On a beautiful blue-sky day in Sydney, one of the best things to do is wander through The Rocks. Walk along the cobblestone paths and get lost in the narrow lane ways that lead you through the area’s iconic markets, restaurants and history.
The Rocks Markets
You’ll often turn a corner and find yourself suddenly among throngs of people as they wander through the Rock’s famous markets on the weekends between 10am and 5pm. These have a uniquely Australian twist and you’ll find handmade leather bags, bound diaries, jewelry made from the antique innards of clocks, boutique clothing and one of a kind sculptures from local artists. Most days there are also street artists showing off their skills and you can watch them spray paint stunning space scenes or blow glass right in front of you. The markets twist and turn along Playfair Street, George street and Jack Mundey Place, and on Fridays these streets play host to The Rocks Foodies Market between 9am and 3pm.
Things to Do
If you feel like getting active there are a plethora of things to do in The Rocks. Bass & Flinders cruises leave from the harbour, as do the adrenaline-pumping jet boat tours. Or to see The Rocks in a new way, take a Bonza bike tour or get a bird’s eye view from the harbour bridge with their famous bridge climbs. If you’d like a more relaxed day then visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Aboriginal Art Galleries or S.H. Ervin Gallery up on Observatory Hill. For some history you can check out Cadman’s Cottage that was built in 1816 or take a look at the Susannah Place Museum, a terrace of four houses that was first built in 1844 and has since seen hundreds of families live and work there, leaving a fascinating history behind them.
As the sun sets The Rocks lights up and the vibe changes with diners and clubbers filling the streets. Restaurants can take the form of convict-carved sandstone buildings, harborside lofts with stunning views, 42-storey high skyscrapers or a tiny nook tucked away up hidden stairs. Some well known favourites include:
Ananas Bar & Brasserie on Argyle Street that was awarded One Chefs Hat this year in The SMH Good Food Guide 2014 for its fine French and Mediterranean cuisine.
The fun German-themed Lowenbrau where you can get litre steins, warm bread pretzels and all the schnitzels you could want while you listen to live German folk music.
World-Class Quay restaurant run by Peter Gilmore, which has been awarded three Chef Hats between 2007 and 2014 in the The SMH Good Food Guide.
For a night out The Argyle is the place to be with open cobblestone courtyards, funky lounges and a killer dance floor with the DJ suspended above in a clear box.