悉尼 Sydney's landmark Opera House
Australia's premier city is the oldest settlement in Australia， the economic powerhouse of the nation.
The Sydney area was the ancestral home of the Daruk tribe， whose territory extended from Botany Bay to Pittwater. There are some 2000 Aboriginal （土著居民的）rock engraving sites in the Sydney area， and many of Sydney's suburbs have Aboriginal names. The city of Sydney began life as a penal colony（指英国放逐犯人的殖民地） in 1788， and for the next 60 years received the unwanted， persecuted and criminal elements of British society. Despite its brutal beginnings， the city's mixture of pragmatic egalitarianism（平等主义）and plain indifference has transformed it into a thriving multicultural society. Sydney now attracts the majority of Australia's immigrants and the city's predominantly Anglo-Irish heritage（传统）has been revitalized by large influxes of Italian， Lebanese， Turkish， Greek， Chinese and Vietnamese.
The centre of Sydney is on the south shore of the harbour， about 7km （4mi） inland from the harbour heads. The CBD （中央商务区） has become a mini Manhattan of skyscrapers vying（竞争的；竞赛的）for dominance and harbour views， but its relentlessness （指城市钢筋水泥建筑的丛林给人留下的硬邦邦的感觉） is softened by shady Hyde Park and the Domain parkland to the east， Darling Harbour to the west and the main harbour to the north. The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the harbour tunnel link the city centre with the satellite CBD of North Sydney and the suburbs of the North Shore. The city's airport， Kingsford Smith （otherwise known as Mascot）， is about 10km （6mi） south of the city centre. Central Station， Sydney's main train station， is in the south of the city centre， and the main bus terminal is just outside it.
The city has a population of 3.7 million and is growing fast.
The harbour is the focal point of the city， and its beaches， coves（小海湾）， bays and waterside parks offer welcome release from the rigours （条件艰苦）of urban life. Criss-crossed by ferries and carpeted by yachts on weekends， it is both the city playground and a major port. The string of ocean beaches on the north and south shores offer dramatic cliff scenery， great waves and a close-up of Aussie beach culture at its best.Kings Cross is the city's budget accommodation （住宿经济）centre. There are heaps of good restaurants in Darlinghurst， Kings Cross， Paddington and Glebe， and a few around Circular Quay. For cafés， try Oxford and Victoria Sts in Darlinghurst， Stanley St in East Sydney， King St in Newtown or Norton St in Leichhardt. Sydney's theatres are scattered around the edge of the CBD， the Opera House is on the edge of Circular Quay. The best nightlife is centred on Oxford St and Kings Cross. Louts in the city centre on Friday and Saturday night can make it a less than enjoyable experience. The Rocks can be fun， but the area is overtly aimed at tourists.