Overview of Sydney

Geography of Sydney

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With a total area of 7 686 850 of km², Australia is the biggest island in the southern hemisphere, which, together with New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tasmania, and ten other small islands, forms the continent of Oceania .

The capital of Australia is not Sydney (which is the biggest city in the country) but Canberra. The country is divided into 6 States: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia; and two major mainland territories: the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

In 2007 the Australian population was approximately 20.8 million, and is mainly concentrated in and around the mainland state capitals Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane.

Although most of Australia is desert the continent is so vast that there is a range of different climates depending on where you are; from the tropical climate in the North to the sub-alpine climate in the South (you can even ski in mountains in the South of Sydney or in the North of Melbourne). In addition, there is also the famous Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef which lies a short distance off the north-east coast and extends for over 2,000 kilometres.


With its 4.5 million inhabitants, Sydney is the city with the highest population in the country. Located in the southeast it is also the capital of New South Wales. The city is built around a bay, Port Jackson, which is one of the biggest natural ports in the world. Two notable bridges cross Port Jackson inlet: the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Gladesville Bridge. Sydney also counts 70 beaches among the city which includes the famous beaches Bondi and Manly.

The ancient city is also the business district and has many immense sky-scrapers such as Australia Square Tower (172 m), whereas the rest of Sydney consists principally of low-rise houses. It is this combination of modern urban space within an exceptional natural framework which makes Sydney one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And of course, the best example of this is the Sydney Opera House designed by Jørn Utzon (a Danish architect), which was inaugurated in 1974.

The city has a pleasant climate, with warm summers and cool winters, and lacks the extreme temperatures experienced in some other parts of the country. Summer temperatures do not normally rise above 30C and generally remain at about 8C during winter.

Update 29/04/2008

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