Sydney has a total land area of over four thousand square miles and host a population of over four million people. It is the capital of the state of New South Wales and is the largest city in all of Australia. The site that Sydney is currently located has been inhabited by Australian Aborigines for at least thirty thousand years. But, modern Sydney was actually formed as a major settlement only after James Cook landed in Botany Bay. Once he landed he established contact with the various idigineous people of the area. Botany Bay was originally to be a convict colony, but the British government decided that the conditions were too poor in the area. So the settlement was erected in Sydney Cove in 1788. It continued as a convict settlement until 1842 when the city was incorporated.
Today, Sydney has become one of the largest economies in Australia, accounting for almost a quarter of the Gross Domestic Product. Its main industries include manufacturing, retail, health and human service, real estate and information technology. The city also host a booming tourism sector with over two million people visiting Sydney each and every year. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Sydney is the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This steel arch bridge crosses Sydney Harbor and was opened in 1932. It is considered to be one of the worlds widest long span bridge and its tallest arch is over four hundred feet high. This bridge is responsible for vehicular, train and pedestrian traffic across the harbor. Sydney Harbor is also home to a large number of bunkers, fort and other fortifications. Many of these date back to the nineteenth century and a fair number of them are World Heritage Sites. Most of these fortification are constructed from sandstone blocks and are riddled with many tunnels and catacombs.
A true masterpiece of the city is the Sydney Opera House. It is considered to be one of the most iconic buildings of the twentieth century and has since been name a World Heritage Site. This opera house is located at Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbor adjacent to the Sydney Harbor Bridge. The opera house is actually composed of several buildings which include the Concert Hall, Opera Theater, Drama Theater, Playhouse, Utzon Room and the Forecourt. This beautiful opera house was officially completed in 1973 and had an estimated price tag of over one hundred million dollars.
Luna Park is the premier amusement park in Sydney. It was built in 1935 and is situated on the northern shore of Sydney Harbor at a location known as Milsons Point. The park consist of six features which include Midway, Crystal Palace, Big Top, Coney Island, Maloney’s Corner and the Face. The Face is the most recognizable features and has been parked at the entrance for over seventy years. Luna Park host a wide range of different rides which include roller coasters, ferris wheels and various themed rides.
The oldest public building in Australia is the Sydney Mint. It was built in 1816 as the southern wing of the Sydney Hospital. The name given to it at the time was Rum Hospital. Around 1854 a mint was established on the site with the hospital building used to house mint staff and the director. Later on a coining factory was built to the rear of the building. In 1926 the mint closed and it is now a part of the Historic Houses Trust of Sydney.
On the eastern side of Sydney is the Sydney Aquarium. This aquarium was built in 1988 and displays over six thousand different fish from over six hundred and fifty different species. The main exhibits of this aquarium are a series of underwater acrylic glass tunnels where sharks swim above visitors, a crocodile exhibit and a recreation display of the Great Barrier Reef coral. Next to the aquarium is the Sydney Wildlife World, which was opened in 2006. Another popular location to view animals is the Taronga Zoo. This zoo is situated on over fifty acres of land and has over twenty six hundred animals divided into eight geographic regions.
A famous historic building in Sydney is the Queen Victoria Building. It was built in the nineteenth century and was designed in the Romanesque Revival style. The building measures five hundred and seventy feet long and is ninety feet wide. The main feature of this building is a dome that contains glass on the interior and has a copper gilded exterior. Stained glass windows allow light into the central area. The inside of the building has four main shopping floors, each decorated with iron railings. The original building was a working environment for various tradesmen and tailors and included showrooms and a concert hall. Today its home to quite a number of boutiques and shops. One of the most recognizable attractions in Sydney is the Sydney Tower. This is the tallest building in the city and the second tallest in Australia. It stands over a thousand feet. Construction was began in 1975 and the estimated cost of the structure is thirty six million dollars.
Sydney is also home to several sporting event venues. These include Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Football Stadium and Randwick Racecourse. Other popular attractions in this city include Bradleys Head Fortification Complex, Lower Georges Heights Commanding Position, the Australian National Maritime Museum, Powerhouse Museum, Fox Studios Australia and the Museum of Sydney. This city is also home to a large number of fine restaurants, hotels, cafes and shopping venues.