If it's history you're after then you'll undoubtedly have The Rocks pencilled in as a "must-see" on your itinerary and rightly so.
Though much of it was rescued just in time before the developers got hold of it, these days its importance is clearly recognized.
The Rocks is one of the most-visited parts of Sydney. It is not hard to see why. Nestled at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and on the western shores of Sydney Cove, The Rocks is the foundation place of Sydney and Australia, and of enormous historical signifiance. It is often described as "Sydney's outdoors museum".
Its recent transformation is an amazing metamorphosis, the old district being turned into a vibrant pocket of cafes and restaurants and interesting tourist shops and stalls. This has been achieved without destroying the area's Old World charm and historic buildings. Sydney's town planners have put in place a sensitive conservation program that has preserved the heritage and character of The Rocks and brought about an interesting fusion of modern amenities in an old and valued setting.
Most activities centre around walking, looking and eating. The Rocks is Sydney's oldest preserved colonial district so the main emphasis is on the historical importance of the area. The Sydney Visitor Centre, Corner, Argyle and Playfair Streets, The Rocks (Open daily 9.30am to 5.30pm [Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day]), is a logical and excellent starting point. This centre has a wealth of information on points of interest around The Rocks and provides free information and literature, as well as having souvenirs and momentos that can be purchased.
Fondest memory: Going for a stroll around here you may see a misplaced Captain Cook (pic 2) or choose to visit Australia's oldest pub, though not oldest-continually-serving pub, that belongs elsewhere. There are many gorgeous sandstone buildings as you stroll down the street that dot this area that eventually ends up under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The wonderful old police station (pic 4), now a bar, is just one of many examples of what the area used to look like while the gothic spire on the nearby hotel shows how different architectural styles were embraced.
Each weekend over 100 stall holders set up a market there, open from 10 till 5 or 6pm on summer days. This gives a wonderful atmosphere to the area.
The Rocks in Sydney is one of the more historical places you can visit on your trip to Sydney. Originally, this area was the first settlement of Europeans upon arrival in Australia. Prior to this time however it was the location of Aboriginal settlement. Still today, archaelogical digs are finding more information about who was here before.
Today, the history is preserved in a different format. Waterside eateries, a beautiful walkway from Circular Quay to the Harbour Bridge, and then the central area in which the Rocks Market is located is to be found.
The best idea is to grab a Aussie Meat Pie and a beer, then enjoy a walk through the market.
NO, I won't start with the Sydney Opera House, but with the place where the history of modern Australia began,
'The Rocks'. In this cove, the 11 convict ships of the First Fleet dropped anchor in 1788 and on the peninsula known as The Rocks, the first European settlement took root on Australian soil. No other place offers more to see and do than The Rocks. The unique blend of history, culture and modern living makes The Rocks one of Sydney's first attractions. This is the place to steep yourself in Sydney's history - and so much of it is free. View the rich collection of archaeological findings; tour historic buildings and public spaces. Learn about the landing of the First Fleet in 1788, and the first camps set up against the rocky sandstone ridges that give the area its name. See for more info and pics in the Rocks travelogue please.
Is one of Sydney's foremost attractions - a centre of history and entertainment. Many of the buildings are near original - from the oldest building in The Rocks, Cadman's Cottage, to Susannah Place, Campbells Storehouse and the Merchants House.
Set on Sydney Harbour, The Rocks can offer everything from boutique shops to fine art galleries as well as restaurants, street entertainment, historical buildings, and many artefacts from a much earlier Sydney. As the landing place of 1400 men, women and children in 1788 (over half being convicts) The Rocks provide a fascinating look at Australian history.
Favorite thing: One of the oldest part of Sydney, The Rocks is the earliest settlement of Sydney and Australia. Nestled at the foot of the beautifully designed Harbour Bridge, it has transformed into a vibrant pocket of cafes, restaurants and interesting tourist shops and stalls.
The photo was taken outside the Museum of Contemporary Art. It is a good place to take an indoor break. Located in Circular Quay next to Wharf 6, it has free admission. The art is interesting and there are changing exhibits. If one wants to take a break from outdoor scenery or if it becomes hot from sitting outside, the museum offers a nice change.
When I was there, there was some art that contained a candle. One kid secretly blew out a few candles which a guard quickly relit.
Favorite thing: Go to Miller's Point for a wonderful view of the city. [It's on the other end of the 'U' that forms Sydney's 'Inner Harbour'.] An added bonus are some very nice restaurants with open-air seating! As well as the old ships you see -- I think some of them provide harbor cruises for visitors.
Fondest memory: Hanging out in CIRCULAR QUAY and THE ROCKS area with my dearest friends and joining in the New Year's festivities is the best memory ever for me. It would be difficult for me to forget such an eventful moment.
SHOP! SHOP!! SHOP!
The BEST time to come is just after Christmas when there's a MAJOR Stocktake Sale on... (it's usually a day or 2 after Christmas). You can get really lovely stuffs at great discounts. Go early in the morning if you want to get the best buys!! And that's me on New Year's Day here in Sydney.
You may also like to check out the Sunday flea market here at The Rocks. They also have lovely stuffs on sale.
Fondest memory: For me, some of my best clothings are bought here at really dirt-cheap prices. Hit on Aussie brands like Ken Done, Collette Dinnigan, Lisa Ho, Charlie Brown, Country Road, Saba etc.
For cheaper clothings, you may like to check out Cue, Portman's, Sportsgirl (I love this brand!!) etc.
Other lovely places to shop include the QVB (that stands for Queen Victoria Building) and Strand Arcade. Now, I hope I've at least convinced you to book your flight to... Sydney?!
Sightsee, Stay, Shop or Dine at The Rocks....
Incidentally, did you know that The Rocks is the site of the first European settlement in Australia? It was once a neglected area of convict-built stone buildings. Today, it is Sydney's most historic and most happening place.
Noticed the tall buildings in the background??
Well, that's Sydney's Business District. For those tourists who detest walking long distances (or even those who have absolutely no stamina at all to walk!), you'd be most ecstatic to know that ALL major sights here in Sydney is within walking distance. Lovely, isn't it?
see the world famous SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE here at The Rocks/ Circular Quay.
Fondest memory: Your day would be considered perfect if you head down to Circular Quay, take one of the many cruises available here (we took the Captain Cook Harbor Cruise costing us approx. A$10 - A$15. (I think). Whatever it is, it ain't expensive....), don't forget to take loads of wonderful pictures and then end off your (already) perfect day with a sizzling concert at the Sydney Opera House. Even if you don't have enough time to explore the rest of Sydney, just coming here would be enough. In which case, you must stay at one of the many lovely hotels located here. More on that later.
Can you Imagine being in Sydney one week before the games and not being able to stay.
Well thats what happened to me this week.The buzz around Sydney is really great and any one who attends the games will surely have memories to last forever.
Fondest memory: The more I travel to Sydney the more I find I like it.
There is so much to see and do in Sydney that you really need alot at least a week to see enough to really start to get a feel for the place.
Try the markets around the rocks there is plenty to see and do there.
Fondest memory: sitting outdoors in the rocks market on a sunday.. sipping coffee.. relaxing to the sounds of jazz bands playing live.. that's life! :)
The Visitor Centre at The Rocks is a good place for further Informations about Sydney
106 George Street
Tel: +61 2 92551720
Fax: +61 2 92415010
come to Circular Quay/ The Rocks.
Fondest memory: Amongst the many monuments and landmarks you'd see here, you must not forget to capture the SYDNEY HARBOR BRIDGE on camera.