THE ROCKS & CIRCULAR QUAY At A Glance
Sydney’s most iconic tourist precinct blends the city’s humble beginnings with a modern and continuously changing skyline. Beautiful Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House are the backdrop to The Rocks and Circular Quay. This is an area that is brimming with dining establishments, cocktail lounges, historic pubs, boutique shopping and arts venues – all of which draw crowds to a part of Sydney that has an alluring historical ambience.
The historic architecture and being amongst all the action that Sydney Harbour and city living has to offer.
Every Friday, The Rocks has a foodie market and The Tea Cosy serves classic Devonshire Tea. Knit while watching the bustle of the weekend markets.
The Rocks was originally a slum frequented by sailors and prostitutes.
Whether you’re arriving by land or sea, Sydney’s tourist precinct is an incredible destination, and for a select few, a place to call home. International visitors and Sydneysiders alike descend on this area year-round, enjoying views of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and the streets of The Rocks. This area is often at the heart of cultural celebrations.
Ferries, which are dwarfed by cruise liners docked at the International Terminal, come and go throughout the day and night, connecting outer Sydney suburbs to Circular Quay, the gateway to Sydney’s CBD.
The towering skyscrapers of Circular Quay predominately cater to the professional work crowd. Along the promenade that hugs the harbour, themed and Indigenous street performers entertain a culturally diverse crowd. Fine-dining and cocktail bars are a way of life for those lucky enough to call the Quay Grand suites home.
On the west side of Circular Quay is The Rocks. Renowned as the first European settlement in Australia, many older buildings still stand – one of the area’s biggest drawcards. Within a neighbourhood that has been beautifully restored and maintained, The Rocks delivers a programme of events that includes the weekly foodies and open-air markets, and annual festivals such as the Australian Beer Festival and Vino Paradiso.
Any day of the week walking, cycling or bus tours make their way through the streets. Visitors can enjoy the ambience of pedestrian-only laneways, such as The Rocks Square, Gloucester Walk, Nurses Walk and Campbell’s Cove.
Art galleries featuring leading Australian artists, boutiques and kitschy stores, a profusion of opals, mainstream and exclusive hotels, fine-dining, exclusive cocktail bars, intimate cafés and historic pubs – The Rocks has been carefully curated to entertain, day or night.
Amidst all the action and the hordes of tourists who visit is a thriving community. The Rocks has an established community made up of executive professionals, downsizers and small-business owners who work seven days a week servicing the tourist trade. They live in the historic terrace houses and exclusive harbourside apartments.
Explore THE ROCKS & CIRCULAR QUAY
Every Friday a Foodies Market is held along Argyle and Playfair Streets. Saturday and Sunday The Rocks Markets can be found on Playfair and George Streets, selling textiles, homewares, photography, fashion and handcrafted jewellery.
From the Lord Nelson to the Fortune of War Hotel to The Harts, The Rocks has a profusion of watering-holes that have stood the test of time.
From the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Sydney Opera House, the expansive harbour is a world-class destination that can be enjoyed on and off land.
WINE & DINE
There is no shortage of fine-dining experiences and cocktail lounges. Whether you’re seeking an intimate evening, wanting to unwind after work or attending a social gathering, there is an establishment for you.
An area that’s renowned for its historical significance, The Rocks and Circular Quay ooze history. With sandstone architecture, converted warehouses and back lanes, it’s easy to feel a part of this history.
From Ken Done to Charles Billich to the Contemporary Museum of Art, The Rocks and Circular Quay showcase some of the finest home-grown talent Australia has to offer.
Located on the edge of Sydney’s CBD with access to Sydney’s ferry service, railway system and the highly-anticipated light rail.
A neighbourhood that was established at the end of 1700s, The Rocks was the stomping ground for sailors, prostitutes and underbelly activity. It remained in this state well into the 1900s, until gentrification swept through.