Sydney was more like a bag-pack trip for us and it turned out to be really awesome! We reached Sydney in afternoon and slept after checking into Breakfree Hotel at Clarence Street. The hotel is average but the location is very good.
- Plan to visit ‘The Rocks Market’ early as it closes at 5 PM.
- Pre-Register for free walking tour of the city. There are various options available and you can choose the part of the city that interests you the most. Click here for further details http://www.imfree.com.au/
- The city offers quite good pubs/restaurants with few of them running for over a century. These places serve authentic Australian drinks and food.
- Carry comfortable foot wear, as you might have to walk quite a bit
- Taxis are quite expensive. Do take metro card (Opal card) which can be used for local trains and buses. These can be bought from any general stores including 7/11.
- Day 1 at a Glance: Rocks Market> Free Walking Tour>Opera House
Day 1: Rocks Market> Free Walking Tour>Opera House
We started our tourism with “The Rocks market.” It is a street market where you can buy clothes, jewelry, food, souvenirs and many more things. To find more about Rocks market click here.
We then reached Cadman’s square about 5:55 PM for our walking tour of ‘The Rocks’, just in time for the free walking tour which starts at 6 PM every day. As I mentioned in my other posts as well, these free walking tours are free and you can tip any amount at the end of the tour. I love these tours as they are not commercialized and you can walk around the city like a local while admiring the rich heritage. Find out more here.
The Rocks is the historic area of Sydney which was established after colonization. This area housed most of the key government buildings in the pre World War 1 era owing to its proximity to the bay. One of the worst plague of all times called bubonic plague hit the city which resulted in demolishing a lot of these structures to rebuild this city. Another grand project of demolition also happened subsequently to build the Sydney Harbor Bridge. During the tour you will also hear stories about Australia’s largest bank robbery and see few of Sydney’s oldest houses. Just FYI, there are 28 heritage houses in Sydney!
Many pubs claim to be Sydney’s oldest surviving pubs: ‘The Fortune of War’ and ‘The Lord Nelson’ rank high on the contenders list. Some people also put ‘Observer’, ‘Orient’, ‘Mercantile’, ‘Palisade’ and the ‘Hero of Waterloo’ in the same category.
The tour ends in about 1.5 hours leaving you very close to Darling Harbor. You can consider watching fireworks at Darling Harbor in the evening. It’s quite nice. The whole area is walk-able and you can spend your time at the restaurants near Opera House while enjoying live music and vibrant surroundings.
Opera House in itself is an Engineering Marvel with lots of history associated with it. Young Danish architect won the worldwide design competition to build this famous architecture which was an investment worth 1B USD! We did not see any shows in Opera House but that is highly recommended too. Do check them if you have time. Overall, an interesting day spent knowing about the history of Sydney, one of the older cities of Australia!