Was Sydney ever Australia’s capital?

Was Sydney ever Australia’s capital?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/11/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

When someone asks where the capital of Australia is, most will guess Sydney or Melbourne. But they would be is wrong, as the capital of Australia in Canberra.

But why is this the case? Typically, the most popular and visited city in the country is usually the capital, known as the centre hub for the rest of the area. Canberra doesn’t fall under this category, as it isn’t a very exciting place to visit, which is the reason foreigners don’t know of it. So why isn’t Sydney?

Why Sydney is thought to be the capital

On every traveller’s bucket list is Australia’s spectacular city, Sydney. It is the first on visitors’ minds when imagining Australia, famous for its beautiful harbourfront and sunlit skyscrapers. An essential stop on visitor’s bucket list, home to iconic attractions such as the Sydney Opera House. With no trip to Australia completely without a stop into this incredible site. Despite all this, Sydney is not the capital of the country and never has been. However, it was the oldest and one of the largest settlements in the continent, being the very first European settlement built.

How Australia choose its capital

In 1835, they established the beginning of the renowned Melbourne city, about 47 years after Sydney. During this time the battle for the capital began, with both historic Sydney and the new location of Melbourne in the running. However, there were a number of reasons why both these two locations could not be chosen. As the capital should be a place that wasn’t near the coast, didn’t have a major settlement, and wasn’t hot in the summer. Yes, you heard correct, one of the main reasons why these two cities weren’t chosen was due to their hot weather in summer. As the English stated they could only really thrive and lead the country in colder climates. Although this is a ridiculous reason, all politicians agreed it, with them compromising not to choose either Melbourne or Sydney and finding a beautiful city that occupied a commanding position. Choosing a city between the two major cities and naming it Canberra, merging together the European ‘Cranberry’ and the Indigenous ‘Nganbra’ to create the unique title.

Why travel to Sydney

Make sure to bring your camera to this sparkling city, for the area is bursting with iconic sights. Attractions like the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are essential sites, with Bondi Beach and Darling harbour a close second. It is celebrated for its sophisticated atmosphere and rich contemporary lifestyle. With outer areas only a short drive away from the city illustrating the landscapes true natural beauty.

Related article: New Year’s Eve in Sydney

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.