Perched on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour is the Sydney Opera House, one of the most famous and iconic buildings in the world. From Bennelong Point, Sydney Harbour arcs into Circular Quay, then juts back out into the harbour to form an area known as The Rocks.
It is now mostly preserved as an important historical site.
“The Rocks is the oldest established area in Sydney.”
This area was once notorious for the criminal gangs who controlled this former slum, including the razor-wielding Rocks Push, who willingly used violence to control the crime for which the area was once famous.
The Rocks was once a bustling port where the clippers which plied the seas between Britain and New South Wales would have their cargo serviced through great sandstone warehouses which lined the docks. And to service the dock workers, pubs were built to quench the thirsts of those hard working wharfies during their lunch breaks and after work.
Today, Circular Quay is busier than ever thanks to the number of ferries and tourist boats which carry tens of thousands of passengers each day. It is also where the Overseas Passenger Terminal is located, presenting one of the best welcomes ever to those who arrive in Sydney on cruise ships.
Nowadays The Rocks is gentrified. The magnificent Hawkesbury sandstone buildings have had the grime removed and have been tarted up to make them welcoming instead of threatening.
“Where once gangs controlled the streets, now they are very safe being filled with locals and tourists who pursue the pleasures which are now had at The Rocks.”
Here you will find some of Sydney’s most interesting hotels. Former working men’s pubs which were dens for vices that had tiled floors and walls so that the blood and vomit could be more easily washed away have now been selectively modernised to retain their vintage charm yet to seem contemporary. Where once common brands of beer were gulped down by the schoonerful these same establishments serve boutique beers, splendid wines and provide good meals.
Great restaurants abound, and on Friday nights food stalls appear in the streets which serve the cuisines of many nations. Indoor markets and free standing shops inhabit former warehouses or line the streets offering all types of bespoke goods to willing shoppers.
The Rocks has ambience and a great atmosphere, it is a place where people go to relax or be entertained rather than to face the drudgery of life as was the case so many years ago.
Readily accessible to the city, and broaching the underside of the Harbour Bridge, The Rocks has both charm and history.