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The Rocks

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The Rocks is one of Sydney's oldest areas. Lying beside the harbour, it was naturally one of the first places to be settled. When the First Fleet arrived on 26th January 1788, the new arrivals, led by Captain Arthur Phillip, constructed their first wooden shacks along the natural rock ledges near the water's edge. Therefore, the area became known as ‘The Rocks' and Sydney's first named street was here - George Street, in honour of the British monarch of the time, King George III.

The Rocks


The first shacks did not survive long, and by the 1840s they had been replaced by sandstone structures. Some of these buildings still survive, including Cadman's Cottage, Sydney's oldest house which dates from 1816. In 1900, there was an outbreak of bubonic plague in Sydney and many houses were demolished in the subsequent cleansing. As other older buildings fell into a state of disrepair, it was suggested that total demolition would be the solution.

Fortunately though, the alternative view prevailed and the area has been renovated and turned into a thriving tourist attraction, full of souvenir shops and cafés, galleries and museums. Every weekend there is a market in George Street where you'll find street entertainment and a whole range of food available. The twisting alleys and old courtyards of the area have a delightfully old-world character.

The Rocks

There are walking tours of The Rocks available, and even a night time ghost tour. A cheaper option is to set out and explore by yourself, perhaps with the assistance of The Rocks Self-Guided Walking Tour, which is obtainable from the Sydney Visitor Centre. Located at 106 George Street, the main Sydney Visitor Centre is the place to visit, as it offers comprehensive information not only on Sydney but the whole of New South Wales. This is a great spot to start your exploration of Sydney.

 
 

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