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The Rocks

Once a haunt of sailors, rogues and ne’er-do-wells, Sydney's oldest district is now a paradise for foodies, shoppers and history buffs.

Sitting on the northwest edge of downtown, under the shadow of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks is close to where the First Fleet voyagers stepped ashore in 1778. A fusion of the old and new, this area is packed with restaurants, chic bars, classic pubs, galleries and museums. All of this entertainment can be found in charming restored 19th-century warehouses and boarding houses.

Start your visit at the Visitor Centre to stock up on advice, tour information and maps. Architecture buffs will appreciate the striking building, which merges old and new styles.

Pay a visit to The Rocks Discovery Museum to learn about the indigenous people who first called The Rocks home. There’s also an exhibit about the 1970s protest movement that saved the entire area from the wrecker’s ball and modern redevelopment. Housed in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse, this museum combines technology, interactive exhibits and traditional displays to bring the voices of this neighborhood’s past back to life.

Pull up a barstool in one of the many historic pubs or join a 90-minute Rocks Walking Tour. Anyone who likes their history spooky and spicy will love The Rocks Ghost Tour, which explores the area’s convict history, murders and hauntings. Pub tours are also popular, as are cruises on the Sydney Harbour, which depart from nearby Circular Quay.

If you’re stopping by on a weekend, be sure to wander around the eclectic stalls at The Rocks Market, which has been operating for 16 years. Pick up locally made jewelry, indigenous artwork, photography, home wares, gifts and sweet treats.

The Rocks also hosts free live music concerts and food festivals. Ask the friendly guides at the Visitor Centre for more information.

It’s best to explore The Rocks area by foot, as the metered parking is limited. The Rocks is a short walk from Circular Quay, the major public transport hub.


Guide to Exploring Circular Quay - The Rocks


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$197
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

199 George St., Sydney
4.5
of 5, from 929 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Luxury and panoramic views abound at this Rocks District hotel set within a 5-minute walk of Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

$177
Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
4.5
of 5, from 893 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Standing in the historic Rocks district of cobbled laneways and designer boutiques, the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney is less than 500 meters from ferries and trains, Sydney's central business district, shopping, and Sydney Harbor foreshores.

$192
Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay

Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay

30 Pitt Street, Sydney
4.3
of 5, from 820 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

One block from Circular Quay, the world famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, this CBD hotel is a short walk to uptown shopping and downtown business offices, as well as the Royal Botanical Gardens, museums and parks.

$211
InterContinental Sydney

InterContinental Sydney

117 Macquarie Street, Sydney
4.5
of 5, from 634 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Sydney, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sydney Opera House, Government House, and Circular Quay. Royal Botanic Gardens and The Rocks Markets are also within 15 minutes.

$190
Holiday Inn Old Sydney the Rocks

Holiday Inn Old Sydney the Rocks

55 George Street, The Rocks
4.2
of 5, from 642 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of The Rocks, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Sydney Opera House. University of Sydney is 3.1 mi (4.9 km) away.

$188
Pier One Sydney Harbour, Marriott Autograph Collection

Pier One Sydney Harbour, Marriott Autograph Collection

11 Hickson Road, Dawes Point
4.2
of 5, from 285 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Dawes Point, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sydney Theatre and Circular Quay. Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$191
Rendezvous Hotel Sydney The Rocks

Rendezvous Hotel Sydney The Rocks

75 Harrington Street - The Rocks, The Rocks
4.2
of 5, from 248 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located on the border of Sydney's historic Rocks area and central business district, this hotel is 1 block from the Museum of Contemporary Art and near Circular Quay and the Sydney Opera House.

$183
Sir Stamford At Circular Quay

Sir Stamford At Circular Quay

93 Macquarie Street, Sydney
4.5
of 5, from 312 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Sydney's central business district, this European-inspired luxury hotel is across from the Royal Botanic Gardens and about a 10-minute walk from Circular Quay and the Sydney Opera House.

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