The Rocks, A Historical Walking Tour in Sidney

The Rocks, just below the Harbour Bridge, is the center of historical Sydney. This rocky outcrop lies between Sydney Cove and Walsh Bay. Captain Arthur Phillip proclaimed the establishment of Sydney Town in 1788, the first permanent European settlement in Australia.

Over time, the area was reduced to an uninviting mess of old houses, narrow alleyways, and a few dubious brothels and taverns.

In the 1830s and 1840s, merchants began to build exquisite stone warehouses in this area. However, when the primary shipbuilding industry in Sydney was moved to Circular Quay, the area sunk into decline.
In the 1870s and 1880s, The famous Rocks “pushes” and groups made up of “larrikins” (louts) assaulted passers-by and fought one another: the narrow road named Suez Canal was a favorite location to wait in the dark.

Many believe this name may be a contraction of the Sewers’ Canal. In fact, this area had become so filthy that entire streets had to be ripped down in 1900 to prevent the bubonic plague.

It remained a decrepit and depressed area until the 1970s and the 1970s when plans were made to demolish the historical warehouses, cottages, and terraces to create office towers.

Ultimately, because of the wisdom of a revolutionary building workers union that stood up against destruction, the reconstructed and rehabilitated historic quarter is today one of Sydney’s most popular tourist attractions. And, despite some hints of an old-themed park, it is well worth visiting.

It’s also the ideal spot to buy souvenirs, particularly during weekends, when The Rocks Market takes over the northern part of George and Playfair streets. Also situated on Playfair Street, Rocks Walking Tours offers excellent walking tours.

The Rocks

Rocks Walking Tours, Cnr Argyle & Harrington Streets Shop 5, Clocktower Square, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia

Daily Tours 10.30am & 1.30pm

Phone: 02 9247 6678,

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Featured Image:

JC. Princen

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