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Sydney is the largest city in Australia, and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney has a metropolitan area population of approximately 4.4 million and an area of approximately 12,000 square kilometres (4,633 sq mi). Its inhabitants are called Sydneysiders, and Sydney is often called "the Harbour City". It is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, reflecting its role as a major destination for immigrants to Australia.
The site of the first British colony in Australia, Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip, commodore of the First Fleet. The city is built on hills surrounding Sydney Harbour – an inlet of the Tasman Sea on Australia's south-east coast. It is home to the iconic Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and its beaches. The metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and contains many bays, rivers and inlets.
The city is home to many prominent parks, such as Hyde Park, Royal Botanical Gardens and national parks. This is a major factor, along with Sydney Harbour that has led to the city’s reputation as one of the most beautiful in the world.
Sydney is considered an alpha+ world city, as listed by the Loughborough University group's 2008 inventory, is ranked 16th among global cities by Foreign Policy's 2008 Global Cities Index and is an international centre for commerce, arts, fashion, culture, entertainment, education and tourism. According to the Mercer cost of living survey, Sydney is Australia’s most expensive city, and the 66th most expensive in the world. Sydney also ranks among the top 10 most livable cities in the world according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting and The Economist.
Sydney is a significant international financial centre and has been ranked 14th within the top 50 global financial cities as surveyed by the Mastercard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index (2007), and 1st within Australia. Sydney is also an international fashion and creative industry hub and is Australia's fashion capital.
Sydney has hosted major international sporting events, including the 1938 British Empire Games, 2000 Summer Olympics, the final match of the 2003 Rugby World Cup and the 2008 World Youth Day. The main airport serving Sydney is Sydney Airport. (source Wikipedia)
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