Welcome to the oldest part of Sydney, possibly in Australia!
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This is where it all began. After a brief stop in Botany Bay, Captain Cook landed his ship here in 1770 and thus sprang up Australia’s first city – Sydney. When you meander through the streets, you will understand why this area is called The Rocks. Everything is made from or carved out of
stone. There is a small but impressive museum here called The Rocks Museum, which explains how the colony sprang up and the harsh life the locals had in the beginning. There are plenty of artifacts to look at so that you can truly imagine what colonial life was like for the first settlers. Nowadays, it is an upmarket area and gets incredibly busy at the weekend.
I have spent many nights at The Rocks, most recently being winter 2019 and it was still as popular as ever. My favourite bar is The Argyle. It will feel like you are stepping back in time, as it looks like one of the first buildings
erected here. They do a pretty decent happy hour, and you can get Cocktails for as low as $5, which is unheard of in Sydney! The building’s exterior is built in sandstone, just like many other buildings in the area, and the courtyard is cobblestone, so it’s a real-time warp.
There are many old colonial and Victorian-era buildings which are notable in this area too, such as the old terraced houses on Avery Terrace, which have now been turned into boutique shops, or Susanna Place Museum and Shop, built in 1844, which unfortunately is always closed when I am in Sydney. (I’ll get there one day!). Then there’s the narrowest street in Sydney called Nurses Walk. I came across it one day and thought it was so spooky.
As you get halfway down the lane, you will feel how noticeably thinner it gets, to the point where you can’t stretch your arms out entirely at the bottom. I kept looking behind me, thinking I was being followed! I was very freaked out and guess what? It was 4 PM and still daylight! I wouldn’t walk down here at night unless I were on a Ghost Tour (there are several that run in this area) or unless I was with a large group.
There is an amazing market on during the weekend and it’s one of my favourites in Australia. It offers a great atmosphere, views, and awesome wears. Definitely worth a visit!
On George Street, some notable buildings are over 200 years old (ancient in Australian Standards). There’s the First Central Hospital, which is now home to several shops. Next to this is the Police Station, with its grand columned entrance and tough, intimidating iron door, and the old Bank, which looks more like a mini church with its stained-glass windows and pointed medieval-style doors and now houses a Starbucks.
The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000 | www.therocks.com
So despite modern day Australia only being around two-hundred and fifty years old, there are still older parts to this wonderful city, that are close to the iconic harbour which show off it’s old history.
Are you planning on visiting Sydney in the future? Have you visited this wonderful city before? What is your favourite thing to do? Let me know in the comments section below.
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