Sydney Facts

Here are some facts about Sydney.

  • Sydney is the largest city in Australia. It is located in the state of New South Wales, on the country’s south east coast on one of the world’s largest natural harbours.
  • The British explorer, Captain Cook discovered the area in 1770, during his first Pacific voyage. The city was established as a British penal colony in 1788 and declared a city in 1842.

  • Sydney’s best known sights include the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and beautiful beaches, including the famous Bondi Beach. The Rocks area is the oldest part of the city.
  • The famous Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the largest steel arch bridges in the world, at 1,149 metres long. Local residents call the bridge the coat hanger and walking across the top of it is popular.
  • Rugby league is the most popular sport in Sydney, perhaps because of the many British residents. In summer, cricket is popular and widely played and sailing is popular all year round.
  • The city has a population of about 4.6 million, and the residents are known as Sydneysiders. About 75 percent of the city’s population are immigrants and Chinese, Arabic, Greek and Mandarin are all widely spoken.
  • Sydney’s George Street is the oldest street in Australia. The city is also home to one of the world’s most expensive residential streets, Point Piper.
  • All Sydney beaches have excellent facilities, including changing rooms, play areas, barbecues and picnic shelters. World famous Bondi Beach has a burger named after it.
  • Sydney is regularly considered to be one of the best cities in the world to live in.
  • Sydney has many neighbourhoods and streets named after those in London, including Hyde Park, Paddington, Waterloo and Oxford Street. Several streets, squares and statues are named for Britain’s Queen Victoria.
  • The city is the home to the famous Sydney Opera House.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Facts

Here are some facts about Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia.

  • Australia’s Sydney Harbour Bridge, nicknamed ‘the coathanger’ because of the shape of its design, carries road, rail and pedestrian traffic from Sydney’s business district to the North Shore.
  • The bridge was opened in 1932, and it is just over 1,100 yards long. It is also one of the tallest bridges in the world, with a height of 130 yards from water level to the top.

  • Around 14,000 workers were employed to build the bridge between 1924 and 1932. Many of these workers were immigrants and they were among the highest paid workers in the country at the time.
  • Since 1998, tourists have been able to climb to the top of the bridge. It takes almost four hours to climb up and down, and tours leave every 20 minutes.
  • Whenever the Queensland Rugby League team wins the State Championships, the Queensland state flag is flown from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge was constructed with approximately 6 million steel rivets. An estimated 72,000 gallons of paint were used to paint the bridge.
  • For many years, the south east pylon was an observation platform for tourists. The owners also had several white cats which roamed the bridge and became quite famous.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

  • Several planes have successfully flown under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, including a group of 24 Australian Air Force planes and a huge Lancaster bomber.
  • To make sure that the bridge could hold enough weight, in 1924, its load capacity was tested by placing almost 100 trains on the bridge.
  • During temperature changes, the size of the huge arch can actually change by up to seven inches. To allow for this, there are specially made hinges in the top of the arch.

What next? Find out some facts about another one of Sydney’s famous landmarks – the Sydney Opera House, or discover some facts about more of the world’s rivers and bridges.

Sydney Opera House Facts

Here are some facts about the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

  • Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most well known and instantly recognizable live music venues.
  • It is located in the northeast of Sydney’s central business district.

  • Over 7 million people visit the Opera House every year, making it one of Australia’s biggest tourist attractions. About 1.2 million of these attend a performance.
  • The Opera House was designed by Jorn Utzon, an architect from Denmark.
  • The main concert hall can seat almost 2,700 people and contains one of the world’s largest organs – it has 10,000 pipes.
  • One of the 1,000 rooms in the opera house is named the Utzon Room (after the building’s designer). It contains a woolen tapestry, made from enough wool to stretch from Sydney to Perth, a distance of about 2,040 miles.

Sydney Opera House

  • LEGO have produced two Sydney Opera House sets. The first is part of the LEGO Architecture range (set 21012) and contains 270 pieces, and the second (set 10234) is part of the Creator theme, and contains nearly 3000 pieces.
  • The building’s distinctive look comes from a million tiles, which were designed to be self-cleaning. The concrete roof sections, which weigh up to 30 tons each, are held in place by over 250 miles of cable.
  • In 1997, a French climber climbed all the way to the top of the Sydney Opera House, with no ropes or safety devices, and using only his hands and feet.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger once appeared at the Opera House, during a 1980 body building championship. The venue has also hosted wrestling events and rock concerts, in addition to opera.
  • During a 1983 performance of a Russian opera, a live chicken fell off the stage and landed on the head of one of the musicians. Safety nets were installed to prevent things like this from happening again.
  • As well as being the home of Australian Opera, the Sydney Opera House building has had its own opera written about it, called The Eighth Wonder.

What next? Discover some facts about Sydney Harbour Bridge, another of Sydney’s famous landmarks.