Travel to Sydney in Australia. Sydney is known as the Harbour City. It’s the largest, oldest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia with an enviable reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful and liveable cities. Brimming with history, nature, culture, art, fashion, cuisine, design, Sydney’s set next to miles of ocean coastline and sandy surf beaches. Longterm immigration has led to the cities reputation as one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in Australia and the world. The city is also home to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, two of the most iconic structures on this planet.Sydney has a compact city centre surrounded by sprawling suburbs, all coming together to form a vast and diverse metropolitan area. Sydney is a vast sprawling city, and the suburbs in the city metropolitan area spread for up to 100km from the city centre. The traveller visiting the suburbs will find less crowded beaches, parks, cheaper shopping, commercial centres, cultural festivals, and other such hidden gems.The Hawkesbury is a semi-rural area to the northwest of the city, centred around the Hawkesbury River. Its main towns are Richmond and Windsor.Sydney is a major global city and one of the most important cities for finance in the Asia-Pacific. The city is surrounded by nature and national parks, which extend through the suburbs and right to the shores of the harbour.It could be said that the tyranny of distance has shrunk in recent times. Sydney is now only a flight away from some of the fastest growing and largest economies in the world. This has increased the profile of the city, admired for its clean environment and fantastic weather. Sydney’s 4,757,083 residents (according to a 2013 estimate) sprawl over an area of more than 12,350km. The timezone is identical with the majority of the state of New South Wales: GMT +10. The local timezone is AEST or Australian Eastern Standard Time. The city, as does the rest of the state, observes Daylight Savings time from October to April each year. During daylight savings time Sydney is 30 minutes ahead of Adelaide, 1 hour ahead of Brisbane and 3 hours ahead of Singapore. Sydney became the center of the world’s attention in September 2000 when the city hosted the Summer Olympics – officially announced by the IOC Chairman at the closing Ceremony to be the “the best games ever”! The Olympics saw a major building and renovation program take hold of Sydney, positioning it as one of the great world cities of the 21st century. Sydney continues to attract and host large international eventsSome evidence suggests that humans inhabited the area of Australia that would later become Sydney almost 50,000 years before the first European settlers arrived. How those first people arrived in Sydney still remains an unsolved mystery. What is known is that in the late 1700’s an English Lord named Thomas Townshend (aka Lord Sydney) thought it would be a great idea if England established a penal colony on the east coast of Australia, an area discovered by Captain James Cook about 16 years earlier.On January 26, 1788, a fleet of 11 (known as the First Fleet) ships, bearing around 850 prisoners, arrived at Sydney Cove. The date became known as Australia Day. The European diseases the colonists brought with them rapidly decimated the native population. A shortage of food and lack of farming knowledge led to widespread starvation that almost wiped out the convicts and their guards. The arrival of the second fleet in 1790 was meant to bring relief in the form of supplies, but primarily brought more sick and dying convicts which only worsened the situation.In 1810, Lachlan Macquarie became governor of Sydney and conditions began to improve. Macquarie wanted to build a city and build he did. Under his leadership, labor forces (made up primarily of convicts) erected public buildings such as banks and churches, constructed roads and bridges, and built wharves to accommodate the rapidly burgeoning maritime trade. He also allowed convicts who had served their term to enter society as free citizens. Macquarie’s tenure as governor ended in 1821 when he was recalled to London for spending too much money and ruling autocratically. Sydney continued to grow, despite Macquarie’s absence. In 1842, Sydney was incorporated and became Australia’s first official city. The practice of transporting convicts ended in 1850, by which time it had a population of 35,000 people.Australia experienced an overall population depletion as citizens left the country to seek their fortune in the gold fields of California. Around 1852, though, gold was discovered in Australia and people came pouring back into the country. The Australian economy boomed. By 1871, Sydney’s population had reached 200,000. Despite a few setbacks, namely an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1900, the Great Depression and two world wars, Sydney continued to thrive. By the early 1950’s, Sydney’s population, boosted by a steady influx of immigrants, had jumped from 481,000 to over one and a half million. Employment rates were high and the economy strong. Skyscrapers began to dot Sydney’s landscape and its iconic opera house opened in 1973. The 2000 Summer Olympic Games were held in Sydney, branding the city once and for all as a city worth noting.Today, Sydney is home to over four million “Sydneysiders.” It is considered one of the most diverse cities in the world, with more than 40% of the population originally hailing from outside Australia. Its comfortable climate, iconic structures, beautiful beaches and exotic wildlife have all combined to help make Sydney one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.When the First Fleet, under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, landed in Botany Bay in 1788, it set off a chain of events that would forever change the population of what would later become known as Sydney. For at least 35,000 years, Aborigines had been the sole inhabitants of this part of Australia. No one knows exactly how many Aborigines lived in Sydney before Philip’s arrival. What is known for certain is that during the years following the landing of First Fleet, the native population was decimated, primarily by disease. Today, Aborigines comprise only approximately 2% of Sydney’s total population. For a time, therefore, Sydney was comprised almost entirely of British convicts, their guards and the few settlers who accompanied them. In 1851, the Australian gold rush brought immigrants pouring in from all around the world and Sydney’s population exploded. The biggest influx of immigrants came from the United Kingdom, Ireland, America, China and Germany. Today, over 40% of Sydney’s population cite their ancestry as English, Scottish, Irish or Chinese.After the gold rush, Sydney’s population continued to grow. Today it has the largest population of any city in Australia, although Melbourne is hot on its heels. It is considered one of the most multi-culturally diverse cities in the world. Approximately 60% of the 4.8 million people who call Sydney home were born in Australia. People identifying as English or Chinese comprise the majority of the rest of the population. This population diversity is reflected in a multitude of spoken languages. (Australian) English is considered the national language of Australia. It’s similar to British English (which differs somewhat from American English) but has some of its own unique vernacular. While the majority of people speak English, it would not be considered out of place to hear conversations in Chinese, Arabic or Greek. When taken as a whole, Sydneysiders speak over 250 languages. When it comes to religious beliefs, Roman Catholics and Anglicans form the biggest religious groups, with Islam coming in a close third. Close to 18% of the population do not identify with any religion.The population of Sydney is comprised predominantly of young professionals. In fact, over 70% of the city’s residents are between the ages of 18 and 49. The residents are pretty evenly split between men and women. Close to 8% of the population are under 15, and approximately 11% are over 65.Sydney is recognised worldwide for its vibrant gay community. Every year, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is celebrated on the first weekend in March, drawing people from all over Australia and the world for the celebrations.The rising housing prices and living costs in Sydney have had a negative effect on the culture and many consumer services. Many Australians outside Sydney often describe it as having a “rip-off” culture.Sydney is comfortable for travellers to visit any time of year. The city enjoys over 300 sunny days each year. Though it has 104 days of clear skies.Sydney’s Western Suburbs, which lie away from the coast, tend to be hotter during the day and a little cooler during the night. They miss the afternoon sea breezes and the night-time warming effect of the ocean. Sydney has air conditioning in all public buildings, and on most public transport. These days it is increasingly rare to have to catch a bus or train without air conditioning on a hot day. Nevertheless, carry water during summer and remember sun protection year round.Sydney Climate and Weather information is available online at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology [55].Every year since 1998, Sydney has held the Sydney Writers’ Festival. This festival features over 300 events and brings in an audience of over 100,000. This non-profit festival brings together some of the world’s best fiction and nonfiction writers, screenwriters and even musicians, scientists and journalists. At its core, however, the festival’s purpose is to celebrate literature. While the festival is designed to highlight writers and performers from around the world, Sydney itself has many reasons to be proud where literature is concerned.Sydney€™s skyline is large and widely recognisable. Sydney also possesses a wide array of diversity of modern and old architectural style. They range from the simple Francis Greenway’s Georgian buildings to Jorn Utzon€™s Expressionist Sydney Opera House. Sydney also has a large amount of Victorian buildings, such as the Sydney Town Hall and the Queen Victoria Building. The most architecturally significant would be the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, among many others. Skyscrapers in Sydney are also large and modern. Sydney Tower just rising above the rest of the Sydney skyline.There are also pockets of architecturally significant housing dotted around Sydney’s suburbs. The inner-eastern suburb of Paddington is known for its terrace houses, while several inner-west suburbs contain streets lined with so-called federation houses (built around the time of Australian federation in 1901). Probably the best preserved example of federation houses in Sydney is in the Inner West suburb of Burwood. Appian Way is a circular street built around lawn tennis courts complete with pavilion house. The large houses are all architecturally unique and built on large expanses of land featuring old trees and lovely gardens. Further away on the lower North Shore, Castlecrag is a unique suburb, being planned by the architect Walter Burley Griffin in the 1930s.Though Sydney doesn’t have quite the atmosphere that its neighbor Melbourne does when it comes to sporting events, it does have a large Rugby League following where once a year they have their world renowned State of Origin at ANZ Stadium.Another passion for Sydney “siders” is horse racing. One of the biggest races in Australia, the Golden Slipper, is featured every March.Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport (IATA: SYD) [56] is Australia’s busiest airport and the main gateway to Australia. It is located around 9 km south of the City centre in Southern Sydney on the northern shores of Botany Bay. Sydney Airport is the oldest continually operated commercial airport anywhere in the world.Over 35 airlines fly in and out of Sydney Airport with daily flights linking Sydney to key destinations on every continent. The Asia-Pacific transport hubs of Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai have several daily flights, as do the European centres of London, Paris and Frankfurt (with stopovers in Asia or Perth). There are also non-stop flights to Dubai and Doha in the Middle East. North America is connected via Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth and Vancouver. Travellers from South America can fly direct from Santiago . Africa is connected with a daily direct flight from Johannesburg.You can fly to Sydney directly from all other Australian capital cities and from many major regional airports. Otherwise, you need to fly to the state capital and transfer to a Sydney flight. Sydney can be reached within an hour and a half from Melbourne and Brisbane with services every 15-30 minutes in peak times. It’s only 45 minutes from Canberra and just under four hours from Perth and Alice SpringsTip: Tweet @FlySYD on the day of travel for real-time flight information direct to your WiFi device from the airport.Check which terminal you are going to.International terminal (T1) handles all international flights and some domestic flights. Check your itinerary and flight number because check-in, connections and customs will take longer when arriving or departing from the International Terminal, even on a domestic flight. You do not need a passport when travelling domestically, just hang on to your boarding pass.Domestic terminal 2 (T2) is the largest domestic terminal. Airlines using this terminal include Regional Express (Rex), Jetstar, Tiger and Virgin Australia[57].Domestic terminal 3 (T3) handles Qantas and Qantaslink domestic flights numbered from QF400 and above which are mostly services to larger cities and towns as well as to many smaller regional centres.T1 (International terminal) has food and shopping both before and after immigration and security. There is an open air beer garden and bistro by check-in Bay A on the departure level. There are cafes on both departure and arrival levels. Good coffee and food can had for a reasonable price, but it is easy to buy poor overpriced coffee and food too. Departures has cheaper prices than downstairs at arrivals. There is a better and cheaper choice of food before going through security, at the large central food hall in departures. Avoid currency exchange offices (see the Currency exchange section). Two free showers for both males and females are available by check-in bay A on the departures level. There is also an open air observation deck, with the entrance next to check-in bay B on the departures level, through the bistro and up the elevator. A post office is in the check-in area, but it is only open during business hours. Post boxes are available after customs. There is a large duty free shop selling alcohol, cigarettes, perfume and electronics available when departing and arriving. There are some free Internet terminals in departures, even a few before security. There are paid Internet terminals there too and downstairs in arrivals. Trolleys cost money landside of security. Pick one up airside where they are free, or out in the carpark where they have been left by previous users.T2 has a large food and shopping area, with a large selection of food outlets located to the right after you go through security. There are also gift shops, bookshops and some clothing stores. There are nice views over the tarmac from the eating area. There are ATMs before and after security. Everyone is able to go through security, whether travelling or not. T3 (Qantas domestic) has a food hall with a variety of food and coffee. Nice Thai is available for around $15 or Hungry Jacks for normal prices. The food hall is airside of security, but you do not need to be a passenger to pass through. Most food and drink places and the security checkpoint close 30 minutes or so before the last departure. Don’t expect to be able to get anything at all if you are arriving on a late flight. Don’t expect people to be able to get to the gate to meet you on a late arrival as they will have to wait at baggage claim if you arrive after the last departure. There is free Wi-Fi and Internet terminals available for $5 per hour.Due to curfew laws, no planes arrive or depart between 11PM and 5:30AM. The domestic terminals (T2 and T3) close after the last flight has cleared (around 11PM) and reopen at 4AM – you cannot remain in the terminal. T1 (international) also closes around 11PM and reopens at 4AM – but there is small transit area with basic facilities that you can remain in if you are already in the terminal (landside). This is located on level 1 near the entrance to the train station. There are limited seats and it fills up quickly when security starts herding people out of the terminal. The last train service departs at 11:45PM.Transfer between domestic terminals T2 and T3 must be done on foot. Follow the signs either via the railway station underground, or across the car park.Transfer between T1 and T2/T3 is 4 km by road, as the terminals are on opposite sides of the airport tarmac. You will have to use one of the following methods to transfer:Sydney Airport is 9km from the city centre and reaching the city centre or other suburbs is easy, whether it be by suburban rail, bus or car. If you’re going to the city centre the following methods are your best bet:Be warned of Taxi drivers taking you the long way from the airport to CBD. Request to travel via Alexandria or Redfern than on the highway. DIt is possible to drive to Sydney from Brisbane or Melbourne in a full day, around 8.5 hours non-stop to Melbourne or 11.5 hours to Brisbane on the most direct routes. A comfortable drive would allow two days from Melbourne or Brisbane, and three to Adelaide. The Melbourne drive is dual carriageway high quality road. The same can’t be said for the Brisbane drive, which while it has high quality sections, it also has some very narrow winding sections, carries high traffic volumes, and has many stoppages from roadworks.If you are renting a car, check the daily distance allowances and any one-way charge that may apply when driving from less popular destinations to major cities. Cars may be rented at the airport and elsewhere from major rental companies, or at smaller, less conveniently located, cheaper companies.Ride-sharing can be arranged with other travellers. You can find a wide range of carpool offers on the Internet or in hostel noticeboards, etc. Usual warnings apply.There are tolls applicable to most motorways coming into Sydney, and all tolling is electronic – no cash is accepted. See “Tolls” section below.Coach companies operate to Sydney from all capital cities, and many New South Wales regional centres. The Sydney coach terminal is located adjacent to Sydney Central train station in the City South. Follow the signs.Coach travel to Sydney is usually quicker, cheaper and more frequent than train travel. Online and advance booking specials are usually available.The New South Wales long distance train service NSW TrainLink, (13 22 32 within Australia) [59] runs at least daily services to Sydney from Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra and many regions of New South Wales including the Mid-North Coast, New England, the Central West and the Southern Highlands. It also services Broken Hill weekly. Travelling time from Melbourne and Brisbane is around 12 hours. Fares range between $30 and $100 for standard class seats, and reservations tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or at the station. The long distance trains between Melbourne and Sydney, and Brisbane and Sydney can be a less stressful alternative to driving, but they do not average particularly high speeds and take longer than flying. It is often possible to get a discount airfare around the same price or cheaper than the adult train fare.The Indian Pacific [60] (13 21 47 within Australia or +61 8 8213 4592 internationally) train service runs from Perth to Sydney via Adelaide and Broken Hill. Adult fares from Perth are $1250 for a sleeper cabin. Children’s fares are $805 for a sleeper cabin. The train departs from Perth on Wednesdays and arrives at Sydney on Saturdays. These fares are much higher than return plane fares to Perth, this journey is really for train journey enthusiasts who want to see the interior of Australia. It also gives you the ability to take your car on the train for an additional fee, although car carrying is no longer available from Sydney (you will need to drive or get your car taken to Adelaide).All long distance (NSW TrainLink and Great Southern Railway) trains to Sydney terminate at platforms 1-3 of Sydney’s Central Station in the south of the CBD area. Travellers can transfer to Sydney trains, the light rail service to Darling Harbour, city buses, as well as taxis. It is also easy to transfer to other long distance trains and coaches. There is short term metered parking so you can meet the trains on the platform. There are ATM’s, a small choice of food outlets, cafes open until late, and a railway heritage society display and a bookshop in the terminal.NSW TrainLink [61] also runs services several times a day from close regional cities: Newcastle via the Central Coast (New South Wales), Goulburn via the Southern Highlands, Kiama via the South Coast and Lithgow via the Blue Mountains.Cruise ships generally dock at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay or at the new (Dec 2013) White Bay Cruise Terminal to the west of the old Darling Harbour facility it replaced. Circular Quay is a spectacular and convenient place to dock, next to the Harbour Bridge and just west of the Sydney Opera House. You can walk off the ship into the city centre and The Rocks or to the Circular Quay Train Station. White Bay in the Inner West is a new wharf for passenger arrivals on cruise ships that are able to sail under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The best access to this terminal is via taxi from Central or Town Hall railway stations (approx A$20 as at November 2014), or via a shuttle bus. Most cruise lines will have airport or Central railway station buses available for a fee (P&O A$30pp to Central as at November 2014). There can be a long wait for a taxi back to the city. This area is closed to the public during non cruise days. Note that there is no convenient public transportation and no long term parking or hire car facilities available at White Bay Cruise Terminal. Cruise ship passengers departing from White Bay may have a spectacular view of Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House on the sail away.Recently some cruises have been anchored off Taronga Zoo on the North Shore and the passengers tendered to Circular Quay (a sight not seen in Sydney for many years previously). If this happens to you, your tender will drop you at the Overseas Passenger Terminal to complete immigration, etc.The public transport system consists of commuter rail, metro, bus, ferry and light rail. Combined, they can get you virtually anywhere in the metropolitan area.Transport Infoline ˜Ž 13 15 00 provides information on fares and route planning for all public transport in Sydney 24/7.As of 2012, Google Maps can also be used to plan Sydney public transport routes.Public transport in Sydney has historically been poorly integrated and the ticket system can be confusing, though this has been alleviated somewhat with the introduction of the Opal Card (see below).Alternatively, one can purchase individual tickets to access each mode of transport. If in doubt check with a driver or station attendant as transit officers do not accept any excuses and you’ll be stuck with a $200 fine.In 2014 Sydney implemented a new stored-value card, like London’s Oyster Card or the Hong Kong Octopus card. This is called the Opal Card.The Opal card is a touch-and-go contactless card that you pre-load with value. The major advantage of the Opal card is that one ticket will work on all modes of transport and that your fares are automatically calculated. For travellers it holds an extra bonus in that after eight paid journeys have been attained, all further travel for the week is half-price. Once a designated weekly maximum spend (as of February 2017, $60) has been reached, all further travel for that week is 50% off. Additionally, there is a $15.00 daily cap to how much you can spend ($2.50 cap on Sundays), which is especially useful if you wish to see the outlying areas of the city on a low budget. There is a $2 discount for each transfer between modes made within 60 minutes of the last tap off – e.g. train $4.20 + bus $2.10 = $6.30 – $2 transfer discount = $4.30. There is also a 30% discount on train fares when travelling off-peak (peak period is 7-9am and 4-6.30pm on weekdays). Different peak periods apply to some outer suburban stations (Lithgow for instance has a 6-6.45am and 4-6.30pm peak).Definitions of Opal travel terms:Trip: travel on one route, on one mode. When you transfer to another route or service, you are commencing a new trip.Journey: consists of one or more trips on eligible services where transfers between services occur within 60 minutes.Transfer: occurs at the end of a single trip. It is a change of transport mode or route, to another service or route, to continue a journey. Transfers made within a standard transfer time of 60 minutes combine trips into a single journey.Cards can be bought through the official website or at over 1000 retailers throughout the city.To use the Opal card you hold it against the card reader until the reader ‘dings’ and then do the same again when you get off the bus or exit the ticket gates. This enables the system to calculate how far you travelled and deduct the appropriate amount from your card balance. If you forget to ‘tap off’ you are charged a ‘default fare’ that assumes you travelled the maximum possible distance on that mode of transport – which may be significantly more than fare you would have paid if you had ‘tapped off’ appropriately. Opal readers are at the doors of buses, on ferry wharves, on ticket barriers at major train stations and on free-standing poles near the entrances to outer-suburban train stations that do not have barriers.The Opal card covers all the railway network, ferries, buses and light rail. The coverage of the Opal card is vast to say the least – not only does it encompass Sydney, Newcastle and all places in between, it is now valid for all train services as far as Goulburn (225km to the south of Sydney), Bathurst (240km to the west) and Scone (some 315km to the north).Though the card itself is ‘free’, it can only be topped up in multiples of $10 – and getting a refund for the unused credit is cumbersome – requiring you to download a form from their website and then sending it back along with the Opal Cards to an address in Australia. The refund is then sent by cheque.As of 1 August 2016, all paper tickets except Opal single-trip tickets have been discontinued.Travellers doing a one-off trip through Sydney that need to catch public transport can purchase a Opal Single Trip Ticket. These are more expensive than Opal fares and no concession fares are available (except for children or youth under 16). Any person travelling through Sydney for more than a brief trip is advised to purchase an Opal Card. You can buy single trip tickets at machines at most stations in Sydney and the Opal network on the same machines where you can top up an Opal card.Sydney has a vast suburban rail network operated by Sydney Trains [63], covering 882km of track and 176 stations. The train network will take passengers to most of the metropolitan area, with the exception of the north-west and northern beaches. Trains service every station in the metropolitan area at least every 30 minutes (except for the Carlingford line) Frequency is higher in the city, and major centres (Chatswood, Parramatta, Bondi Junction, etc) usually see a train every 10 minutes or so. Peak times (7AM-9:30AM and 4:30PM-7PM) have more frequent and also crowded trains, as well as some express services that skip more stations. Expect congestion around Central and Town Hall. Please be aware that the Sydney Trains network is prone to delays, due to mechanical failure issues and weather conditions, so it is recommended that you check the Opal website or app, for any such announcements. There are different styles and ages of trains running on the network. Most often, you will get a clean modern train, air-conditioned with comfortable seating and clear station announcements. Alternatively, you could get a train like a sauna packed in like sardines in the summer afternoon peak, with station announcements that are barely audible, if at all. Prepare yourself with a network map and a bottle of cold water, just in case.Most train services do not stop at every station and do not travel to the furthest extent of the line. Look at the departure screens at the station concourse which indicate when the next train will arrive, its destination, the platform it will depart from, and the stations it will stop at. Alternatively, you can also listen to announcements that will regularly play before and when a train arrives at the platform. Or if you have mobile Internet services use the Transport Info trip planner.Outside of operating hours, between midnight (1AM on Fridays and Saturdays) and 5AM, NightRide buses run at least every hour. Any train ticket is valid for the equivalent NightRide bus except a single. If you have no ticket, you must buy a NightRide single from the driver, which is more expensive than a single for the train. NightRide buses stop at most stations and a few additional stops, but they do not travel on the same routes. If you intend catching a NightRide bus home, check the NightRide route map on the back cover of each timetable, or with the Transport Infoline. Buses can be crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. Exercise caution whilst travelling on trains after 8pm, particularly if the carriage is mostly deserted and if travelling to greater western Sydney, as it is not uncommon for undesirables to be found on trains during these times. 99% of the time they will not cause you any more trouble other than being loud, vulgar and obnoxious, but it is best to avoid them as unwanted altercations may follow. Moving to other carriages would be a good idea. Otherwise, travel in the middle carriage with the train guard (marked with a blue light). The guard has contact with police and the driver if there is any trouble on the train.On weekends, check for trackwork before leaving for the station

Airport: YQY Sydney / J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport Cities in Australia

Country: Australia