Sydney is the capital city of New South Wales and is one of the most highly populated cities in Australia. The city lies on the East Coast of Australia and encircles the biggest natural harbor in the world, stretching towards the Blue Mountains. Indigenous Australian inhabitants have long populated Sydney for innumerable years. The very first settlers arrived in the year 1788 and this is widely regarded as the first ever European settlement here. The city transformed into a leading commerce and cultural hub in the modern era. The population of Sydney is deemed to be anywhere in the range of 4.5 million or more. A staggering 250 languages are spoken in Sydney.
The economy of Sydney has been thriving over the years and tourism, manufacturing and finance contribute majorly to the same. The economy of the city is bigger than Hong Kong, Denmark and Singapore at $337 billion approximately every year. There are innumerable foreign banks and multinational corporations present in the city which is also called the foremost financial hub of the entire Asia Pacific region.
Sydney hosts several big events each year and has already been a superlative host for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Millions of tourists visit the city every year, making it one of the biggest tourism hotspots in Australia. Some of the foremost attractions of the city include the Sydney Harbour, Bondi Beach, Royal National Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens in addition to the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. The city is encircled by the Nepean River and Hawkesbury River in addition to the Parramatta River and Cooks River. Some of the major areas in Sydney include the Central Business District, Macarthur, Forest District, Greater Western Sydney, North Shore and St George among numerous others.
The Central Business District stretches for almost 3 kilometres southwards from the Sydney Cove. The Farm Cove and Darling Harbor border the city along with the Surry Hills and Millers Point. The Circular Quay and Central are hubs for transportation and have thriving bus, ferry and rail networks. Tourism, recreation and culture best characterize Chinatown, Kings Cross and Darling Harbor. Vaucluse is one of the most affluent and posh areas in Australia. along with Point Piper and Wolseley Road. The Cronulla suburb lies near the Royal National Park, the oldest such park in Australia. The North Shore also encompasses several essential commercial centres including those of North Sydney and Chatswood. The Taronga Zoo is also located in close proximity to North Shore. The Western Suburbs are home to the Bankstown Government areas and are home to the Parramatta business district, one of the biggest such business centres in Australia.
The city is home to several worlds heritage listed architectural buildings and many other structures which are considered national treasures by the Government. The Macquarie Lighthouse is one of these landmarks that were built in the year 1814. Other landmarks include the St James’s Church, Hyde Park Barracks and St Philip’s Church in addition to Elizabeth Bay House and Kirribilli House, all of which bear strong Gothic design influences. Classical architecture dominated all development post the 1850s and this is evident through landmarks like the General Post Office, Customs House and the Town Hall. Some other architectural landmarks in Sydney include the Sydney Technical College, Queen Victoria Building and the Sydney Central Markets which accommodates close to 200 shops over three storeys. The Sydney Opera House is now listed as a world Heritage Site and is renowned for its design all over the world.
When it comes to green spaces, the Royal Botanic Gardens are the oxygen of the city. There are a total of 15 parks including The Domain, Hyde Park and the Prince Alfred Park in addition to the Western Sydney Parklands and the Moore Park. The Royal National Park is the second oldest national park in the word while the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is home to historic rock engravings, indigenous habitats and cave drawings. The Domain is home to several scientific herbarium collections, laboratories and a library.
Sydney is home to approximately 451,000 businesses including several global companies like Pfizer, Rolls-Royce, American Express, Cathay Pacific, Boeing, Yahoo!, Cisco Systems, Intel, IBM, Vodafone, Phillips, Merck & Co and many more. Leading Australian companies in Sydney include Optus, Woolworths, AMP, Fairfax Media, Coca-Cola Amatil, Commonwealth Bank, Australian Securities Exchange, Cochlear, Macquarie Group, Caltex and David Jones. Apart from finance, Sydney is also regarded as a major manufacturing hub of Australia and the manufacturing industry is known to create approximately 39% of all jobs annually. The manufacturing output is greater than Melbourne. The Queen Victoria Building is a prominent shopping centre in Sydney. The city drew approximately 2.8 million global tourists in the year 2013 and the number is expected to have gone up by now.
The City is also the preferred choice for innumerable international students. There are at least 50, 000 international students or even more studying at the biggest universities in the city while a similar number also studies at English Language School and Vocational Training schools. International Education creates annual job demand and pumps a whopping $1.6 billion into the economy annually. The Art Gallery of New South Wales is one of the biggest such public galleries in the world and draws several locals and tourists alike.
The Australian Museum is another major attraction and displays a fascinating collection of natural history. Other prominent museums in the city include the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Powerhouse Museum. The Royal Society of New South Wales is one of the biggest facilitators of research in literature, science, philosophy and art and is located at Darlington. The Sydney Observatory was built in 1859 and is used for pioneering astronomical and meteorology research apart from functioning as a museum. Apart from the Opera House, there are several entertainment and recreational venues in Sydney including theatres, restaurants, cultural centres, cafes, clubs and live music arenas. The city is one of the most beautiful and thriving cities in the world!