There's plenty to do, see, and learn in Sydney, New South Wales.
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people. Inhabitants of Sydney are called Sydneysiders, comprising a cosmopolitan and international population.
The site of the first British colony in Australia, Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip, commodore of the First Fleet as a penal colony. The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson which is commonly known as Sydney Harbour, where the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge feature prominently. The hinterland of the metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and the coastal regions feature many bays, rivers, inlets and beaches including the famous Bondi Beach and Manly Beach. Within the city are many notable parks, including Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Sydney ranks among the top 10 world centres. In 2010, Sydney was ranked 7th in Asia and 28th globally for economic innovation in the Innovation Cities Top 100 Index by innovation agency 2thinknow. Sydney also ranks among the top 10 most liveable cities in the world according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting, The Economist and Monocle and is considered among the top fashion capitals in the world. It was also ranked in the top 10 Global University Cities according to RMIT University.
It has hosted major international sporting events, including the 1938 British Empire Games and the 2000 Summer Olympics. The main airport serving Sydney is Sydney Airport and the main port in the city is Sydney Harbour.
Sydney is well-endowed with open spaces and access to waterways, and has many natural areas, even in the city centre. Within the CBD are the Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney Park, Hyde Park, The Domain and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The metropolitan area contains several national parks, including the Royal National Park, the second oldest national park in the world, and several parks in Sydney's far west which are part of the World Heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains Area.
The Domain was established by Governor Arthur Phillip, just six months after the arrival of the first fleet. Originally established as being exclusive to Governors, it was opened to the public in the 1830s. Hyde Park was dedicated on 13 October 1810 by Governor Macquarie for the "recreation and amusement of the inhabitants of the town and a field of exercises for the troops". To celebrate the first 100 years of European settlement, Centennial Park was dedicated by Sir Henry Parkes in January 1888.
Similarly, Bicentennial Park was opened on 1 January 1988 to commemorate 200 years since European settlement. 1988's Bicentennial celebrations also saw the opening of the Chinese Garden of Friendship, designed by the City of Sydney's Chinese sister city Guangzhou.