G’day readers! Well, I’ve finally got around to it. Time for a post on my home town – the beautiful harbourside city of Sydney!! I know. I can’t believe in among all the travel posts that I’ve never written about the city I was born and raised in. The place that, no matter where in the world I may live or travel, will always be called home. So … lets get into it!
Sydney is the largest and most populated city in Australia, it is home to some 5 million people out of a country with a total population of only 24.5 million. The city is located on the eastern coast of Australia and is the capital of the state of New South Wales. For those that are not aware – Sydney is not however, the capital of Australia – that title goes to a city called Canberra, located approximately 2.5 hours south of Sydney. Although the area was inhabited by indigenous people for thousands of years, the colony of Sydney itself was founded on 26 January 1788 as a settlement for British convicts. And in case you are wondering, yes I am a descendant of several of those convicts. It’s a fact I’m quite proud of when I think about what they faced – shipped to some desolate, isolated corner of the world far from all they’d ever known and having to carve out a new life for themselves (once their sentences were complete) and build a new city out of what can be a very unforgiving and rugged land.
As mentioned, Sydney is located on the east coast and is bordered inland to the west by the Blue Mountains. A string of mountain ranges that make up part of the Great Dividing Range, they got their name from the blue tinge they have when viewed from a distance. This tinge is a result of light playing through particles emitted by the forests of eucalyptus trees in the ranges. Sydney sprawls out to the north and south along the coastline and encompasses an area of approx. 12,500 square kilometres (approx. 4,500 square miles). Those figures are pretty rough but you get the point! Our climate is subtropical and humid all year round, with hot summers (this summer was in the 40°C or 104°F plus range at the hottest) and cooler winters (17°C or 65°F on a cold day – nope, not cold enough to get snow in Sydney). We get a lot of rainfall in the spring (September) and then are ringed by bushfires a couple of months later in the lead up to summer.
Sydney was built on a base of sandstone, so the cityscape is a mixture of tall modern buildings with their steel and glass and the more ornate & shorter old sandstone ones. All of which is interspersed with large areas of greenery, such as Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens, and waterways like the harbour foreshore and the many bays and rivers which meander their way into the suburbs. And of course there are those two most famous and iconic landmarks – the Sydney Harbour Bridge (or “The Coat-hanger” as we affectionately call it) and Sydney Opera House – backdrops for our amazing NYE fireworks displays (seriously, everyone needs to see in at least one NYE here – it’s worth it). Like the rest of the country, we are a melting pot of different cultures and religions, we love our outdoors and the multitude of beaches are immensely popular, but we are a young city so our history is not particularly lengthy (excluding the aboriginal history of course). I’m totally biased, I think Sydney is stunning and although it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world, the quality of life is good and I think it has a lot to offer as a home or for visitors. But don’t just take my word for it … if you haven’t already, or even if you have, why not take a trip Down Under and visit Sydney for yourself 🙂
This post is part of my contribution for the April 2017 A-Z Challenge
For a list and links to all my challenge post, click here
For those interested in revisiting my 2016 challenge post for S, here’s the link: Snapshot – Sukhothai