50 facts about Sydney

Facts about Sydney

50 facts about Sydney 

Sydney the wonderful. The intriguing. The beautiful. So many things to do and things to find out.

So here’s 50 facts about Sydney to get you started including facts about Sydney Opera House, historical facts about Sydney Australia and some super interesting facts about Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Historical Facts about Sydney

  1. The first known European landing in Australia was by Captain James Cook in Kurnell, Sydney on 29 April 1770.
  2. However, Australia Day is celebrated on 26 January 1788. This was the day that the First Fleet, commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip, landed at Sydney Cove.
  3. Captain Phillip originally named Sydney ‘New Albion’. The colony subsequently became ‘Sydney’, after the British Home Secretary, Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney.
  4. Sydney became a city in 1842.
  5. Many people think that Sydney is Australia’s capital, however it is actually Canberra (in the Australian Capital Territory) which is the home of Australia’s Federal Government.


  1. As at March 2017, the estimated population of Greater Sydney was 5.0 million.
  2. Sydney has a very multicultural population. As at the 2016 census 33.1% of people had both parents born in Australia and 4% of people had both parents born overseas.
  3. Nearly 40 per cent of Sydneysiders speak a non-English language at home.
  4. More than 250 languages are spoken in Sydney. Arabic is the most widely spoken non-English language. Mandarin and Cantonese are the next most common languages.
  5. As of 2011 there were 54,746 people Aboriginal people living in Sydney with the majority living in Western Sydney.  The Gadigal of the Eora Nation are the traditional custodians of the place that is now called Sydney. There are about 29 clan groups of the Sydney metropolitan area, referred to collectively as the Eora Nation. The Gadigal are a clan of the Eora Nation.

Growth and Lifestyle

  1. Sydney is not the nation’s fastest growing city. Melbourne is the fastest, ahead of Brisbane (1.8 per cent) and Sydney (1.7 per cent). Australia’s slowest growing capital city is Adelaide, at below 1 per cent.
  2. In Mercer’s 2017 Quality of Life Index list (covering 230 cities worldwide) Sydney ranked 10th in the world and first in Australia.


  1. As at the 2016 census 9% of Sydney-siders lived in separate houses, 14.0% in semi-detached, row or terrace houses, townhouses, 28.1% in flats or apartments and 0.6% in other dwellings.
  2. The median Sydney house price was $1.15m (as of April 2017).
  3. Point Piper in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs is Sydney’s highest earning suburb with the average individual income $189,293.00.
  4. In 2017 St Leonards topped the list of most expensive suburbs in Australia with a median house price of $6.5 million followed by Darling Point at $6.2 million and Bellevue at $5.4 million.


  1. Sydney stretches for 12,368 km².
  2. Borders include the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Blue Mountains to the west, the Hawkesbury River to the north and the Woronora Plateau to the south.
  3. It encompasses 38 local government areas, each consisting of several suburbs (approximately 650 suburbs in total).


  1. Sydney Harbour is the world’s largest natural harbour with its volume estimated at 562 million cubic metres at high tide.
  2. The Royal National Park was proclaimed on 26 April 1879 and with 13,200 hectares (51 square miles) is the second oldest national park in the world.
  3. There are well over 100 beaches in Sydney including the famous Bondi and Manly beaches.
  4. Cumberland State Forest is the only State Forest in Sydney.


  1. In February of 1966, the Australian Dollar (AUD) was introduced under a decimalised system; dollars and cents replacing the pounds, shillings, and pence.
  2. After phasing out the Australian 1 and 2-cent coins in 1991, the coins were melted down and used in the Sydney 2000 Olympics as Bronze Medals.

The Opera House Facts

  1. The Opera House was opened on 20 October 1973 and is one of Australia’s most visited attractions welcoming 8.2million visitors a year. The Opera House took 14 years to build with construction initially commencing in 1959.
  2. There are over one million tiles on the Opera House roof with the tiles being especially designed and made for the project.
  3. The Architect, Jorn Utzon failed to see out completion of the Opera House, and in fact never saw the Opera House finished. He resigned after a new Liberal government was elected and the Minister of Works stopped payments to him. There were protests in the streets, demanding that Utzon be reinstated, but he left Australia in April of the same year.
  4. Jorn Utzon was initially rejected by three judges in a 1956 competition to design the Sydney Opera House, but his entry was picked out by the fourth judge who declared it outstanding. Mr Utzon beat 232 other entrants.
  5. The Opera House has over 1,000 rooms and is 185 metres long and 120 metres wide.
  6. It was declared a world heritage site in 2007.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

  1. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened in 1932 and is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world and the tallest steel arch bridge.
  2. Construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge started in 1924 and took 1,400 men eight years to build at a cost of $2 million. Six million hand driven rivets and 53,000 tonnes of steel were used in its construction.
  3. One of Australia’s well-known celebrities, Paul Hogan, was once part of a workforce virtually permanently employed repainting the Bridge, in that they started another coat of paint after finishing the last.
  4. When the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in 1932, it cost a horse and rider three pence and a car six pence to cross. Cars now cost around A$3.30 for a southbound trip and it is free to go northbound.

Other Architecture

  1. Kirribilli House is the official Sydney residence of the Prime Minister of Australia. It is situated on Kirribilli Point with an uninterrupted view eastwards across Sydney Harbour.
  2. Admiralty House is also situated on Kirribilli Point. It is used for official events and as the Sydney residence by the Governor General of Australia.
  3. Construction of The Sydney Tower shopping complex began in the late 1970’s with the shops opening in 1972. The office component was completed in 1974 and the final stage of the complex, the Sydney Tower, was opened to the public in August 1981. Whilst the Tower is the tallest ‘structure’ in Sydney (at 275 metres tall) it is not considered the tallest building as it is not fully habitable.
  4. The tallest Sydney building is now the Chifely Tower (since 1992). The Chifely Tower stands at 244 metres tall. It is also one of the most expensive buildings in the world with a build cost of A$1.2 billion.
  5. Sydney Mint is the oldest public building in Sydney central business district. The Mint was built between 1811 and 1816.
  6. Cadman’s Cottage is the oldest house in Sydney. It is located in The Rocks.


  1. Venomous snakes can be found in the Sydney region including the Eastern Brown (Common Brown) Snake, Red Bellied Black Snake, Eastern Tiger Snake and Death Adder. A variety of non-venomous snakes also call Sydney home.
  2. Sydney is also home to venomous spiders including the Sydney Funnel Web Spider. The Sydney funnel-web is the deadliest spider in Australia, and maybe even the world. Its fangs are powerful enough to bite through gloves and fingernails. One in six bites causes a severe reaction, but since the antivenom has been made available, in 1981, no fatalities have been recorded.
  3. A huge variety of other native animals reside in Sydney including Kangaroos. Wallabies, Koalas, fish, birds and insects.

Famous Sydney

  1. Russell Crowe, Iggy Azalea, Rebel Wilson, and Toni Collette are a few of many Celebrity Sydneysiders.
  2. Most of the exterior shots for Home and Away, a famous Australian soap opera, are shot at Palm Beach located in the Northern Beaches region.
  3. Babe, Dead Calm, Independence Day, Mad Max, Me Myself I, Mission Impossible, Planet of the Apes, Queen of the Desert, The Adventures of Priscilla, The Great Gatsby, The Matrix, are a few of the films shot partially in Sydney.


  1. There are four codes of football played in Sydney. National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL or Aussie Rules) and Soccer (A-League (men’s Soccer) and the W-League (women’s soccer)).
  2. Sydney’s Aussie Rules team is the Sydney Swans. The Sydney Sixers are an Australian professional men’s cricket team based in Sydney. The Sydney Kings are an Australian professional men’s basketball team competing in the National Basketball League (NBL). The team is based in Sydney, New South Wales.
  3. There are also Sydney Netball, Hockey, and Ice Hockey teams.

What other facts about Sydney do you know?




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