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I have only lived in Sydney since 1995 and I love it. The weather is beautiful, and the Harbour is really spectacular. We live on the Lower North Shore in a suburb called Mosman. Even when it is hot, we still get beautiful cool breezes coming from the sea. We still haven't seen everything there is to see in Sydney and it will probably take us quite a while, as there is just so much to see.

We are living in close proximity to everything we could ask for. Most importantly for me, there are two cinemas within walking distance and one only a ten minute drive away. We have Balmoral Beach (one of the most beautiful in Sydney) only a 2 minute drive away. We are about a five minute drive from the Harbour Bridge which takes you into the heart of Sydney. Shopping,schools and the gym are within walking distance. The public transport system in Sydney is excellent (although I'd rather drive) and taking a ferry across the harbour is a treat.

I just really love the lifestyle I have found here. There seems to be a large number of people living in this area from overseas. A lot of families are here temporarily due to work. The school my son attends has 41 different nationalities attending. That is just amazing. I am pleased that he will get the opportunity to mix with people of all nationalities while he is young and before he is exposed to the stereotypes that the media portray with a lot of nationalities.

We still get people ask us if we have kangaroos jumping down the streets (I kid you not!!!) but you will only find them out in the country/outback or in zoos/national parks. We do, however, have kookaburras come and sit in one of the trees right outside our lounge room window. We live on the first floor so we are level with them when they sit in the trees along with colourful parrots that come and sit on the balcony and let us feed them by hand. We always awaken in the morning to chirping birds and it is hard to imagine that we live in the city or a stone's throw from Mosman's main road, Military Road. On the subject of birds and animals, we also live only five minutes from Taronga Park Zoo.

On the other side of Mosman heading out to Manly (again only a ten minute drive) we drive over The Spit Bridge which crosses Middle Harbour. This is another beautiful harbour which is very sheltered and serene. There are always yachts and boats crusing around or moored at one of the many marinas. The bridge itself opens up a couple of times a day to let the boats pass through so they can sail out to the main harbour, or return to their marinas. We also have so many restaurants of all kinds, within walking distance or a short drive. Just about every nationality you can think of is catered for.

I have included some statistics about Sydney below, which you may find interesting. If you are ever thinking of coming to Australia for a visit, Sydney is a very good place to start. I warn you though, once you have been here, it gets into your blood and you will never be the same again. You may even want to live here!!!!!


New South Wales is situated entirely in the temperate zone. Its climate is generally mild and equable and mostly free from extremes of heat and cold, but very high temperatures are experienced in the north-west and very cold temperatures on the southern tablelands. Abundant sunshine is experienced in all seasons. Sydney is without sunshine on an average of only 23 days per year, and the average range of temperature between the hottest and coldest month is less than 11 degrees Celsius (Sydney average summer temperature is 22 degrees and 13 degree in winter). In the hinterland there is even more sunshine but the range of temperature is greater. Snow has been known to fall over nearly two-thirds of the state, but its occurrence is comparatively rare except in the tableland districts. Snow is found during most of the year on the peaks of the southern tablelands.

General Statistics

Area of Australia = 7,682,300 sq kms (2,966,150 sq miles)
Area of NSW = 801,600 sq kms (309,500 sq miles)
Area of Sydney statistical division = 12,407 sq kms (4,790 sq miles)
Population in Australia at Sept quarter 1994 = 17,898,700
Population of NSW as at Sept quarter 1994 = 6,068,900
Population of Sydney as at June quarter 1994 = 3,738,500
Av. weekly earnings in NSW for adults employed full-time = AUD$683.30 as at August 1994
Registered motor vehicles in NSW at 30/6/94 = 3,262,600, of which 72,300 are motor cycles.

Tourism Statistics

It is estimated that the Australian tourism industry contributed around 6.6% to Gross Domestic Product in 1993-94, of which about 3/4 is attributable to domestic tourism.

Total expenditure derived from tourism was around AUD43.6 billion in 1993-94, of which AUD$10.4 billion was attributed to international (inbound) tourism.

During the June quarter 1995 overseas visitors (aged 15+) spent an average of AUD$1,994 on Australian goods or services (excluding pre-paid package tour expenditure). In 1993-94 tourism directly accounted for around 500,000 jobs or 6.6% of the workforce.

In 1994-95 international tourism to Australia generated export earnings of AUD$12.0 billion, (up 15.6% on 1993-94). This accounted for 12.4% of Australia's total export earnings and 59.0% of services exports.

In the September quarter 1995, the average room occupancy rate for hotels, motels and guest houses with facilities was 59.9%

Tourist accommodation projects worth around AUD960 million are expected to be completed in the two years to July 1996

During the June quarter 1995 overseas visitors spent 17.2 million nights in Australia (up 16.1% on the June quarter 1994).

The average duration of stay was 23 nights (no change).

In the year ending 30 June 1995 overseas visitors stayed 78.2 million nights averaging 24 nights and $1,950 expenditure.

In the period January to November 1995, Australia had 3, 303, 600 international visitors, which was an 11% increase on the same period in 1994.

The "country of origin" breakdown was Japan (706,800), Other North-East Asia (441, 100), South-East Asia (484,400), New Zealand (487,100), UK & Ireland (320,800), Other Europe (340,500), USA (275,400), and Other (247,500).

Australia's Top 20 Attractions 1994/95

1 Sydney Shopping, NSW
2 Sydney Opera House, NSW
3 Darling Harbour, NSW
4 The Rocks, Historical Suburbs, NSW
5 Sydney Harbour Cruise, NSW
6 Sydney Tower, NSW
7 Sydney Beaches, NSW
8 Kings Cross, NSW
9 Chinatown, NSW
10 Other Zoos/Wildlife Sanctuaries/Aquariums, NSW
11 Melbourne Shopping, VIC
12 Blue Mountains, NSW
13 Sea World, Qld
14 Kuranda Rail/Atherton Tablelands, QLD
15 Great Barrier Reef, QLD
16 Royal Botanic Gardens, NSW
17 Movieworld, QLD
18 Taronga Zoo, NSW
19 Jupiters Casino, QLD 20 Queen Victoria Markets, VIC

Tourism statistics like these ones can be obtained from the Federal Bureau of Tourism Research, Tourism NSW, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics

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