Sydney is the capital of the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) and lies on the south-east coast of the continent. It has the largest population of any city in Australia with a population of approximately 5 million ‘Sydneysiders’. Sydney is often called the most multicultural city in Australia and one of the most multicultural cities in the world because of the large range of cultures found in the city and its suburbs.
A Little Bit of History
Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Captain Arthur Phillip, of the First Fleet, as a penal colony.The city is built on hills surrounding one of the world’s largest natural harbours, Port Jackson, which is more commonly known as Sydney Harbour, renowned for the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Sydney city is surrounded by national parks, and the coastal regions feature many bays, rivers and beaches, including the famous Bondi and Manly beaches. The city itself also has many park including Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
To learn more about the history and heritage of Sydney, you can go to Sydney City Council’s ‘Lean about Sydney’ webpage.
Sydney’s central business district (CBD) extends southwards for about 3 km from Sydney Cove to the area around Central Station. The Sydney CBD is bounded on the east side by a stretch of parkland, and the west by Darling Harbour, a tourist and nightlife precinct. Other important business districts close to the Sydney CBD include Parramatta in the central-west, Penrith in the west, Bondi Junction in the east, Liverpool in the southwest, Chatswood to the north, and Hurstville to the south.
Sydney is formally divided into 649 suburbs. These suburbs are controlled by 40 local government areas. The NSW government also has a major responsibility in providing services to the city and its suburbs.
The City of Sydney itself and its inner suburbs cover quite a small area. Larger suburbs further from the CBD have names to describe larger sections of the urban area including Bankstown, the Eastern Suburbs, the Forest District, Greater Western Sydney, the Hills District, the Inner West, the Macarthur region, the Northern Beaches, the Northern Suburbs, the North Shore, Southern Sydney, South-western Sydney, the Sutherland Shire and Western Sydney.
There are frequent suburban train services leaving from Museum Station, which is about three minutes’ walk from Australian Centre of English. Train fares are cheaper after 9am and before 3pm.
For further information on Sydney Trains including timetables and fares go to http://www.sydneytrains.info/
Many different bus services operate from the Sydney CBD to the suburbs. Their destinations range to all directions form the City of Sydney.
For further information on Sydney buses including timetables and fares go to www.sydneybuses.info
Ferry services run from Circular Quay Ferry Wharf. Jet Cat ferries can also carry passengers across Sydney Harbour and many commuters choose this relatively pleasant method of travel instead of driving or taking the train.
For more information on Sydney water transport, including timetables and fares go to http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/content/sydney-ferries
What to do in Sydney
Sydney has a huge range of sporting and recreational opportunities for residents, workers and visitors. The city contains a diverse network of public parks and reserves varying from bushland areas to formal parks and sportsgrounds.
Sydney City Council provides many facilities including playgrounds, sports fields, town halls, community centres and meeting rooms available for hire, swimming centres, tennis courts and a skating facilities. For more information, go to Sydney City Council’s website and follow the ‘Explore’ link:
For information about current events in Sydney, of the Sydney City Council’s ‘What’s On’ website.
The following website also provide information about up and coming events in Sydney;
A copy of Sydney Harbour National Park Brochure can be downloaded from this link.