Thursday, November 28, 2013

"If Paris is a city of lights, Sydney is the city of fireworks" - Baz Luhrmann


Sydney is the most populous city in Australia, with a metropolitan area population of approximately 4.12 million. Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales, and is the site of the first European colony in Australia, established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip, leader of the First Fleet from Britain. A resident of the city is referred to as a Sydneysider. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast. The city is built around Port Jackson, which includes Sydney Harbour, leading to the city's nickname, "the Harbour City". It is Australia's largest financial centre and is home to the Australian Securities Exchange. Sydney's leading economic sectors include property and business services, manufacturing, tourism, media, health and community services. Sydney is a major international tourist destination notable for its beaches and twin landmarks: the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. The metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and contains many bays, rivers and inlets. The city has played host to numerous international sporting, political and cultural events, including the 2000 Summer Olympics. In the year ending 2012, Sydney received a total of 10.5 million international and domestic visitors, which injected $11.7 billion into the state of New South Wales' economy. Other attractions include Royal Botanical Gardens, Luna Park, Darling Harbour, some 40 beaches and Sydney Tower.

Sydney is a vast sprawling city, and the suburbs in the city metropolitan area spread for up to 100km from the city centre. The traveller visiting the suburbs will find less crowded beaches, parks, cheaper shopping, commercial centres, cultural festivals, and hidden gems. Sydney is a major global city and one of the most important cities for finance in the Asia-Pacific. Sydney hosted the Olympic Games of 2000, and continues to attract and host large international events. The city is surrounded by nature and national parks, which extend through the suburbs and right to the shores of the harbour. 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 U.K. 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 Phillippines. Sydney's culture, food and general outlook reflect these varied contributions to the majority Anglo-Celtic institutions and social establishment.

Sydney is recognised 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 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 is comfortable for travellers to visit any time of year. The city enjoys over 300 sunny days each year.

Summer (December to February) is the best time to enjoy Sydney's beachside outdoor lifestyle. Temperatures usually reach around 26°C (about 79°F) but it can be very hot, with temperatures climbing to over 40°C (104°F) for a few days each summer. Summer days can be humid, and sometimes have searing dry winds, but they frequently end with a "southerly buster", a cold front sweeping up from the south, bringing a clearly noticeable drop in temperature, rain and thunder. Within hours, the storm can pass and the evening continues cooler. Hot windy days can create a risk of bushfire, and on days of severe risk national parks and walking trails may be closed. 'Total fire bans' are also common - they will be announced on weather reports and on signs at national park entrances (also on the website of the Rural Fire Service). Occasionally low pressure systems drift down from the tropics, giving periods of more unstable weather. You won't need to pack much more than T-shirts to visit Sydney in summer, but remember your hat and sunglasses.

Autumn (March to May) is still warm with mild nights. There can be good days for the beach in March, but you can't count on it. It is a good time for visiting attractions, going to the zoo, catching ferries around the harbour without the summer crowds. You may need a warm top for the evenings, especially for May.

Winter (June to August) is cool, not cold. Average July maximum temperatures are 17°C, and daytime temperatures rarely drop below 14°C, but night-time temperatures can fall to below 10°C. Most rain falls as a result of a few off-shore low pressure systems, which usually result in two or three rainy weeks during winter. The Icebergs will be in the ocean doing their morning laps, but most of Sydney will be well away from the beach. It does not snow in Sydney, and unless you intend spending long periods outside, you can usually get by with just a warm top. Sydney is a year-round city, and only the outdoor water-parks close for the winter. If the beach isn't your scene, and you don't like the heat, winter may be your time to visit.

Spring (September to November). Spring days are great for exploring Sydney's attractions, bushwalking, cycling, and the outdoors. Beaches are generally patrolled from the end of October, and Sydneysiders start flocking to the beaches in November. Sydney's Western Suburbs, which lie away from the coast, tend to be hotter during the day and a little cooler during the night. They miss the afternoon sea breezes and the night-time warming effect of the ocean. Sydney has air conditioning in all public buildings, and on some public transport. It is common to catch a bus or train without air conditioning on hot days. Carry water during summer and remember sun protection year round. Sydney Climate and Weather information is available online at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Lets See A Few Places You Should Visit while You in Sydney.

1. Sydney Harbour

Port Jackson, containing Sydney Harbour, is the natural harbour of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The harbour is an inlet of the South Pacific Ocean. Widely considered to be one of the world's finest harbours, it is known for its beauty, and in particular, as the location of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge which connects central Sydney with the Northern Suburbs region extended metropolitan area. Its entrance is between North and South Heads, where naval and military stations are located.

The location of the first European settlement in Australia, the harbour has continued to play a key role in the history and development of Sydney. The city itself lies on the southern shore. The Parramatta River forms the harbour's western arm. Many recreational events are based on or around the harbour itself particularly the Sydney New Year's Eve celebrations and the starting point of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

The land around Port Jackson was occupied at the time of European discovery and colonisation by various tribes including the Gadigal, Cammeraygal, Eora and Wangal peoples. The Gadigal people are said to have occupied the land stretching along the south side of Port Jackson from what is now South Head, in an arc west through to Petersham. The Cammeraygal lived on the northern side of the harbour. The area along the southern banks of the Parramatta River, west of Petersham to Rose Hill, was reported to belong to the Wanegal. The Eora people lived on the southern side of the harbour, close to where the First Fleet settled.
sydney harbour offers so much not only for tourist but locals as well.start the day off with a walk through the gardens view the harbour government house and a great view of fort dennison.continue around to the opera house stop have a coffee and then onto circular quay take a look at the old customs house walk up the hill and view some of the old buildings.back down hill to the quay and you maybe lucky to see a royal carribean cruise ship docked with the back drop of the sydney harbour bridge a great photo.keep walking around the water front past the old wool storage warehouses now great food outlets.you will find sydney tallships a must to look back at the area that you have just walked. sit back and sip a drink whilst sailing around this wonderful harbour.a fabulous day out.










2. Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the facility is adjacent to the Sydney central business district and the Royal Botanic Gardens, between Sydney and Farm Coves. Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the facility formally opened on 20 October 1973 after a gestation beginning with Utzon's 1957 selection as winner of an international design competition.

The NSW Government, led by Premier Joseph Cahill authorised work to begin in 1958, with Utzon directing construction. The government's decision to build Utzon's design is often overshadowed by circumstances that followed, including cost and scheduling overruns as well as the architect's ultimate resignation.

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3. The Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, New South Wales, is the most central of the three major botanical gardens open to the public in Sydney (the others being the Mount Annan Botanic Garden and the Mount Tomah Botanic Garden). The gardens were opened in 1816, and are managed by the same trust that manages the adjoining The Domain. The gardens are open every day of the year, and access is free.

The gardens are situated on the shores of the Sydney Harbour, with the Opera House and Circular Quay on the western boundary. The gardens cover 30 hectares and attract over 3 million visitors each year. Situated east of the Sydney Opera House, and overlooking Farm Cove, the gardens occupy 30 hectares in area, and are bordered by: the Cahill Expressway to the south and west, Art Gallery road to the east, and Sydney Harbour to the north.

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Stay Safe

The Australia-wide emergency number is 000, with the ambulance service, fire department and police being available through this number. Be on the lookout for the usual big city petty crime problems. Lock your car, and keep valuables safe or hidden. People begging may ask for money or cigarettes, but they are generally harmless. They will often make up the usual stories about needing a train fare etc. Simply say "Sorry, no" and they will usually leave you alone. Sydney has some of the violent crime issues that plague major cities, however, in general, no special precautions are required visiting the typical tourist areas during the day. Most assaults in Sydney take place in or near pubs and nightclubs at night, and involve alcohol. Most involve young males as perpetrators and victims. Most robberies occur in nearby quiet laneways, or parks close to pubs and nightclubs at night. The most common perpetrators or robberies are drug addicts. For this reason, take care around King Cross, The Rocks, Oxford St, and the George St Cinema District, especially late at night on Fridays and Saturday nights. Avoid Redfern station late at night. Even changing trains at night is best done at Central rather than Redfern. Women should take extra care at bars and keep an alert companion at hand, especially in the central hostel area, and take precautions against spiked drinks.

Some areas Sydney have a reputation, generally gained by news reports of motorcycle and other gang related violence. However, if you want to venture out into these areas during the day, there is no exceptional risk. If you're planning to head way off the tourist trail to some suburban pub or nightclub for a night out, seek some local advice. It may be a nice pub, but it pays to be informed. Areas around railway stations tend to be hang-outs for youth gangs in Western Sydney, particularly on Friday and Saturday night. Stay in company, and don't engage. 

After 9PM, smaller outer suburban stations can be very quiet, and many are totally unstaffed after this time. The trains can also be empty when they get towards the end of the line at this time. Don't expect a taxi to be waiting at every station only the major ones will have a well patronised taxi rank. Travel in the carriage closest to the guard's compartment, which is marked with a blue light on the outside of the train. Drunk people are common on trains late at night, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. If you ever feel concerned for your safety on any train, you can call 1800 657 926 to speak with Sydney Trains security, then can sometimes arrange for a transit patrol to board the train and provide assistance. It is generally more advisable to seek assistance from the guard however as Transit Officers are few and far between. In more modern trains, you can press the button in the entry area to speak with the guard. Every train station has an orange emergency help point monitored by CCTV that connects to Sydney Trains security, usually towards the centre of the platform. Nightride buses, which replace trains after midnight, can arrange for a taxi to meet you when you get off. Ask the driver.

If you are going to the beach, take the same precautions as you do anywhere in Australia. The biggest thing to remember when swimming at any Sydney beach is swim between the yellow and red flags. These flags are places by the lifeguards and indicate the safest place to swim at the beach away from dangerous currents. Sydney has no really dangerous jellyfish. Bluebottles (Portugese Man-Of-War) are blueish-purple stingers that hit the Sydney beaches a couple of days every summer, when the wind direction is right. They have an air-bladder that floats on the water, and stinging tenticles. Often the air-bladder can be no bigger than a coin. You will see the evidence of them with their air-bags washed up on the beach if they are present. They can give a painful sting - even when on the beach - but it won't keep everyone out of the water. Apply a heat pack if you can, or ice, or salt water. The best way to remove the pain is to run the affected area under the hottest water you can stand. Vinegar is useless. Sometimes small transparent jellyfish appear in the harbour and estuaries. You can usually avoid any groups of them, but they are mostly harmless. More rarely larger purple jellyfish are in the harbour and other estuaries. If you see these in the estuaries, best to stay out of their way. Probably more of an issue to water skiers than to swimmers.

Sydney ocean beaches all have shark mesh nets around 100 metres out to sea, and are regularly patrolled by air for sharks. A shark alarm will sound if any are sighted, and you should get out of the water. The risk of shark attack swimming on a patrolled beach between the flags is virtually nil. Shark attacks are rare on Sydney beaches, but they have occurred, although there have been no fatal attacks for 45 years. Advice is to avoid swimming in murky water after storms, or at dusk or at dawn, and to swim in the netted enclosures within the harbour and other estuaries.

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