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Sydney Historic Places

Sydney sightseeing

Sydney was settled early and many of the original buildings still survive and have been restored.

Sydney Historic Places


Aboriginal Rock Engravings
An easy place to see Aboriginal rock carvings is on Bondi Golf Course just up from Bondi Beach and possible to see marine life and shape of a man. Bondi Golf Course, Military Road, North Bondi.

Anzac War Memorial

Anzac War Memorial
This sturdy and imposing Art Deco building is the state's moving tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for Australia, especially those who died with the first Anzac force at Gallipoli and during the remainder of the Great War. The monument was erected in 1934 and is at the south end of Hyde Park. There is a small war museum in the base of the monument. The memorial contains no names but 120,00 stars in the ceiling dome represents those from NSW who served. Free guided tours available. Hyde Park. (02 9267 7668).

Cadman's Cottage
One of the oldest Sydney buildings that dates to 1816. 110 George Street (02 9247 5033).


Archibald Fountain
One of the best fountains in Australia and found in Hyde Park. Named after J.F.Archibald who owned The Bulletin and designed by French artist Francois Sicard. The fountain depicts Apollo and on the three plinths coming out of the central column are figures representing Diana the goddess of purity. Hyde Park

Circular Quay
Sydney's Circular Quay on the world famous Sydney Harbour.

Customs House
Customs House
This pronounced building provides on the ground floor free use of many international newspapers. Customs House is right outside Circular Quay Station and dates in part from 1840.A plaque commemorates the precise location. 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay. (02 9247 2285).

Elizabeth Bay House
An example of one of the finest early houses.

Elizabeth Farm
The oldest farmhouse in Australia located in Parramatta. Built by John Macarthur who arrived in 1790 and was one of the first farmers. Parts of the building date from 1793. 70 Alice Street, Rosehill. (02 9635 9488).

Experiment Farm Cottage
The stories of two of Australia's early pioneers James Ruse and Surgeon John Harris combine in this historic house. Ruse was a former convict who developed the first commercial farm in Australia in 1791. 9 Ruse Street Harris Park, Parramatta (02 9635 5655).

Government House
Opened in 1845 and the original home of the Governor. Macquarie Street. Admission is free. (9931 5222)

Greycliffe House
The house completed in 1851 and built by John Hilly following a Gothic style. The house originally owned by John Reeve has had many owners and now used by the NSW National Parks but the ground floor is open to the public during the week. Nielsen Park, Greycliffe Avenue, Vaucluse. (02 9247 5033).

Hambledon Cottage
Built for Miss Penelope Lucas who was governess of the Macarthur children. Furnished as in the days of Queen Victoria. Hassall Street.

Hyde Park Barracks

Hyde Park Barracks
This building originally housed convicts. It was designed in 1819 by Governor Macquarie and a convict architect named Francis Greenway. Now it is a museum of Australian history, with particular emphasis on the life of Francis Greenway and the history of this building. The shop has books on convicts, Australian culture and history. Queens Square Macquarie Street. (02 8239 2311).

Newington Armory
Over 100 historic buildings at the old Naval Armaments depot spread over a 52 hectare site. Walk or cycle around the grounds. Jamieson Street, Sydney Olympic Park, Newington (02 9714 7888).

North Fort
Built in 1934 in preparation for a possible attack from Japan with lots of tunnels to explore. The tour of North Fort goes through 350 metres of underground tunnels and the rooms housing the guns that defended Sydney. The Memorial Walk is 300 metres long commemorating the service by Australians over many wars. North Head Scenic Drive, Manly.

Nutcote is the home of May Gibbs who wrote about the gumnut babies Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. The house has a Mediterranean style with yellow stuccoed walls and blue shutters. The gardens have been restored to how May Gibbs planted it in the 1920's. Downstairs the rooms have Bib and Bub cartoons on the walls along with videos about May. 5 Wallaringa Avenue, Neutral Bay (02 9953 4453).

Old Government House
Located in Parramatta Park and built in 1799 Old Government House was extended in 1815, now home to a fine collection of Australian colonial furniture. Built by Governors John Hunter and Lachlan Macquarie. Located at Parramatta Park. Take the ferry to Parramatta. (021 9635 8149).

Parliament House
This the oldest Parliament House and was developed around one of the original “Rum Hospitals”. The building includes two restored legislative chambers. Visitors are allowed in on weekdays from 9 - 4. Macquarie Street, (9230 2111).

Macquarie Lighthouse
The first lighthouse in Australia and occasionally open to visitors. Old South Head Road, Vaucluse. (02 8969 2131)

Mrs. Macquarie's Chair
Located at the end of the Royal Botanic Gardens provides some of the best views of the harbour and the Opera House. This is the place to capture a classic souvenir picture.

Quarantine Station
Ships arriving with disease were quarantined at this site, since closed in 1984. Tours are arranged and in the evening ghost tours. Take bus 135 departing from Manly Wharf. North Head Scenic Drive, Manly (1300 886 875).

Queen Victoria Building
A good example of 19th century architecture and also an up market shopping arcade. Located at George Street. Take the train to Town Hall or Sydney Explorer Stop 14. (02 9264 9209)

Rose Seilder House
Built between 1848 and 1950 Rose Seilder House was designed by Harry Seilder using open plans, bold colours and started the modernist movement in Australia. A good collection of post war furniture is housed inside and good views of Ku-ring-gai National Park. Located at 71 Clissold Road, Wahroonga. Take the train to Wahroonga. (02 9989 8020).

Rouse Hill Estate
A very old and fragile property about an hour's drive from the city centre. You can see the farm buildings and many objects used in the 19th Century. Located at Guntawong Road, Rouse Hill, admission charges apply. (02 9627 6777).

State Library of New South Wales

A major collection of books. Macquarie Street.

Strand Arcade
Running between George Street and Pitt Street Mall, The Strand built in 1892 features a very ornate interior. Take the train to St.James or Sydney Explorer, Stop 14.

Susannah Place
Susannah Place built in 1844 is a group of terraced houses retaining the traditional atmosphere of The Rocks and now converted into a museum. The houses bring to life conditions for working class people from 1844 until the 20th Century. A working corner shop sells goods from the early 20th Century. Nearby you can explore the narrow alleys of this area, passing through such lanes as Suez Canal, for example, at the mouth of which two pedestrians can barely pass. Located at 58 – 64 Gloucester Street, The Rocks, admission charges apply. Take the train or bus to Circular Quay. (02 9241 1893)

Sydney Harbour Bridge
A landmark attraction.

Sydney Hospital
Hopefully you will not be needing this landmark, most of which was constructed in 1894, for its principal purpose. Its most interesting feature is the Florence Nightingale Wing, adjacent to the courtyard, which was built to Florence Nightingale's specifications in order to house the nurses who were sent to Australia in 1868. Take the train to Martin Place or Sydney Explorer, Stop 4.

Sydney Opera House
A major Sydney attraction on the edge of Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Tower
A thin and tall tower with views all over Sydney and on to the Blue Mountains.

Tank Stream Fountain
A bronze fountain with sculptures of native Australian animals designed by Stephen Walker. Alfred Street, Circular Quay.

Town Hall
A sandstone building in the centre of Sydney.

The Bounty
The Bounty is a replica of Captain Bligh's ship, recreated to star in the film Mutiny on the Bounty. Now it serves as a floating restaurant, sailing out onto the harbour at meal times. The ship is based in Campbell's Cove. Take the train or bus to Circular Quay or Sydney Explorer, Stop 24.

The Mint
Built in 1816 this was the building where the gold sovereigns were made. You can see the former vaults and learn how raw gold was turned into currency. Located on Macquarie Street.(02 9217 0311).

The Rocks
The Rocks one of the oldest areas of Sydney.

Vaucluse House
Vaucluse House, not far from Watsons Bay, was, for a while, the home of William Charles Wentworth, the explorer who pioneered the first route through the Blue Mountains. Parts of the house date from 1803, although most of it is later. The gardens extend to ten hectares and there is a popular tearoom. Located at Wentworth Road, Vaucluse. Take the Bondi Explorer, Stop 9 or bus 325 from Circular Quay. (02 9388 7922).

Victoria Barracks
A colonial Georgian complex and home to the army since 1848. A flag raising ceremony and marching band display is held every Thursday at 10am, after which a tour is possible. Located at Oxford Street, Paddington. Take the bus 378, 380, 382 or Bondi Explorer Stop 17 (02 9339 3250).


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