Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds one of the world's largest natural harbours, and sprawls towards the Blue Mountains to the west. Residents are together known as "Sydneysiders" and constitute the most multicultural city in Australia and one of the most multicultural cities in the world.
The area around Sydney has been inhabited by indigenous Australians for tens of millennia. The first British settlers arrived in 1788 with Captain Arthur Phillip and founded Sydney as a penal colony. Successive colonial Governors assisted to transform the settlement into a thriving and independent metropolis. Since convict transportation ended in the mid 1800s the city has become a global cultural and economic centre. The population of Sydney at the time of the 2011 census was 4.39 million. About 1.5 million of this total were born overseas and represent many different countries from around the world. There are more than 250 different languages spoken in Sydney and about one-third of residents speak a language other than English at home.
Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance, manufacturing, and tourism. Its gross regional product was $337 billion in 2013 making it a larger economy than countries such as Denmark, Singapore, and Hong Kong. There is a significant concentration of foreign banks and multinational corporations in Sydney and the city is promoted as Asia Pacific's leading financial hub. In addition to hosting events such as the 2000 Summer Olympics, millions of tourists come to Sydney each year to see the city's landmarks. Its natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, Bondi Beach, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Man-made attractions such as the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are also well known to international visitors [Wikipedia.org]