The Rocks (downtown Sydney)
The Rocks (downtown Sydney) – this is the historic area of Sydney’s downtown area – located on the south shore of Sydney Harbour (just northwest of the city’s central business district). This was among the first parts of Sydney settled by the British in the late 1700s. Earning an unsavory reputation in the early & mid 1800s (due to becoming a slum frequented by visiting sailors and prostitutes), as well as gang activity. The Australian government carried out stages of slum clearance before World War I, the 1920s (during construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge), and the 1960s & 1970s. Nowadays, portions of The Rocks have been gentrified, which now includes a variety of souvenir and crafts shops (such as The Rocks Markets), some historic buildings (such as Cadmans Cottage, Sydney Observatory, and the Dawes Point Battery), as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Those interested in a tour of this district can sign up for “The Rocks Walking Tours” (www.rockswalkingtours.com.au), where visitors can learn more about its history. Tour groups weave their way through hidden narrow alleyways, along charming cobbled lanes and into shady courtyards, lingering by quaint terrace cottages — some of these sites could be overlooked by casual unguided visitor.