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Overview to Sydney: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

The Iconic Sydney Harbour

Sydney is a remarkable city, not simply for its sun-kissed beaches and wonderful architecture, but also for its people. The city (like the country as a whole) is renowned for the welcome - that famed Aussie hospitality - that it extends to visitors.

Travelers to Sydney will be thankful that local officials rejected plans for a tunnel to link the two sides of Sydney Harbour. For if they hadn't, then two of the most famous sights in the world – the wonderful Opera House, with the remarkable Harbour Bridge as its backdrop – would never have been constructed.

The city itself is split into a number of distinct districts with the harbour dividing it up into northern and southern sectors. Central Sydney, which extends from Circular Quay to Central Station, contains the city’s vibrant Chinatown district as well as the growing Spanish Quarter near Liverpool Street. Both add a vital, vibrantly ethnic element to the city.

Darling Harbour used to be home to much of the city’s industry. Recently, however, it’s undergone a major transformation and the Harbourside Center, Cockle Bay Wharf and King St Wharf are now all major attractions with a host of restaurants, bars and shops.

The Rocks (which sits next to the Harbour Bridge on the western part of Sydney Cove), was where the country’s European forefathers chose to establish their first settlement. Now, after years of neglect, it makes up Sydney’s old quarter, albeit one whose charms – cobbles and all – are of a faintly Disneyfied variety.

Unlike in many European cities, much of the action takes place out in the suburbs. The Inner East area is a case in point: the gentrified Victorian area of Paddington is a charming slice of leafy suburbia which (along with the nearby Surry Hills and Darlinghurst areas), comes into its own as a center of the famously vibrant Sydney nightlife scene.

Sydney is undoubtedly the travelers’ gateway to the rest of Australia, and it caters beautifully for those who come to the city drawn by its reputation as a ‘backpacking mecca.’ Along with the lively locals, they help ensure that there’s always a buzz about the place - regardless of when you go.

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