Sydney Hotels, Flights, Tours and Cruises

The Rocks

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Location: West of Circular Quay at the end of George Street.

The Rocks is perhaps known by Sydneysiders as one of the city's most colorful, vibrant and best place to visit. It has a collection of old and historical buildings, most of which have been saved and restored as beautifully decorated stores. The Rocks is located west of Circular Quay, close to George Street and Argyle Street.

Market day at The Rocks With its ideal location within the heart of cosmopolitan Sydney, it is best known as the birthplace of Australia. When the 'First Fleet' from Britain first settled in Sydney Cove in 1788, The Rocks was nothing more than a small village with a modest population.

Over the years, The Rocks was allowed to fall into a state of decay with slum condition, diseases and infamous gangsters running the place. With the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1923, a massive change began to take place following a very public outcry that The Rocks be restored and brought back to life for the people of Sydney to enjoy. In the 1970s, the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority was created to take over the massive project of restoration.

To date, The Rocks bears little or no resemblance to its dingy past with beautiful and a colorful 'village' like atmosphere. The buildings are delicately restored to its former glory featuring many displays of artworks by local Australian talents. Each weekend sees hundreds of people flocking to The Rocks Market where large sail-like canopy transform the historic George Street into a bright, colorful and interesting market. Whether your pleasure is simply to sit at one of the cafes sipping a cup of hot cappuccino or just browsing through the stalls, The Rocks is just the place for you.

When in The Rocks be sure to look at the interesting architecture surrounding the area as they date back to as far as the 1800s. There are plaques on the walls that will explain the functions of the buildings before they were converted into stores. If you are interested in history then visit 'Susannah Place' which remains one of the last typical 1840s working class terrace. The house was built for Edward and Mary Riley who immigrated from Ireland during the 1830s and have become some of Australia's forerunners in the merchant industry.

Historic Cadman Cottage Another interesting historical place to visit is the Cadman's Cottage which is a free standing sandstone cottage. The Cadman's Cottage is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Australia and was once the home of John Cadman who was a pardoned convict. Cadman later became the chief superintendent of the government craft in 1827 and lived in this quaint cottage until his retirement in 1846. This is also a good place to get information about Australia's native flora and fauna as well as guide books on New South Wales national parks.

TIP: The Rocks Visitors Centre should be your first stop in the area. You can do bookings to join with a guided tour or if you wish to explore The Rocks on your own, ask for a copy of The Rocks Self-Guided Walking Tour pamphlet.

(02) 9255-1788 (Rocks Visitor Centre), 106 George St.

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