Sydney is the largest and most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. It is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson, commonly known as Sydney Harbour, which is the largest natural harbour in the world. The city’s two most iconic landmarks, the Sydney Opera House, designed by Danish Architect Jørn Utzon, and the Harbour Bridge, are located there. The hinterland of the metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and the coastal regions feature many bays, rivers, inlets and around 70 harbour and ocean beaches, including the famous Bondi Beach. The city is endowed with many natural areas: within the CBD are the Chinese Garden of Friendship, Hyde Park, The Domain and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Sydney has a reputation as an international centre for commerce, arts, fashion, culture, entertainment, music, education and tourism. It has hosted major international sporting events, including the 2000 Summer Olympics.
As the financial and economic hub of Australia, Sydney has grown to become a wealthy and prosperous city and hosts many different festivals and some of Australia's largest social and cultural events, like the Sydney Festival, the Big Day Out, a travelling rock-music festival, the Sydney Film Festival and Sculpture by the Sea, Australia's largest outdoor sculpture exhibit. Sydney's New Year's Eve and Australia Day celebrations are the largest in Australia. The National Institute of Dramatic Art in Kensington, boasts internationally famous alumni such as Mel Gibson and Cate Blanchett. Sydney's role in the film industry has increased since the opening of Fox Studios Australia in 1998. Prominent films which have been filmed in the city include Moulin Rouge!, Mission: Impossible II, Star Wars episodes II and III and The Matrix.
Sydney's most popular nightspots include Kings Cross, Oxford Street, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and The Rocks, which all contain various bars, nightclubs and restaurants. There are also several popular museums, such as the Australian Museum of natural history and anthropology, the Powerhouse Museum of science, technology and design, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Australian National Maritime Museum. Other places worth visiting include the Luna Park Sydney, Sydney Tower, Sydney Aquarium, Taronga Zoo, and the Sydney Observatory.
Accommodation in Sydney’s residential colleges and halls
The University of Sydney, established in 1850, is Australia's oldest university and the largest in Sydney. Accommodation is provided by residential colleges located on and around the main campus in the city centre. Other universities in Sydney include the University of New South Wales and Macquarie University. It should be understood that these residences and colleges are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, they do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.
Getting around Sydney
Most Sydney residents travel by car through the system of roads, freeways and tollways (motorways). The most important trunk routes in the urban area are the nine Metroads, which include the Sydney Orbital Network. Trains run as suburban commuter rail services in the outer suburbs, then converge in an underground city loop service in the CBD. Sydney has one privately operated light rail line, Metro Light Rail, running from Central Station to Lilyfield along a former goods train line. The Metro Monorail runs in a loop around the main shopping district and Darling Harbour.
In the city and inner suburbs the state-owned Sydney Buses has a monopoly, but in the outer suburbs, service is contracted to many private bus companies. Sydney Ferries runs numerous commuter and tourist ferry services on Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River. Sydney Airport, in the suburb of Mascot in the south of the city, is Sydney's main airport, and is one of the oldest continually operated airports in the world.