Sydney, Canberra and Other Cities







Sydney is Australia’s oldest and largest city, home of about 3.7 million people. It is Australia's most important industrial city and the capital of New South Wales . Sydney’s harbour is one of the most beautiful in the world. Harbour Bridge and the Opera House are among the famous tourist attractions.

Sydney was , at first, a prison colony back in 1788. At that time many nations sent criminals to far away places. The first prisoners were farmers and started raising sheep. In 1848 Great Britain stopped sending prisoners to Australia and a few years later gold was discovered . Sydney started to grow very quickly. By 1890 the population was about 400,000. During the 20th century many European immigrants arrived and turned Sydney into a multi-cultural city.

The people of Sydney are called Sydneysiders. About 70 % were born in Australia but in the last few years many Asians have come to Sydney.

Downtown Sydney has many skyscrapers and office buildings, but there are also many historic buildings and parks , in which Sydneysiders can spend their free time. Many people like outdoor activities because the city has a mild climate. Sydney offers its people long beaches that attract swimmers, surfers and sunbathers



Sydney is a major industrial city. One third of all products made in Australia come from Sydney. The city is also a wool and food market because there are many farms nearby.

In 2000, Sydney was the host of the Olympic Summer Games. A lot of money was spent on rebuilding roads and other buildings. New stadiums were built and many parts of the city were restored and modernized.



Canberra , with a population of about 300,000 is Australia's capital . The city is built around many hills. A dam on the Mongolo River forms Lake Burley Griffen in the middle of the city.

Australia’s parliament meets at Canberra. Many government buildings and other offices are situated here too. About half of the city’s people work for the government. Others work in smaller industries, trade and tourism.

When Australia became independent in 1901, the new government started looking for a place to build the capital city. In 1913 construction began and in 1927 Canberra became Australia’s capital.



Other cities

  • Melbourne —second largest city and capital until 1927
  • Brisbane —capital of Queensland on the eastern coast
  • Perth —largest city in Western Australia
  • Adelaide —capital city of South Australia


Related Topics



  • activities = things to do
  • attract =pull towards you
  • attraction = something interesting to see
  • capital = the city or town where the government is
  • construction = the building of something
  • criminal = a person who has done something that is against the law
  • discover = to find something for the first time
  • government =the people who rule a country
  • harbour = a safe place near land where ships can stay
  • immigrant = someone who goes to another country to live there
  • independent =free, to rule yourself
  • major = very important
  • multi-cultural = with many cultures
  • office buildings = administrative buildings
  • population = the people who live in a country
  • prison = a building where people who have done something against the law are kept
  • raise = to look after and feed animals so that you can sell them as food or other things
  • restore = here: repair
  • situated = you can find them here
  • sunbather = a person who likes to lie in the sun
  • trade =the buying and selling of goods and products