The Rocks – Exploring Sydney’s most iconic neighbourhood

The Rocks – Exploring Sydney’s most iconic neighbourhood

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 08/18/2016

Reading time: 3 mins

Uncover one of Sydney’s most vibrant tourist precincts, filled with an array of wonderous attractions!

The oldest and most charming neighbourhood in Sydney is home to a rich tapestry of the city’s humble beginnings and is known as The Rocks because of the series of historical sandstone buildings that line the streets. This area is a mixture of new and old, full of bustling shops and markets during the day and the legendary pub culture flooding the streets with cheer at night.

The Rocks are a historical goldmine and are often referred to as “Sydney’s Outdoor Museum” because of the immense number of attractions and walking tours that tell the city’s story from the very beginning. You will find Sydney’s oldest building on George street, Cadman’s Cottage was the very first structure to be built on The Rock’s shoreline as a home for the Government’s coxswains. You’ll also have the chance to visit Susannah Place, which is a block of four terraced houses that have been converted into a museum that displays the lives of the working class citizens of 19th century Sydney.

The area is best known for the iconic arches of the Sydney Opera House, the city’s most popular performing arts venue that hosts hundreds of world-class acts every year. The terrace around the Opera House provides a magnificent view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This spectacular steel bridge is 1149m long and offers the activity of climbing the 134m high arch, so if you’re willing to strap on a harness and climb to the top you’ll have a breathtaking view of the city around you.

During the weekend you can visit The Rocks and make your way to the north end of George Street, where you will find the Rocks Market, with over 150 stalls full of Australian crafts and food. This is the perfect place to spend a day browsing through the stalls and grabbing some food in Sydney’s oldest neighbourhood. If you’re really looking to sink your teeth into something scrumptious then you can visit the Friday Foodie Market, where your taste buds will be tantalised by the signature, smoky flavour of the Australian barbeque. The market is also full of buskers bringing a warm and relaxed atmosphere to the bustling stalls.

The Rocks are also one of the liveliest areas for Sydney’s nightlife. Live music, rooftop bars, and waterfront restaurants all cover the region, promising you a night you won’t surely forget anytime soon! Offering an impressive view of the city’s iconic attractions while visitors enjoy a mouth-watering dinner and a delicious cocktail to go with it!

If you prefer a quieter adventure, this region is also home to the country’s premier contemporary art gallery. Offering over 4,000 Australian works, not to mention a massive collection of international artworks, you can hours wandering this exceptional cultural attraction!

Overall, the Rocks showcase Sydney’s rich culture, with plenty to learn at the several historical stops, mouth-watering food at the welcoming markets, and some of the best views in the city, there is no doubt that this neighbourhood is worth a visit!

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.