The Rocks, Sydney
It has become a tradition when Liz and I travel to pick up a Christmas ornament from wherever we happen to be. The Rocks Visitor's Center had some nice Christmas balls that were hand-painted with scenes of Sydney. We bought a ball for ourselves and one for each of our Mothers. We even bought my niece the Australian Night Before Christmas Book, which is rather fun take on the traditional Christmas tale.
My daughter Sara is a girly-girl. She loves jewelry almost as much as her maternal grandmother. The bauble gene apparently skipped my wife, thank God.
If Sara ever comes to me and wants plastic surgery, I'll know what for.... she'll want an extra few fingers and toes added so that she can wear more rings.
Anyway, I knew that the jewelry shops in Oz would be of interest to my baby. Rockhounds, located in "The Rocks", was just such a place.
Sure, they have some BEAUTIFUL and very expensive opals and other pieces. But thankfully for Sara, they also have some modestly priced and tasteful items of great interest to teenaged girls. At this place, Sara bought a tiny kangaroo necklace featuring a small opal in the center.
Like everyone else in Australia, the lady working the counter couldn't have been more gracious and friendly, even though she was clearly engaged with a young lady who had no intention of spending more than A$70-100 of her hard earned money. : )
What to buy: Jewelry and precious stones, in many price ranges.
The bill starts at Gee, that's reasonable and goes all the way up to AACCCKKKK, where's the defibrillator.
NOTE....FOR OVERSEAS VISITORS, YOU CAN GET A REFUND OF THE GST. I THINK THE PURCHASE AMOUNT NEEDS TO BE GREATER THAN A$300 FOR SUCH A REFUND.
What to pay: A wide range. You can buy "cute" items for under A$100. You can spend A$10,000 on an opal if you want. I didn't WANT. :^/
Quite a funky gathering of stalls selling plenty of interesting local arts & crafts, homewares, furnitures, jewelries and food items. Not too bad a way to wear away an afternoon. Compared to a mall, I always prefer these markets much better since they usually display more funk and character. Yes, this one is quite tourist-orientated, but I still like the slightly edgier items that are put on sale. Many of the stall owners took pain to impart their own personality into their products. Use your discerning eyes to pick out items you want or just simply window-shop through for amusement.
The market is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
What to buy: My sis went for funky cosmetic jewelries. I bought honeyed macadamias to munch on (not bad!!) and watch out for this stall selling edgy pillow-cases showing a cartoonised naked couple (man and woman separately) running towards each other. (They have sets for gay couples too)
What to pay: Really depends on how many items you intend to buy. You could spend A$0 or towards A$100. I bought a pair of the pillowcases and they cost me A$25.
There are a number of small shops selling Austraiana ranging from t-shirts (no, not more t-shirts!) to bush hats made of kangaroo leather, to aboriginal art, to opal jewelery, and so on. You are sure to find *something* to take home from the little streets of The Rocks.
The Rocks Market is a must for us whenever we visit Sydney. The AMrkets are held on the weekend and are comprised of many vendors selling their wares in booths and under the large tents along George Street.
The market is what I call an upscale flea market with everything from food items, bath & beauty products, clothing, toys,souvenirs, books and jewelry. It is always a fun adventure wandering through the stalls and surveying the merchandise. The market is full of people and activity which makes it a great place to “people watch” (a favorite activity for me).
On every trip since 2007; I have come to the market and found some wonderful and unique pieces.
What to buy: Over the years I have purchsed some wonderful items. In particular I love their Christmas vendors selling their Australian themed Christmas decorations and gifts. There is also an artist (forget her name) who sells handmade photo albums and scrap books that I am fond ov. We have purchased several from her over the years for ourselves and as gifts.
There are several craft vendors that sell accesories which are quite nice and well crafted. I purchased a nice set of cufflinks for my husband a few years back that he adores.
What to pay: The necklace was $125.
The soaps were $7 in total.
The Rocks Visitor Center had a nice collection of Australian themed items such as: books, postcards, pictures, tee shirts, magnets, stuffed animals, housewares, Christmas Ornaments and other such souvenirs. Chris and I enjoy collecting Christmas ornaments from places that we travel so we bought a Christmas Ball with scenes of Sydney painted on it. We also bought an ornament for Chris' Mom and my Mother. We also saw a funny Christmas book titled: "An Australian Night Before Christmas" that we just had to buy for Ava (Chris's niece). the book was a funny twist of how the Australian celebrate a Christams in the warm Australian weather. I also bought a few Sydney magnets for friends and family back home; such as my friend Lucy.
What to buy: Any souvenir you could possibly want.
Right at this location the first Europeans settled themselves in Australia. Therefore you will see a lot of old and historical houses, churches, etc. Also the oldest building in Sydney, Cadman's Cottage (1816) is located in The Rocks. It's also the entrance to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can find this at Dawes Point Park, which is the first fortification of Australia. The Rocks is now a leading visitor destination that combines the best of the past and the present. It's a must see.
Within 4 years of Sydney Cove becoming the forthest outpost of the British Empire in 1788, rows of convict-built dwelling lined the western slopes of the Cove. The first dwellings were built along natural rock ledges and were described as being "on the rocks"; giving rise to The Rocks name.
We walked through The Rocks for quite some time. It's a great place to look for souvenirs, but also for authentic jewelry, antiques, etc in nice specialty shops. We stepped back in time as we wandered the cobblestoned laneways, shopped in former warehouses, dined in historic cottages and were inticed by an outstanding array of contemporary art and craft, fashion and homewares.
If you want to have some good information about The Rocks before you start walking, you can get it at the Sydney Visitors Center in The Rocks (George Street).
What to buy: It's a great place to look for souvenirs, but also for authentic jewelry, antiques, etc in nice specialty shops.
What to pay: A little above average, but do look for the small and therfore not too expensive shops.
Next door to one of my favorite shops in The Rocks sits another favorite.
"Buttons, Buttons, Buttons" has just that. But they are not your usual run-o-the-mill type. These are spectacular vintage pieces of art!
Our last day in Sydney were were getting some last minute purchases taken care of when we decided to stop into this wine shop. The wine shop is large with quite a selection of wines to choose from. Liz is picky about her wines and knows what she wants. She didn't hestitate to go to the sales clerk and request exactly what she wanted a Tazmanian Sauvingon Blanc from Josef Chromy. The sales woman located the wine and Liz was happy to take two bottles off her hands.
The wine shop is also owned by the restaurant next door of the same name. The have fequent wine tastings and events at the shop for customers.
What to buy: The wine was a good price at $30 a bottle.
The Rocks weekend market is located in one of the oldest parts of the city. Here you can shop near old buildings which helps create a unique laid back experience. Here you can buy a number of interesting arts and crafts. There are also a number of souvenir items which you can buy and remind you of your visit to the city. One of the nice stalls to go to is a glass blowing section where the owner blows some glass items. There is also a number of food stalls where you can get a nice snack.
What to buy: Arts and crafts
Wine Odyssey is the place to go for Wine Enthusiasts. The restaurant/tasting room is on one side and the wine shop is on the other. I love their wine shop; there are so many varieties of wonderful wine and the staff is incredibly helpful.
Hubby and I often stop here during the last days of our Sydney visits to pick up some wine to bring back home with us. We have never been dissapointed by any of their suggestions and loved the wine.
If you're looking for a place that's a bit different from your typical souvenir shops, look no further then the Harbour Rocks Store. Located in The Rocks area of Sydney, this little store sells native gifts like boomerangs and aboriginal pendants and bracelets. You won't find your typical souvenirs here, apart from T-Shirts, with unique designs to choose from.
What to buy: I bought my mom an aboriginal pendant that meant "love". A lot of things here are made in Australia that I saw.
What to pay: Expect prices you'd find in any souvenir shop, ranging from 8.00 AUD onwards.
There are so many shops in this area and its such a serene locaion. There are an abundance of opal stores which I have a weakness for. Once again, as a student this was out of my reach but I made a mental note for when I return. I think this is also where the city's visitors center is.
Another touristy market held every Saturday & Sunday from 10am-4pm. There are tonnes of vendors selling everything, eg. crafts, food, housewares, posters, jewelry... . My favourite was to watch the skilled spray-painter doing his on site painting. It's just so impressive!! Just come here & stroll around, maybe you'll find something you like.
Every Saturday and Sunday a market in the Rocks area of Sydney offers anything from art, souvenirs and other artefacts in this historical part of town.
The market is open from 10 am till 5 pm.