Convicts and The Rocks: Sydney's Walking Tour Led by Historian

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Destination: Australia, New South Wales, Sydney
from
1785

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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Sydney
  • E-Voucher
  • Lowest Price
  • Cancellable

Overview

Expect fascinating history, delivered with energy and insight on a walking exploration of Sydney's colonial birthplace: The Rocks. Together your group will uncover the scallywag stories of convicts, soldiers, sailors, rum & rebellions. This tour is led by vibrant historians who share their passion for the past through great storytelling, visual imagery and extensive research.

Before reaching the narrow alleyways & hidden ruins of The Rocks district, you’ll enter inside Sydney’s historical Customs House & discover the colonial relics at Macquarie Place.

In The Rocks your guide will bring to life the convicts, craftsmen & cut-throats littered throughout its early history. You'll also venture below street level to discover a sandstone cellar connected to Sydney's gold-rush era.

After getting lost in the area's rich history this tour finishes at an historic local Pub. This is a unique opportunity to soak in the stories you've shared over a refreshing drink with your guide and group.

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Journey Walks, Sydney Customs House 31 Alfred St, Sydney, New South Wales 2000 Australia

Meet you guide at our Journey Walks' starting point Quay Bar — an outdoor venue with coffee and bathrooms where you can take a seat and enjoy being transported back in time as your guide introduces the age of British penal colonies and the story you are about to undertake on foot.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Sydney Customs House 31 Alfred St Circular Quay, Sydney, New South Wales 2000 Australia

Begin your journey by unraveling the elaborate sandstone facade of Sydney Customs House — the gateway for people and goods arriving by ship into Sydney through the 19th & 20th Century.
Then enter inside Customs House see a unique model of the entire city including Circular Quay and The Rocks in miniature (scale 1:500) below your feet as your guide illustrates the forming of the natural harbour and the urban settlement of Sydney.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Macquarie Place Park, Bridge Street, Sydney, New South Wales Australia

Discover the hidden and forgotten relics found in Macquarie Place including the underground Edwardian lavatory, the First Fleet anchor and the Obelisk of distances — Sydney's first public monument designed and built by convicts for the Governor of NSW.

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Tank Stream Fountain, 5010 Herald Square, Sydney, New South Wales 2000 Australia

Uncover the secrets of Sydney's original fresh water source, now hidden below your feet. The Tank stream not only helped Sydney's convict colony survive but it was one of the main reasons this cove was chosen as the site of Australia's first penal settlement

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: The Rocks, Sydney, New South Wales 2000 Australia

In The Rocks you'll find yourself wandering though back alleys and along cobbled lanes, passing some of the oldest pubs and houses in Sydney and getting lost in the stories of convicts, sailors and street gangs who occupied and worked in the area. Your guide will lead you to hidden sandstone ruins, old slums and underground cellars turned speak easy bars. The Rocks area is full of character, quirks and surprises.

Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

Stop At: The Argyle, 18 Argyle Street The Rocks, Sydney, New South Wales 2000 Australia

A hidden courtyard in the heart of The Rocks with an ancient sandstone storehouse once filled with barrels of spirits and tobacco that now functions as a beer garden and club.

Duration: 10 minutes

Inclusions
  • A local Sydney history expert as your tour guide
  • 2.5 hour walking tour covering approximately 20 historic sites and stories
  • Local recommendations and extra question time with your guide is included after the tour.
  • Tour finishes at a friendly old fashioned Pub in The Rocks for a chance to share a drink together
  • Entry/Admission - Customs House
  • Entry/Admission - Macquarie Place Park
  • Entry/Admission - The Argyle

Exclusions
  • Food is not included on this tour, but your tour guide will have fantastic local recommendations
  • Gratuities
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • We continue our tours in all weather conditions so please dress accordingly. Umbrella's are a good idea if wet weather seems likely.
  • Due to the layout of The Rocks, some stairs are unavoidable at certain points along the way, but majority of the route follows flat terrain.
  • Anyone requiring special assistance is kindly asked to make contact with your local operator in advance.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are advised that this tour may include the names and images of people who are now deceased.
  • Your guide is a native English speaker and will carry tour folder with A3 size images to help illustrate the area's past
  • Groups are kept small (10 person maximum) and we encourage questions and interaction.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Your guide will ensure that Covid-safe social distancing measures and a contact free policy is in place throughout the tour
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
Departure Point

Customs House, 31 Alfred St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia


Departure Time

10:30 AM


Return Details

The Australian Heritage Hotel, 100 Cumberland St, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia

Voucher info

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Duration

2 hours 30 minutes

For a full refund, cancel at least 3 days in advance of the start date of the experience.

User's Reviews

Tassylass

03 Jun, 2022

Max was fabulous ! Engaging and well informed he spoke clearly and loudly. For 2.5 hours he took us through laneways and buildings capturing a vivid picture of life in early NSW. Tom’s perspective on how Europeans impacted on Aborigines ; smallpox, loss of traditional hunting practices and disregard with their pollution of the environment made some in our group think of that impact with a better understanding than previously. Tom used humour and stories about different historical figures adding to the enjoyment of our tour. Note- there are several sets of steps and some uneven surfaces.

rebeccagray2016

29 May, 2022

Highly recommend a walk around the Rocks with Max. Entertaining, engaging and informative. Max took us through places and pointed out things we, as tourists from Victoria, would never have discovered.

yemontmolyneux

19 May, 2022

Max at Journey Walks did such a fantastic job. We had booked in the Convict Colony Tour for a social event and the team absolutely loved it - since the tour all I've heard have been positive reviews and how brilliant Max and tour was. Thank you!

Z8528QTalisond

11 May, 2022

Very informative, fun, walking tour. Got to see parts of The Rocks out would never stumble across on your own. Highly recommend.

zrz45

09 May, 2022

A must see for anyone interested in history! Excellent commentary with walking at a gentle pace. Even if you think you know the history of the Rocks there is more to learn on this walk, including diss houses, larrikins, Suez Canal and opium dens.

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