Why you should go to Sydney !

Sydney - often called The Emerald City - is Australia's oldest, largest and most ethnically diverse city, first settled by convicts from England in 1788 and famous for its iconic opera house, harbor and harbor bridge. The state capital of New South Wales, it is centered in six neighborhoods near the harbor, but the greater Sydney metropolitan area spreads over 4,775 square miles (12,367 km), including nearly 700 suburbs and extending all the way to the Blue Mountains to the west.

Despite its distance from Europe and North America, it is one of the 15 most visited cities in the world - Chinese and Americans making up over 30 per cent of international visitors - and hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics that the International Olympic Committee president called the "best Olympic Games ever." Famous Sydneysiders include actor Hugh Jackman, model and businesswoman Elle Macpherson and Olympic swimmer Dawn Fraser.

A global business center, Sydney also offers visitors museums, beaches, restaurants, nightlife, architecture and natural beauty. Tops on most tourists bucket list are the Opera House (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Harbour Bridge, the Royal Botanical Garden, Bondi Beach, the Blue Mountains and a ferry ride in the harbor.

The big LGBT event each year is the Lesbian and Gay Mardi Gras, which started modestly in 1978 and now is ranked as one of the world's top costumed parades with nearly 200 floats and attracts 12,000 participants, not counting the hundreds of thousands on the sidelines. Gay Pride is celebrated each June with a full calendar of special events and parties.

The Golden Mile or Oxford Street Darlinghurst remains the heart of gay Sydney, although the rainbow ribbon runs from Potts Point around the Central Business District and extends into suburbia, which is particularly popular among lesbians.

Downtown Lockout Laws

Make sure you're inside clubs in the Central Business District and King's Cross - the city's "red-light" neighborhood - by...

One Smartcard Fits All

Just tap the Opal Card for rides on all forms of public transport: buses, trains, ferries and light rail. Buy online, at...

Volunteer With Pride

Be one of the 1,500 volunteers needed at the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. You'll make new friends and have lots of fun....