No trip to Sydney would be complete without visiting the inner city suburb known as The Rocks. Located directly north-west of the CBD, The Rocks is the foundation place of Sydney and was the first sight of European settlement after the discovery of Sydney Cove in 1788.
Nestled at the foot of the Harbour Bridge, The Rocks is an amazing combination of old and new. The suburb has been gentrified quite extensively in the last two decades and now has an impressive array of boutique shops and cafes.
Bringing The Rocks into the 21st century whilst still retaining its cultural history and colour was not an easy task, and was achieved through a sensitive conservation program put in place by the local council. This has preserved The Rocks heritage and its place in Australia’s development for future generations to enjoy.
Many tourists visiting the Rocks do so to eat, drink, shop and explore. There is an extensive selection of historic pubs in the area offering great food, cold beer and a window into Sydney’s past. Most notable are the Observer Hotel built in 1847; the Orient Hotel originally built in 1844; and the Mercantile Hotel built in 1915.
If you’re after a bit of culture, the Museum of Contemporary Art is in the area, Sydney Observatory is located on Observatory Hill just around the corner, and heritage listed buildings such as Cadmans Cottage and Campbell’s Cove are also located in The Rocks.
There are a number of events and festivities going on in The Rocks all year round including Project Five: A free street art exhibition that is held during the month of March and has several events such as retrospective art exhibitions, live art displays and industry talks.
The Rocks markets operate every weekend from 10am to 5pm and have over 100 stalls selling a wide range of homewares, food, Australian souvenirs and gifts.
Dining options in The Rocks extend from top class pub meals through to funky cafés and fine dining. The Italian Village restaurant is located within an 18th century sandstone buildings and is one of the best known places serving delicious contemporary Italian cuisine.
Accommodation options in The Rocks is expensive – and most hotels or serviced apartments are 5 star. Budget options are not available in this area.