Sydney is a major global city and one of the most important cities for finance in the Asia-Pacific. The city is surrounded by nature and national parks, which extend through the suburbs and right to the shores of the harbour.
Sydney’s 4,757,083 residents (according to a 2013 estimate) sprawl over an area of more than 12,350km². The timezone is identical with the majority of the state of New South Wales: GMT +10. The local timezone is AEST or Australian Eastern Standard Time. The city, as does the rest of the state, observes Daylight Savings time from October to April each year.
Sydney became the centre of the world’s attention in September 2000 when the city hosted the Summer Olympics – officially announced by the IOC Chairman at the closing Ceremony to be the “the best games ever”! The Olympics saw a major building and renovation program take hold of Sydney, positioning it as one of the great world cities of the 21st century. Sydney continues to attract and host large international events
Giraffes at Taronga Zoo
Sydney is the oldest European settlement in Australia, having been founded as a British penal colony on 26 January 1788 (now celebrated as Australia Day, the national public holiday, with major festivities around the city and the Harbour). The settlement, commanded by Governor Arthur Phillip, was named “Sydney” after Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, who was the British Home Secretary at that time.
Sydney is one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the planet, with one third of its population born overseas. European settlement rapidly displaced the Aboriginal people of the Sydney area with the first colonists largely coming from England, Ireland and Scotland. The Australian goldrush in the mid 19th Century attracted many more immigrants, including a significant number of Chinese. In the early 20th century, Sydney continued to attract immigrants – mostly from the UK and Ireland, with the White Australia Policy preventing non-European peoples (and even Southern Europeans) from settling. Australia’s immigration patterns, and consequently, that of Sydney, changed significantly after WWII, when migrants began to arrive from countries as diverse as Italy, Greece, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, Poland, Lebanon, Iraq, South Africa and the Pacific Islands. In recent decades there has been a huge surge in Asian immigration, especially from China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. Sydney’s culture, food and general outlook reflect these varied contributions to the majority Anglo-Celtic institutions and social establishment.
Sydney is recognized worldwide for its vibrant gay community. Every year, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is celebrated on the first weekend in March, drawing people from all over Australia and the world for the celebrations.
Sydney enjoys over 300 sunny days each year
Sydney is comfortable for travellers to visit any time of year. The city enjoys over 300 sunny days each year. Though it has 104 days of clear skies.