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.
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.