The Rocks

Visit The Rocks - a historic neighbourhood rich in history and overflowing with great dining, shopping, entertainment and more

A street market in The Rocks
A street market in The Rocks cc licensed photo by Bgabel

If you enjoy strolling along streets lined with old historic buildings and exploring little boutique shops, restaurants, pubs, and museums along the way, then you will certainly want to spend some time in The Rocks. Here you will find old world charm and character unlike anywhere else in the city. There are so many nooks and crannies to explore. Be sure to check out the lanes, not just the main streets.

This historic part of Sydney nestled in the shadow of city skyscrapers and the Sydney Harbour Bridge is just a short walk from Circular Quay. It was home to the earliest European settlement in Australia beginning way back in 1788. The area became known as was The Rocks because of the local sandstone used in the construction of the earliest buildings.

One very notable building is Cadmans Cottage located just north of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Built back in 1816, it is one just a few buildings still surviving from the first 30 years of colonization. It has a small museum which you can explore between 9:30am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday or 10:30am to 4:30pm on Weekends. Be sure to check out The Rocks Discover Museum which is free. It is located just up Kendall lane off Argyle Street (just west of George Street) and is open daily from 10am to 5pm. As you explore the Rocks you will discover many more old buildings of historical significance.

The Rocks had a pretty rough reputation for much of it's history and became very run down. In an attempt to address this the state demolished many buildings in the early 1900s, quite a number of them to facilitate the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In the 1970s there was another push to demolish many of the old buildings and rebuild, but this was met with much opposition and instead most of the old buildings were carefully restored. This has preserved much of the unique character and history of the old neighbourhood and helped revitalize it into the popular tourist precinct it is today. There is an interesting collection of bars, cafes, hotels and all kinds of specialty shops waiting to be discovered in many of the old buildings here.

You'll appreciate that there are several other attractions located in and around The Rocks providing even more reasons to explore this neat area. On the weekend enjoy browsing through The Rocks Outdoor Market located along the north end of George Street. Vendors display their goods in over 100 stalls.

Nearby attractions: Museum of Contemporary Art, Garrison Church, Sydney Observatory, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Customs House.

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Train or Ferry Line Nearest Station Walking Time
L2, T2, T3, T8 or FerryCircular Quay2 minutes

How to get to The Rocks by Train or Ferry

By Train or Ferry: Exit at Circular Quay Station and proceed west to George Street and then north on George Street. The Rocks comprises the area north of Circular Quay between the waterfront and the Bradfield Highway.

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Accommodations near The Rocks:

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