has got to be Australia
's best city. With the nation's major icons such as the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, great beaches, harbours, shopping, restaurants and entertainment it is no wonder that it is the country's capital in everything but name (Canberra
is the capital).
The city underwent an incredible transformation prior to hosting the Olympics in 2000 to ensure that visitors would get the absolute best of everything when they arrived, from new transport systems, new sporting complexes and plenty of everything - and most of these facilities still remain making Sydney
a great tourist-friendly city.
In 1788 Sydney
was settled by Governor Phillip after its discovery and recommendation by Captain James Cook
. Since those early pioneering days of convicts, farming and federation this city has spread to cover a metropolitan area of more than a day's drive from end to end.
Known by 4 zones, the North, South, East and Western suburbs Sydney
is expanding at a rapid rate. The Northern suburbs are typified by leafy gardens, imposing expensive housing, yet family oriented. The western suburb real estate market is considerably cheaper and therefore has seen a great migration of young
families, new homes, new expressways, major shopping malls and a strong ethnic and multicultural mix. The Eastern suburbs fringe the shores of the harbour on the southern side of the bridge and include the very exclusive Valcluse, Rose Bay and the excitement hub of Bondi. The Eastern suburbs is trendy with many older homes and terraces being renovated into decorator showpieces. The southern suburbs have also enjoyed massive growth and now Sydney
's south stretches almost all the way to Kiama on the south coast past the Royal National Park.
The Blue Mountains region has always been of great fascination to Sydney
siders. In the early 1800s early explorers
desperately tried to blaze a path across this formidable section of the Great Dividing Range and finally found superb fertile farming lands on the far side that today yields the country's best sheep and grains.