The Rocks

The Rocks is debatable Sydney’s most favourite tourist attraction, with plenty to see, do and eat for every age group! Argyle Street is possibly the most visited tourist strip in Sydney, and the area mixes a delightful sample of Old Sydney with the new cosmopolitan metropolis. The Rocks is a trip back in time and a major part of Australian history, with the First Fleet in Sydney, settling on its shores. A must see tourist attraction in Sydney, The Rocks is a tourist Mecca of Australia, filled to the brim with history and a story around every corner. Located in Sydney Cove, just a short walk from Circular Quay, tourists travelling Sydney in a day should make time for a visit. A great place to discover Sydney’s fascinating history, The Rocks is right near Sydney CBD and is just a short stroll from the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

One of the top 10 icons of Sydney, there are plenty of shops, museums, and Attractions to see in the area as you while away the day on cobble stone foot paths. If you are looking to book a Sydney Tour, The Rocks Ghost Tour is well worth a visit, taking you on a harrowing journey to the darker side of Australian history and convict life. Make sure you stop for a break at one of many  Restaurants, Cafes, or Pubs in The Rocks with plenty of gourmet food to get your stomach growling!

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History of The Rocks
The Rocks is located in the heart of Cosmopolitan Sydney, however what sets it apart is its ability to capture the past, present and future. It is a uniquely historical Australian quarter with some of Sydney’s oldest surviving buildings. The Rocks initially existed as an open aired jail and has a colourful history of gangs, sailors and street life which can still be traced to the buildings which date back two centuries.
Now, along the cobble stoned streets, you will see fine dining restaurants andcafes, one of a kind boutiques and markets in the place of former warehouses and homes to sailors. Perfect for wondering or relaxing, browsing or buying, or simply enjoying a cup of tea in the warm Sydney Sun – The Rocks is a must see for tourists visiting Sydney.
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Shopping at The Rocks

For those who are looking for a shopping experience different from mainstream Sydney CBD, The Rocks offers a range of eclectic shops in a convenient location. Along both sides of the cobblestone laneways are an abundance of specialty stores, galleries, cafes and Sydney bookshops filled with quirky and unexpected gifts.

The Rocks Centre has a variety of chic fashion, unique accessories, fine food and plenty of chocolate and lolly shops for those with a sweet tooth. Luxury brands like Gucci, Burberry and Ralph Lauren are stocked along with a number of national and international brands.

The Rocks Farmers’ Markets and The Rocks Weekend Market are also worth a visit, with food to tickle your tastebuds, clothing and jewellery to make you stand out in the crowd and souvenirs to tell your family they should have come too!

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Circular Quay to The Rocks
The walk from Circular Quay to The Rocks is full of some of Sydney’s greatest wonderments. Boasting incredible harbour views, Circular Quay is home to some of Sydney’s most luxurious hotels, five class  Restaurants, Venues and more. Next to the water you will find all kinds of restaurants to tickle every one of your tastebuds. The dining experience along Circular Quay to The Rocks really embodies the multicultural smorgasbord that Sydney has to offer, from exotic Asia, to rich European flavours to modern Australian cuisine. There are plenty of Sydney Harbour Cruises, which you will see on your way to The Rocks, along with buskers, and people on their lunch break revelling in the Sydney sun.

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• Domain to the Opera House
The Domain encompasses the Royal Botanic Gardens and stretches right through to the Opera House – a treasure trove to Sydney locals of colonial history, beauty and unsurpassable architecture. The area is one of Sydney’s greatest assets and its beauty has been preventative in further high rise development of the area. Sydney Fitness is rampant from the Domain to the Opera House, with joggers, walkers and bike riders enjoying the view and juxtaposed peaceful setting despite its proximity to the CBD.

• Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
On the eastern edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens is Mrs Macquarie’s Road, built by request from Governor Macquarie’s wife. The road leads to a sitting place carved in sandstone known as Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, shaped by convicts in 1810. The spot boasts one of the best harbour views and remains one of Sydney’s favourite tourist attractions.

• Sydney Cove
A small southern bay at Port Jackson, Sydney Cove is home to the Circular Quay Ferry Terminal, buskers and entertainers, not to mention some of Sydney’s most popular restaurants. At the northern end rests the Sydney Opera House and to the west is The Rocks. During both the warm and cold months the area is bustling with people on their lunch breaks drinking in the warm sun and relaxing against a breathtaking backdrop.

Places of Interest at The Rocks

• Sydney Harbour Bridge
Although it took eight years in the making, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was well worth the wait. The bridge serves as a linkage between the city and North Sydney, with eight lanes of road traffic and two railway tracks. Built in 1932 with 58 000 tons of steels, architects designed the bridge from each end, meeting in the middle. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the fourth longest spanning arch bridge in the world.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb has become popular with travellers as a way to soak up the intoxicating 360 degree view. If heights aren’t your thing, the good news is there are plenty of less extreme ways to see the harbour. For the best view of The Sydney Harbour Bridge, hotels like the Park Hyatt, Quay Grand Suites Sydney, Shangri-La Hotel Sydney and the Sebel Pier One Sydney offer unequal picture perfect snapshots of the architectural dream.

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• Sydney Passenger Terminal
The Overseas Passenger Terminal is home to some of the world’s biggest and most grand luxury cruise liners, including the Queen Elisabeth II. Tourists should mark this on their visitor destination map, with views overlooking the harbour and the Opera House at Bennelong Point. Keep an eye out for the several stylish restaurants at the northern end of the terminal.

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• Campbell’s Cove
Campbell’s Cove is a sub cove of Sydney Cove and is the landmark of Campbell’s Storehouses. Named after the first Australian waterfront entrepreneur, Robert Campbell, the complex is home to a number of popular outdoor maritime restaurants and colonial influenced décor. The views are also incomparable.

• Observatory Hotel
Located in The Rocks, the Observatory Hotel is Australia’s most awarded boutique hotel. Nestled near the harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge, the hotel is close enough to the excitement of Sydney, but far enough away to feel removed from the chaos. Hosting an array of world class facilities, The Observatory welcomes guests to indulge in a day spa and 24 hour room service, and also offers gym, tennis and swimming pool facilities.

• Park Hyatt Hotel
Positioned directly on the Sydney Harbour’s edge, the Park Hyatt offers breathtaking views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Situated at The Rocks, the hotel is a few minutes from the heart of Sydney and a short stroll to Circular Quay. Although it is a boutique hotel, it is renowned in Sydney for having the largest hotel rooms of the city with luxury amenities and private balconies boasting unbeatable harbour views.

• Campbell’s Storehouses
Once existing as former storehouses, Campbell’s is now home to a number of popular restaurants. There are 11 surviving storehouses located in the Circular Quay area, and it is definitely worth a visit if you are in the vicinity. In 1839, the storehouses were built to store tea, alcohol, sugar and fabric however, they are now a popular dining destination for both tourists and locals alike.

• Shops to visit in Campbell’s Storehouses
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• Pylon Lookout
Climb the 200 stairs of the Pylon lookout and you’ll be breathless – literally! – by one of the most fantastic views of the city,  the harbour and the world famous monument – the Sydney Harbour Bridge. On the way up you can read history about its construction and the lookout is perfect for those that can’t stomach the height of the air climb but still want the view. Access to the Pylon is from the South-East side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Cumberland Street, The Rocks, or the steps near Milson’s Point Railway Station if you are coming from the North. Admission is $9.50 for adults of $4 for children under 12. Open 7 days (except Christmas) from 10am to 5pm.

• Merchant House
Located on George Street, The Rocks, make sure you stop by the Merchant House on your walking tour of the area. Serving as the only remaining Georgian townhouse of its kind, the Merchant House represents many aspects of the Greek revival style. Built in 1848, the five storey house still holds onto many original elements with only a few alterations made to the building.

• Sydney Observatory
Sydney Observatory is set in the gardens on top of Observatory Hill. With programs tailored to interest both adults and children, it is the oldest observatory in Australia and houses a 3D space theatre, a range of telescopes and a planetarium. Night time is the best time to visit, with excellent views of the moon and southern sky. Admission is $15 per adult however, in order to avoid disappointment, be sure to pre book.


• Dawes Point
Named after Lieutenant William Dawes, Dawes Point is a small garden located at the northern tip of Sydney Cove Dawes Point. It offers spectacular views of the underside of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

• The Rocks Farmers’ Market
Open from 10am to 4pm, The Rocks Farmers’ Market is your number one destination to stock up on seasonal fruits and vegetables, free range meat, poultry, fresh seafood, gourmet foods, home made condiments, cheeses, breads …. You name it! Located at the Corner of Argyle and George Street, the markets sell the freshest local produce in a fun, relaxed setting. You’ll even find the authentic growers on display with their food miles, reminding you just how fresh the produce is.

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• The Rocks Weekend Market
So many of Sydney’s big name designers have used Sydney’s markets as a launch pad for getting their brand out into the public eye, and The Rocks Weekend Market is no exception. Follow the cobblestone laneways and you’ll find homewares like painted ceramics, designer linen, furniture, photography and art. The markets are also great for designer fashion, accessories and beauty products. Open from 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sundays, tourists will also enjoy walking through the stalls, with plenty of souvenirs, cheerful banter and food to keep even the moaning dads amused.

• Visitors centre
Sydney’s Visitor Centre at The Rocks is on the corner of Argyle Street and Playfair Street. Open daily from 9:30am to 5:30pm excluding Christmas Day and Good Friday, the centre offers information on everything you need to know about the area.

The Rocks - How to Get There

How to get from Sydney CBD to The Rocks

• By Train or By Bus
Take the train or bus to Circular Quay. Start walking from Sydney Cove Ferry Terminal towards Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Rocks extends to Kent Street to the west and Grosvenor Street in the south.

• From Sydney Central Walking
The Rocks is only a short stroll (10 minutes) from Sydney CBD. Use George Street to enter the Rocks as this is the main entry. Tourists walking from Darling Harbour can enter The Rocks via Hickson Road.

List of Car Parks around The Rocks:

Mirvac Parking
113 Harrington Street
The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: (02) 9252 4900
Wilson Parking
155 George Street
The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: 1800 PARKING
Premier Parking Clocktower
35 Harrington Street
The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: 1300 727343
Secure Parking
121 Harrington Street
The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: (02) 8921 4900