About The Rocks
Among the highlighted attractions of The Rocks, you can check out The Rocks Discovery Museum, Argyle Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and many more. If you are interested to know the history of the place, take a tour around the oldest pubs, heritage buildings and laneways, each of which has a long history to its credit.
It is also a great destination for adventure junkies. Whether you want to soar over the city on a scenic tour or explore the wildlife on a day trip or surf the golden beaches, The Rocks has it all for you! Apart from these, the Rock Market is a great place for tourists and Sydneysiders for spending happy hours of shopping and enjoying mouth-watering local platters from the roadside stalls.
You can also buy collectables and gifts from the market where more than 200 stalls are put up for displaying a wide range of products. There are luxury to mid-range hotels at The Rocks offering comfortable accommodation and sometimes great views of the surroundings. Some of the best hotels here are Park Hyatt, Quay West Suites, The Langham and others.
How to Reach The Rocks
Take a train from International Airport Station and reach Circular Quay Station via Central Station. Walk for a few minutes from Circular Quay up to The Rocks.
Buses ply everyday between the Sydney Airport Terminal 1 to Town Hall Station Park Street in an estimated duration of 28 minutes. You can walk down Town Hall up to The Rocks.
Take a tram from International Airport Station and reach Central Station in 11 minutes. You have to transfer from Central Chalmers Street Location up to Circular Quay Station which takes approximately 22 minutes. Walk for about 5 mins (1 Km approx) to reach The Rocks.
Hire a car from the Sydney Airport and drive for 15 minutes to reach The Rocks.
There is shuttle service on demand that will take you to your destination within 15 minutes. The charge is a bit pricey (Rs. 750-6,000).
Best Time to Visit The Rocks
Sydney is blessed with a pleasant climate almost round the year which draws hoards of wanderlust people from different corners of the world. According to travellers’ reviews, the best time for day trips and other enjoyable activities at Sydney is during the dry season i.e. from December-February.
The average minimum and maximum temperatures range between (17-26) ◦C. Sydney experiences a predominantly sunny climate with tropical breeze blowing across the coastal belts. The beaches and national parks get swarmed by tourists who can enjoy sweeping views of the surroundings.
This is also the time for indulging in wide-ranging outdoorsy activities viz. cruising, kayaking, feasting, and others. Another good reason to visit Sydney during summer is to take part in the festivities like Christmas, New Year and the Sydney Festival. Since it is the peak season and a major school vacation period, the tariffs and travel fares are at their highest.
What Not to Miss at The Rocks
Here are some best things to do near The Rocks Sydney:
Get close with the marine predators in the Shark Drive Xtreme programme at the famous Manly aquarium. You can also spot turtles and rays and other marine creatures in this sanctuary. Manly was reopened in 2012 with its latest feature Penguin Cove where you can meet little penguins in their playful gestures.
2. Make a rendezvous with history at Rocks Discovery Museum
Across the three floors of The Rock Museum, you will meet with the history of the earliest settlements of White Australia. The interactive display screen of the museum is a treasure trove of the stories behind the colonial streets, hotels and homes. On special exhibition days, photography is displayed about the aboriginals of Australia.
3. Explore Sydney’s mixed culture
Ramble through the cobblestoned alleys of colonial Sydney and get acquainted with its unique heritage. Visit the restored buildings and museums (viz. Savannah’s Place and Cadman’s Cottage) situated on one of the most beautiful harbours of the world. The antiquated past of the city is well balanced by its cosmopolitan presence with modern galleries, cafes, restaurants, and bustling markets.
4. Enjoy stargazing at Sydney Observatory
Sydney Observatory is an eminent heritage and scientific spot in Australia. You can marvel at millions of stars in the universe by looking through high powered telescopes. In the 3D space theatre, you can watch a screening of 150 years of timekeeping, astronomy and meteorology.
5. Discover a piece of China
A vibrant stretch along the southern CBD is Australia’s biggest Chinatown. The place is a pulsating mishmash of authentic Chinese restaurants, stalls and shops. Let yourself soak up the local culture from the night market held on Friday evenings. Also, the Garden of Friendship designed on the theme of the Ming Dynasty is a tranquil haven to spend your leisure.
6. Satiate your taste buds
The Rocks is one of the crowd-pulling spots in Sydney when it comes to dining and boozing. The place houses some of the best pubs in Sydney viz. The Orient, The Observer and many more. Give a bite in the Kangaroo Pizza available at Australia Hotel or the signature cocktails of Cruise Bar along with the spectacular view of Sydney Harbour.
7. Climb up Sydney Harbour Bridge
Climb up the summit of the famous Coat Hanger after crossing three different bridges. Standing atop the Coat Hanger you can appreciate a panoramic view of the iconic architectures of Sydney and surroundings. The trip is a bit pricey but it is always worth breaking your budget for an experience of a lifetime.
8. Get close with nature
The Royal Botanic Garden established in 1916 is the oldest botanic garden of the country. It is also home to diverse flora of Australia and the South Pacific. The botanic garden offers ample green space, a sports field and sweeping views of the Sydney Harbour.
9. Feel the energetic vibe of Sydney
A place with infectious energy and plethora of recreations makes Sydney Harbour a must-visit place to count on. You can soak in the animated vibe of the place as you sit in the outdoor space of the restaurants and coffee shops and gaze at the spectacular harbour view.
10. Visit the historical Cockatoo Island
Once operated as a shipyard, the 44 acre UNESCO World Heritage Site was originally a correctional asylum for the outlaws of Sydney and outskirts. Now, the place is a major site of entertainment where many festivals are held around the year. Visitors have a chance to eat, drink and make merry while exploring the history of the land.
Other Essential Information About The Rocks
New South Wales 2000, Australia
- Distance from Sydney Airport:
The distance between Sydney Airport (SYD) and The Rocks is 15.3 Km via M1 and it takes around 22 minutes to travel between the two places.
Heritage and History of The Rocks Sydney
The Rocks had its earliest settlement around 1788 when the Cadigal people started here living as a colony. The original houses were made of local sandstone and built in vernacular pattern with thatched roofs, wattle and daub. Due to predominant use of local sandstone in making houses, the place has earned its name as The Rocks.
Another conjecture says, during the late 19th century the area was under the control of a gang who were called Rock Push. Therefore the name of the place may be coined after the outlaws. At the beginning of the 20th century, many of the historical buildings of The Rocks were in a dilapidated state.
By the 1920s several hundred buildings were demolished by the state government with an intention of rebuilding them. In 1971 a local residents’ group requested a “green ban” from the Builders Labourers Federation to prevent the building of houses on the controversial land.
However, the union was ultimately successful in their motive which can be seen in the surviving buildings of the rocks. As a result, the place has turned into a commercial and tourist spot of Sydney.
Markets of The Rock, Sydney
Take a stroll along the bustling markets of The Rocks and make a rendezvous with the world of art, culture, food, and fashion. Nestled next to the CBD and just a walking distance from the Wynyard and Circular Quay, it is a cultural oasis of Sydney.
The variety of products you will come across in The Rocks Market range from handpicked artisanal items, unique jewellery, beauty products, and handcrafts to gourmet street food. As you rumble through the market alleys you may cross paths with local artists, photographers (on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and live music shows that will fuel your exploration.
From international brands to emerging designer apparel, The Rocks is home to bespoke fashion for a true fashionista. It is also a gastronomic haven with more than 50 restaurants and cafes where you can spoil your epicurean self with gourmet food and beverages. The eateries at The Rocks offer facilities for take away, fine dining, small gatherings at their rooftop, and private dining area with live music and water view.