Roll with The Rocks
So, this is where it all began…… Before the European settlers gave the city a proper name, the city of Sydney was known simply as the rocks. I am not exactly sure where the name came from, but the stories behind this bicentenary neighbourhood are certainly captivating. Think of a trip to The Rocks as Australian History 101 as this is inarguably the best preserved historic site in whole of Sydney.
Perched next to Circular Quay, The Rocks sometimes can be undeservedly overlooked by the swarm of tourists who are yet to recover from the trance of seeing The Opera House.
Deprived of glitz and glam, The Rocks blanches in comparison to what its neighbourhood has to offer. And there is no denying that some establishments out there in the Rocks look obviously tailor-made for tourists, i.e. the high-end brand-name boutiques and the gimmicky restaurants. But if you ditch the crowd and venture further into the spindly streets and cobblestoned alleys, you are sure to be rewarded with loads of surprises. Here are a couple of highlights that you mustn’t miss.
First up, the lounge bar slash restaurant Pony has people salivating at its food. Literally!! The kitchen is the no doubt the talk of the town as it employs wide-open layout which allows one the voyeuristic pleasure of seeing every bit of action in the kitchen. That’s right! Watching the nation’s top chefs hard at work while enjoying bona-fide delicacy (They specialize in fusion dish, particularly Argentine and Asian.) The concept of the restaurant is a daring one- communal seating in a fancy restaurant. It’s also quite an eye-opener to see the chefs churning out one dish after another while looking like they are having a blast doing it. (Or so they seem to be enjoying it.) Whatever happens to the humiliating putdowns on one of those reality-TV cooking programs? I suppose paying up to see the chef yelling at the sous chef doesn’t sound very appetising.
For more info: http://www.ponydining.com.au/home.html (Cnr Argyle St and Kendall Lane)
The Rocks Discovery Museum (2 - 8 Kendall Lane)
Dedicated solely to the neighbourhood’s history, the museum is housed in a sandstone warehouse, a typical sight in the area. The compact exhibition compresses history with abundant artefacts and heaps of interactive features chronicling pre-settlement period to the modern-day era. Before the visit to the museum, I didn’t realise that the neighbourhood had undergone radical changes over the last 200 years. From the convicts’ austere labour camps to the taverns and brothels that received the sailors and the whalers in the 19th century, to the sophisticated art galleries, hotels, and souvenir shops that inhabit the historic quarters today. Entry into the museum is free and it’s never too crowded as it is tucked away in the narrow laneways.
The Rocks Market(Along George St)
Every weekend, market moves in to turn the place into a fiesta, and it never fails to attract a throng of people ready for friendly banters and harmless expenditures. Be sure to allow a few hours to peruse stall after stall of wonders as it always proves to be quite a time-sucker. With seasoned nuts, home-made organic dip to unique paintings and exquisitely-crafted artworks, what better way to spend your weekend?
If you’re going
Head to the visitor’s centre in The Rocks for some lowdown of info. (Housed in the same warehouse building with Pony) There, visitors may book tours in and around Sydney. From what I know, there are two or three walking tours in The Rocks. To wrap up the visit, get on to the bridge from Cumberland Street or walk all the way to the end of George Street, the first street of Sydney. [more]
The Rocks seems to get more popular every year. And for good reason. Some of Sydney's best poubs are in this precinct, that has alot of historical significance. It is easy to access via Circular Quay wharf, or from Wynyard bus station. One usually pays a premium on dining and drinks here, but if you do a bit of bar-hopping you can usually find some special deals or happy hours. There are a couple of suggested pub crawls for the area, which for the daring are always awesome fun. [more]
The Rocks – Sydney
The Rocks, the most symbolic part of Sydney, boasts the foundation of Sydney or Australia (being the place of first set of European emigrants in Sydney). The Rocks is Sydney's oldest preserved colonial district so the main emphasis is on the historical importance of the area. This is the right place to feel the ancient Sydney and get a historical touch. The Rocks houses many nice restaurants, hotels and museums, all decorated in harmony with the whole ancient atmosphere of the Rocks.
The best way to visit the Rocks is walking. To walk around the Rocks can take as long as one day or as short as 2 hours, depends on what you want to see. As this is the oldest colonial district, you can find many old buildings there right tickle your fancy about early times of Sydney. The Rocks also called Sydney's outdoors museum, because you can find many buildings of huge historical significance in ancient times. There are also museums within this outdoor museum, such as Museum of Contemporary Art and discovery museum both well worth visiting.
There is usually free entertainment show on weekends, so it's better to arrange a visit there on weekends. [more]
Weekend Market at The Rocks
The Rocks Weekend Market was the perfect place to find all sorts of souvenirs and mementos in one of the most spectacular quarters in Sydney. The Rocks markets are open every weekend and it had that feeling of a maze where you do not mind to get lost as shops are great. Not the place for those who do not like crowds as it does get busy. There are many places to eat whiting the market area but this were again very busy and I much preferred to had lunch in any other restaurants within The Rocks quarter and delightful streets. [more]
Delightful The Rocks
I had such a delightful time in The Rocks, Sydney´s historical quarter in the vicinity of Sydney´s bridge and harbour. We enjoyed a sunny day walking along the streets with its lively pubs, restaurants,cafés, museums, galleries and fantastic and deliriously "expensive" shops. It takes about 30-40 minutes to do the walk. As I visited a few times I much preferred it during a week day as The Rocks Weekend Market always attracts way too many crowds. I loved the views of the top of Sydney´s Bridge from the streets´s with staggering colonial style buildings. [more]
I heart the Rocks
One of Sydney's oldest and most charming areas is The Rocks situated to the side Circular Quay with a spectacular view of the Harbor Bridge. There are some quite tacky or overpopulated areas of The Rocks but behind the souvenir shops and German pubs are some of Sydney's oldest houses and richest history since Europeans, located just under the bridge. The area has had quite a colourful past with much criminal activity and poverty. These themes can be explored in tours or cheaper still alone with free information available at The Rocks information centre on George St, passed the MCA. There is a haunting 80's Australian film set and filmed in this area which is interesting to see and compare with a visit, 'Playing Beatie Bow'.
The rocks have quite tacky markets on the weekend selling boomerangs, sheepskins, ugg boats and other typical items quite expensively. I wouldn't recommend this but it could be of interest to those who have little time in Australia and want some typical souvenirs.
Drinks can also be expensive in the rocks but a few good pubs to check out include the Lord Nelson where they brew their own beers.
There are lots of little laneways and boutiques to explore, including wandering up to and across the Bridge. Observatory Hill, the park sitting above The Rocks has a lovely view across to North Sydney and is not far from the Lord Nelson pub. [more]
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