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Balmain promises to be an atmospheric suburbs with tiny work cottages and interesting sandstone houses. It is literally filled with historical buildings such as the Watch House on Darling Street. Built by Edmund Blacket, the house is a must for those who like to marvel at strange architectural designs such as the "outhouses" (or "dunny" - Australian colloquialism for washroom) which were built close to the guards' quarters.
Close to the Balmain Wharf is the Thorton Park which was once the site where the medical staff of the First Fleet settled in 1788. It was William Balmain, (1762-1803) one of the surgeon's mate, who was granted 550 acres of land (by Governor Hunter) thus giving his name to the place.
Towards the back of the old Colgate Factory is one of Sydney's most important historical docks known as Mort's Dry Dock. It was established by Thomas Sutcliffe Mort at the end of Waterview Street during the 1854 Gold Rush boom. Although most of the industrial buildings have long ago vanished, Balmain still retain some of the character from those chaotic development of the 1854 and is now home to baby boomers who moved to the area in the 1970s. Today, the area boast a rich collection of restaurants, cafes, shops and residential homes.
Not far from Campbell Street is the Presbyterian Church which was built between 1867 and 1878 under the direction of the local mayor at that time, James McDonald. Nearby on Curtis Road stands another holy place, known as the St Andrews Church which was built in 1855 and is the site for the famous Balmain market. You can visit the market each Saturday between 10am and 4.30pm.
TIPS: Balmain is famous for its many pubs. (There are more pubs located here than anywhere else in Sydney!) Visit any of the pub and order one of Australian's best known beer, Foster's Brew.
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