Sydney, the capital of New South Wales is one of Australia’s oldest and largest cities, with a population close to 4 million. The city is ringed by a huge harbor and it is not only architecturally breathtaking with a modern skyline featuring the famous Sydney Opera House, but it also boats breathtaking beaches, with the wolrd-famous Bondi Beach, bewitching bays, and stunning national parks.
Captain James Cook and Joseph Banks first visited Sydney in 1770. Their fleet of sailing ships docked at Botany Bay in 1788, under the command of Governor Arthur Phillip. On arrival, they found it undesirable, and sailed north, landing at Sydney Cove in what today is Sydney Harbour. Phillip named the colony ‘New Albion’, but the name was later changed to ‘Sydney’, after the British Home Secretary, Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney.
Sydney’s style has experienced many influences throughout the years. Aboriginal sites and engravings made by the Eora Tribe are still visible. There is also a noticeable presence of Anglo-Mediterranean style and increasing influences from Chinese and Asian cultures. The city is divided by North and South by the Sydney Harbour. The Harbour Bridge and Tunnel connect north to south, with most business and residential areas in the north.
The southern region of Sydney is called The Rocks, named for the harbourside quarter where settlement began. To the North, you will find the Circular Quay and Central Station to the South. Darling Harbour lines the West, and to the East, a number of parks. The famous Queen Victoria building was built in 1989, and is the shopping center, with many designer stores and boutiques. The historic Sydney Town Hall was built in the 1880s, and next to it is the Sydney Tower, the tallest structure in Australia allowing for amazing 360 degree views of the city.
There are so many amazing sites to see in Sydney. From the world famous Sydney Opera House, to Sydney Harbour Bridge and the sandy shores of Bondi Beach, it is a city rich with wonder and beauty.
The history of Sydney’s transformation from a British Penal Colony to a busy cosmopolitan metropolis spans two centuries. With a population of close to four million, Sydney has become a financial capital of the Asia-Pacific region and an international tourist mecca. It is the largest city on the Australian continent, and its most well-known geographic feature is its stunning physical location on one of the world’s most beautiful harbors.