Sydney - The Metropolis at the Pacific Ocean
Sydney, Australia's biggest city, is the highlight on many travellers' journey through the country because it offers a wide range of culture, entertainment and leisure activities. Architectural masterpieces like the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge as well as wonderful beaches and mountainous landscapes await holidaymakers here.
Geography - Australia's most populated city
Sydney is the capital of the state of New South Wales and it is the most populous city in the whole of Australia with a population of about 4.6 million people. Its position at the Pacific Ocean and near the Blue Mountains makes it one of the country's most beautiful and attractive cities. Magnificent mountains, scenic valleys and wonderful beaches as well as several national parks and nature reserves (Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Royal National Park, Blue Mountains National Park) surround the metropolis. The centre is crossed by Port Jackson, Sydney's natural harbour. It does not only accommodate several islands but also two of the city's most important landmarks. The climate in Sydney is subtropical with warm summers and cool winters.
Culture - Diverse cultural, art and architectural attractions
Sydney is one of the most important cities on earth with regard to politics, economy and culture and offers a great variety of sights, culture, art and architecture. It was named after the famous former British Home Secretary Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney (1733-1800) and was founded as an English colony and the first European settlement in Australia on the 26th of January 1788. This date is now a national holiday in Australia and is celebrated with parades, concerts, fashion shows, fireworks and other things in Sydney. The district called "The Rocks" is the origin and a unique testimony of the city's history. It is full of sandstone houses, winding alleys, historical warehouses and one of the country's oldest buildings (Cadman's Cottage) and was once built by European convicts to offer poorer people, dockworkers and sailors a place to live. Today, The Rocks is one of Sydney's most popular attractions. However, the metropolis' two landmarks are the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. The latter is one of the longest arch bridges on earth and is called the "coat hanger" by the locals, who are known as the "Sydneysiders". The city's best-known landmark, the Sydney Opera House, is characterised by extraordinary architecture and is part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. Other highlights are the Sydney Tower (305 m) in the Central Business District, the Royal Botanical Garden, the fortification complex of Fort Denison, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Australian Museum, which is the greatest museum of natural history in Australia.
Experience - A multicultural atmosphere and a variety of leisure time facilities
Sydney's cultural diversity is not only apparent from its many museums, galleries and sights but also from the multicultural population and the active gay and lesbian scene. The metropolis is the place with the second greatest gay scene worldwide after San Francisco and hosts the Mardi Gras every year, a colourful gay and lesbian festival. Other exciting events are the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the New Year's Eve Party and the Sydney Film Festival. For the rest of the year, Darling Harbour is the ideal destination for varied entertainment. The harbour area is an entertainment district in Sydney and offers numerous bars, restaurants, the IMAX Theatre (with the greatest flat cinema screen in the world), the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Sydney Aquarium. The latter is equipped with large accessible glass tunnels, in which you can marvel at sharks, giant rays as well as colourful corals and crocodiles. Another animal-related experience is offered by Taronga Zoo, Sydney's city zoo, in the suburb of Mosman. Visitors cannot only watch over 3,500 animals here but also see the city's impressive skyline. On holidays and at weekends, Luna Park at Lavender Bay provides entertainment. Shopping fans get their money's worth on a stroll through the pedestrian zone of Pitt St Mall or George Street. Beautiful buildings from the turn of the century with noble boutiques and luxurious shops await visitors here. One prominent example is the Queen Victoria Building, A Victorian building with neo-Romanesque architecture, which is 190 metres long and was completed in 1898.
Activities - Water sports at Bondi Beach and climbing Harbour Bridge
Team sports are very popular in Sydney, especially rugby, which is enjoyed by both the locals and the tourists. The city's many beaches make Sydney a popular holiday destination for travellers who want to go bathing and do water sports. Manly Beach and Bondi Beach attract numerous tourists and locals, who indulge in surfing adventures or spend relaxed days at the seaside. The nearby national parks (e.g. Botany Bay National Park, Royal National Park, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park) are great playgrounds for hikers and climbers. The Harbour Bridge can be climbed too (Bridge Climb). Sydney's parks (e.g. Moore Park, Centennial Park) are not only suited for strollers but also for cyclists, joggers, horseback riders and people who enjoy going roller skating. Other popular leisure activities are boat trips through Sydney Harbour and helicopter flights in the harbour area.
Sydney can be travelled at any time of the year. Holidaymakers best arrive at Sydney Airport, which is about 12 kilometres away from the city centre. You get to Sydney's city centre using the Airport Express buses between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Sydney offers everything holidaymakers could wish for: a wide range of culture and entertainment, an impressive and relaxing nature and a great variety of leisure activities. This way, culture enthusiasts, active holidaymakers and lovers of nature get their money's worth on a trip to the metropolis.