is home to a remarkable variety of natural creatures.

The Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most unique and well-known twentieth-century structures, as well as one of the world’s most prominent performing arts venues. The structure and its environs constitute an iconic Australian picture, located on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, with parks to the south and adjacent to the similarly renowned Sydney Harbour Bridge.

In 2000, the skyscraper was featured in the Olympic Torch path to the Olympic Stadium. It served as the setting for many events at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, including the triathlon, which started near the Opera House, and the sailing competitions on Sydney Harbour. The striking exteriors were not matched by technically better interiors, and as a consequence, the Opera House’s reputation as a concert venue plummeted.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the principal crossing of Sydney Harbour, bringing rail, vehicle, and pedestrian traffic between the CBD and the North Shore of Sydney. The bridge’s stunning sea panorama, together with the neighboring Sydney Opera House, is an iconic picture of both Sydney and Australia. For many years, the South-east pylon served as a lookout and tourist attraction, housing a number of telescopes and antique arcade games that ran on pennies long after that money had gone out of use. The pylon was recently refurbished and reopened to the public as a tourist attraction.

Watson Bay

Watsons Harbor is located at the tip of the South Head peninsula and is named for the protected bay and anchorage on its western side, near Port Jackson. It offers some of the greatest views of Sydney and the Bay Bridge across the harbour. On the eastern side, The Gap is an ocean cliff with views of Manly, North Head, and the Pacific Ocean.

Watsons Bay is mostly a residential neighborhood with a few recreational facilities and beaches, including one permitted nudist beach. Some restaurants, cafés, and the Watsons Bay Hotel are situated here, as is Doyles on the Beach, one of Sydney’s most renowned seafood restaurants, which is located on Watsons Bay’s waterfront. South Head is home to the naval facility HMAS Watson.

Forts from the past

Many old batteries, bunkers, and forts may be found on Sydney Harbour’s shoreline, many of which are now heritage listed. Some of these forts date back to 1871 and were built as part of Sydney Harbour’s defense system to resist a seaborne invasion. On the north side of the harbour, between Bradleys Head and Middle Head, there are four ancient fortifications: the Middle Head Fortifications, the Georges Head Battery, the Lower Georges Heights Commanding Position, and a minor fort on Bradleys Head. The forts are made largely of massive sandstone slabs and include many tunnels, dungeons, and subterranean chambers.

THE CITY OF SYDNEY

The Rocks

The Rocks is a Sydney inner-city neighbourhood, tourism attraction, and historic district. It is situated on the southern coast of Sydney Harbour, near to the city center, and is close to where Sydney was initially founded in 1788. The Rocks is a popular tourist destination due to its closeness to Circular Quay and views of the famed Harbour Bridge, as well as the historic heritage of many of the structures. It has various themed and historic taverns, as well as a variety of souvenir and artisan stores. The Rocks Market is open every Saturday and has around 100 vendors. There are various historic treks in the region that visit historical structures such as Cadman’s Cottage, Sydney Observatory, and the Dawes Point Battery, which was New South Wales’ first defended position.

The Sydney Tower

The Sydney Tower is the highest free-standing structure in Sydney and the second tallest in Australia, behind the Q1 skyscraper on the Gold Coast.

The Sydney Tower Skywalk, or simply Skywalk, is an open-air, glass-floored platform that circles Sydney Tower at 260m above ground level. The movable observation platform juts out over the edge of Sydney Tower’s main construction. This attraction towers above the famed BridgeClimb trek to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge. The seaward horizon is 58 kilometers distant from the platform, while interior landmarks such as the Blue Mountains may be viewed at greater distances. Check out the Sydney Attractions Group.

King’s Cross

The Kings Cross area is well-known in Australia as a red light district, similar to Kings Cross in London, with numerous strip clubs and “girlie” bars along Darlinghurst Road, though demographics have shifted in recent years and gentrification has resulted in clashes between new and established elements. Kings Cross is also notable for its neon signs and advertising posters, the most well-known of which is the iconic Coca-Cola sign. The colloquialism “the Cross” is commonly used by Sydneysiders to refer to it fondly.

From the early decades of the twentieth century, the Kings Cross district was the City of Sydney’s bohemian heartland, but due to its proximity to the naval docking area at Garden Island, it also came to serve as the city’s main tourist accommodation and entertainment center, as well as its red-light district. Because of the narcotics and criminality involved with this activity, Kings Cross became well-known.

Climate of Sydney

Sydney has a moderate climate with consistent rainfall throughout the year. The closeness to the water moderates the weather, while more severe temperatures are reported in the inland western suburbs.

Rainfall is pretty equally distributed throughout the year, although is somewhat heavier in the first half. The average annual rainfall is 1,213 mm (47.76 in) with a moderate to low fluctuation, with rain falling on an average of 143.8 days each year.

The city is seldom impacted by cyclones, however remnants of ex-cyclones occur. The El Nio–Southern Oscillation influences Sydney’s weather patterns, causing drought and bushfires on the one hand, and storms and floods on the other, due to the oscillation’s opposing phases. Many regions of the city next to wilderness have suffered bushfires, which often occur in the spring and summer. The city is also vulnerable to catastrophic hail and wind storms.

The yearly average water temperature is over 21 °C (70 °F), with monthly averages ranging from 18 °C (64 °F) in July to 24 °C (75 °F) in January.

Summer (December to February) is the greatest season for experiencing Sydney’s beachfront outdoor lifestyle. Temperatures often average approximately 26°C (about 79°F), however it may become quite hot during the summer, with temperatures reaching above 40°C (104°F) on a few occasions. Summer days may be steamy, with blistering dry winds at times, but hot days regularly conclude with a “southerly buster,” a cold front rushing up from the south, bringing a substantial decrease in temperature, as well as rain and thunder. The storm may pass within hours, and the evening will remain colder. Hot, windy days may increase the danger of wildfire, and on high-risk days, national parks and hiking routes may be restricted. Low pressure systems do sometimes travel down from the tropics, causing periods of more unpredictable weather. To visit Sydney in the summer, you won’t need much more than T-shirts, but don’t forget your hat and sunglasses.

Autumn (March to May) is quite pleasant, with warm days and cool evenings. There may be some pleasant days at the beach in March, but don’t depend on it. It is an excellent time to see sights, travel to the zoo, and take ferries around the harbour without having to deal with the summer throng. In the evenings, particularly in May, you may want a warm shirt.

Winter (June to August) is chilly but not freezing. Maximum temperatures in July average 17°C, while daytime temperatures seldom dip below 14°C, although nighttime temperatures sometimes fall below 10°C. The majority of the rain occurs as a consequence of a few off-shore low pressure systems, which often result in two or three wet weeks throughout the winter. The Bondi Icebergs will be performing their morning laps in the water, but the majority of Sydney will be far from the beach. It does not snow in Sydney, and unless you expect to be outdoors for an extended amount of time, you can typically get away with only a warm shirt. Only the outdoor water parks shut for the winter in Sydney, which is a year-round metropolis. If you don’t enjoy the beach and don’t like the heat, winter may be the best season to come.

Spring (September to November). Spring days are ideal for seeing Sydney’s attractions, as well as going bushwalking, cycling, and enjoying the outdoors. Beaches are routinely patrolled beginning in late October, and Sydney residents begin going to the beaches in November.

Geography of Sydney

TOPOGRAPHY

Captain Arthur Phillip praised Sydney Cove as “without dispute the best harbour in the world” in one of his first dispatches back to Britain. Sydney is a coastal basin bounded on the east by the Tasman Sea, on the west by the Blue Mountains, on the north by the Hawkesbury River, and on the south by the Woronora Plateau. The inner city is 25 square kilometers (10 square miles), the Greater Sydney region is 12,367 square kilometers (4,775 square miles), and the urban area of the city is 1,687 square kilometers (651 square miles).

During the Triassic epoch, deep river valleys known as rias were cut in the Hawkesbury sandstone of the coastal area where Sydney now stands. Between 18,000 and 6,000 years ago, increasing sea levels drowned the rias, forming estuaries and deep harbours. One such ria is Port Jackson, often known as Sydney Harbour. There are 70 beaches along its coastline, with Bondi Beach being one of the most well-known.

Sydney is divided into two geographical areas. The Cumberland Plain is generally flat and situated to the south and west of the Harbour. To the north lies the Hornsby Plateau, which is divided by steep valleys. As the city flourished, the flat lands in the south were the first to be built. It wasn’t until the Sydney Harbour Bridge was built that the northern sections of the shore became more densely inhabited.

The Nepean River flows along the city’s western outskirts and merges with the Hawkesbury River before reaching Broken Bay. The majority of Sydney’s water storages are located on Nepean River tributaries. The Parramatta River, which drains a significant part of Sydney’s western suburbs into Port Jackson, is largely industrial. The Georges and Cooks rivers flow into Botany Bay from the city’s southern outskirts.

GEOLOGY

Sydney is primarily Triassic rock, with occasional igneous dykes and volcanic necks. In the early Triassic epoch, the Earth’s crust stretched, sunk, and filled with silt, forming the Sydney Basin. Almost majority of the exposed rocks in Sydney are sandstone, which is 200 metres (656 feet) thick and contains shale lenses and fossil riverbeds. The material that would create this sandstone was swept down from Broken Hill some 200 million years ago. During the creation of the Great Dividing Range, the sedimentary rocks of the Basin experienced uplift, moderate bending, and modest faulting. Erosion by coastal streams has resulted in a landscape of deep gorges and surviving plateaus. The Sydney Basin bioregion contains cliffs, beaches, and estuaries along the coast.

Economy of Sydney

Loughborough University researchers have named Sydney one of the top ten international cities that are well linked into the global economy. According to the Global Economic Power Index, Sydney is ranked eleventh in the globe. In terms of economic opportunities, the city is rated twelfth in the globe.

In 2011, Sydney was home to 451,000 enterprises, including 48 percent of Australia’s top 500 firms and two-thirds of international organizations’ regional headquarters. Global corporations are drawn to the city in part because its time zone covers the end of business in North America and the start of business in Europe. The majority of foreign enterprises in Sydney have large sales and service operations but much fewer manufacturing, research, and development skills.

Woolworths, Westpac, Qantas, Coca-Cola Amatil, the Australian Securities Exchange, AMP, Caltex, Fairfax Media, the Commonwealth Bank, Optus, Macquarie Group, Westfield, Origin Energy, Cochlear, and David Jones are all headquartered in Sydney. Pfizer, Cathay Pacific, Boeing, Merck & Co, Parmalat, Rolls-Royce, Intel, Cisco Systems, American Express, Yahoo!, Computer Associates, IBM, Philips, and Vodafone are among the multinational corporations holding regional offices in Sydney.

Sydney is the most expensive city in Australia, ranking between the fifteenth and fifth most expensive cities in the world. As a result, employees earn the fifth highest wages of any city in the world. Sydney is ranked tenth in the world for living standards, and its citizens have the largest spending power of any city after Zürich. Sydney inhabitants work an average of 1,846 hours per year, with 15 days off. Sydney is home to 31 of Australia’s top 50 greatest places to work.

The People’s Bank of China, Bank of America, Citigroup, UBS, Mizuho Bank, Bank of China, Banco Santander, Credit Suisse, State Street, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Royal Bank of Canada, Société Générale, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sumitomo Mitsui, ING Group, BNP Paribas, and Investec were among the 16 foreign banks granted banking licenses by the Federal Government in 1985.

Since the protectionist measures of the 1920s, Sydney has been an industrial city. By 1961, the sector accounted for 39 percent of total employment, and by 1970, Sydney accounted for more than 30 percent of all Australian manufacturing jobs. Its importance has dwindled in recent decades, accounting for 12.6 percent of employment in 2001 and 8.5 percent in 2011. The city is still Australia’s major industrial center. Its industrial production of $21.7 billion in 2013 was higher than Melbourne’s output of $18.9 billion.

In 2013, Sydney welcomed over 2.8 million foreign tourists, accounting for roughly half of all international visitors to Australia. These tourists stayed in the city for 59 million nights and spent a total of $5.9 billion. Since 2000, Sydney has been classified among the top fifteen cities in the world for tourism.

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