Sydney Commonwealth Walkway

Australia / The Pacific

SYDNEY  Sydney is Australia's oldest and largest city with a population of around 4 million people. Sydney is a major seaport stretching round a seemingly never-ending, natural harbour.  The city covers over 3,250 square miles with 152 miles of foreshore.   Originally a penal colony in the 18th century, it now hosts many tourist attractions as well as a number of beaches, bays and a couple of national parks.  Jan Morris called it ‘a city made for the instant exciting impact.’  Sydney was first visited by the British in 1770 when Captain James Cook and Joseph Banks sailed the Endeavour into Botany Bay. The First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay in 1788 under the command of Governor Arthur Phillip. Phillip originally named the colony ‘New Albion’, but then the colony acquired the name ‘Sydney’, after the British Home Secretary, Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney.   Sydney has had many influences upon its style. Aboriginal sites and engravings can still be seen from the original occupiers, the Eora tribe.  The city also has an Anglo-Mediterranean style and a growing Chinese and Asian influence.   In addition, the city is divided into North and South by the Sydney Harbour, with both Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tunnel connecting them. Most of the tourist attractions are in the South part of the city, with a large business and residential area in the North.  Major-General Lachlan Macquarie (1762-1824), Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821, created broad streets and pavements in the city and saved the 42 acres Hyde Park in the middle.   Fun Facts 
  • P.Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney, from the famous movie Finding Nemo, does not exist.
  • The Sydney Tower was the tallest structure when it opened in 1981, and still is the second tallest freestanding structure in the whole of Australia.
  • Sydney was in the Guinness Book of Records for producing the longest line of pizzas at 221 metres in the Italian quarter of Leichardt.
  • The Harbour Bridge is known by the locals as ‘The Coat Hanger’ due to its distinct shape.

11.2 miles / 18 kilometres

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