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Sydney from Darling Harbour
Coat of arms of Sydney
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Sydney Portal
Coat of arms of Sydney
Welcome to the
Sydney Portal


Flag of the City of Sydney
Satellite image of Sydney
Map of Greater Sydney
Map of New South Wales showing location of Greater Sydney
Map showing location of New South Wales in Australia

Sydney (English: /ˈsɪdˈn/) is the state capital of New South Wales. With a population of over 4 million people, it is the most populous city in Australia. Sydney is located on the east coast of Australia.

The traditional custodians of the area now known as Sydney were indigenous Australians. Radiocarbon dating suggests that they have occupied the area in and around Sydney for at least 30,000 years. Prior to the arrival of the British there were 4,000 to 8,000 native people in Sydney from as many as 29 different clans. The area was established by Europeans in 1788 when Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet landed in Sydney Cove and claimed Australia for the British. Built around Sydney Harbour, Sydney is known in Australia as the "Harbour City", and structures on the Harbour such as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are globally recognised icons of the city.

Sydney has one of the world’s most recognizable skylines, thanks to various iconic landmarks. Its famous harbour is commonly referred to as the most beautiful natural harbour in the world, it is also one of the largest. Sydney is also one of the 10 Beta global cities (along with San Francisco, Toronto and Zurich) exerting significant regional, national, and international influence and notable for its climate, sandy beaches, culture, world class hotels and renowned landmarks. Sydney is also a major domestic and international tourist destination. It is one of the busiest trading and financial centres in the Asia Pacific region. Sydney significantly raised its global profile in recent years as the host city of the 2000 Olympics.

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1947 Sydney hailstorm boat.jpg
The 1947 Sydney hailstorm was a natural disaster which struck the New South Wales capital on January 1, 1947. The storm cell developed in the morning of New Years' Day, a public holiday in Australia, over the Blue Mountains before hitting Sydney and dissipating east of Bondi in the mid-afternoon. At the time, it was the most severe to strike the city since records began in 1792.

The strength of the storm was put down to the high humidity, temperatures and weather patterns of Sydney. Damages associated with the storm were estimated at the time to be approximately £750,000 (US$3 million), approximately equal to A$45 million in modern figures. The supercell dropped hailstones larger than 8 centimetres (3.1 in) in diameter, with the most significant damage occurring in the central business district and eastern suburbs of Sydney.

The event caused around 1000 injuries, with between 200 and 350 people requiring hospitalisation or other medical attention, predominantly caused by broken window shards. The most severe injuries were located on Sydney's beaches, where many people had no cover or shelter. The size of the hailstones would be the largest seen in Sydney for 52 years, until the 1999 Sydney hailstorm caused A$1.7 billion in insured damage in becoming the costliest natural disaster in Australian history.

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Punchbowl depicting Indigenous Australians

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