Being situated right on the bustling harbour at Circular Quay, The Rocks trace their roots right back to Sydney’s convict days and the beginnings of white settlement in Australia. Its maze of sandstone lanes, courtyards, warehouses and terraces tell of a life that was a good deal rougher than the average Australian would experience today!
Today, The Rocks is considerably more civilised. A must-see part of Sydney, it’s the place to visit on the weekends when The Rocks Market sets up its stalls selling everything from original artwork and jewelery to local produce and designer goods.
The area’s 19th century warehouses have been converted into award-winning restaurants, stylish bars, galleries and museums. Perhaps the biggest of these museums is a tourist attraction in its own right: the Museum of Contemporary Art, which has a constantly evolving set of exhibitions showcasing the best in modern art.
Another museum worth exploring is The Rocks Discovery Museum, which combines interactive technology with archaeological finds uncovered at The Rocks. It’s free to visit and will give you a clearer understanding of the area’s fascinating history.
The Rocks is also a popular area to shop for Australian-made goods including fashion, artworks, Aboriginal artefacts, souvenirs and fine food.