Self-Guided Walking Tour of Sydney

Roaming The Rocks: Sydney's historic settlement of convicts, cobblestones and crime stories


Start from Introduction by the Tank Stream Fountain: Ancient Sydney and the arrival of convict ships in 1788, Sydney

Duration 105-110 min

Available offline


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Listen to the first 30 seconds

About 🔎

Hello, I'm Max Burns-McRuvie, a Sydney crime historian and owner of the tour company Journey Walks. This tour will explore the early origins of Sydney's historic maritime village known as The Rocks. Together we will unpack its notorious past, heritage architecture, and curious characters. Expect fascinating stories of prisoners, sailors, soldiers, whalers, smugglers, street gangs, slums, tunnels, taverns, mysteries, and murders. The tour will take just over 2 hours and will include local recommendations for refreshments stops.

Created by Max Burns-McRuvie

Highlights ✨

Introduction by the Tank Stream Fountain: Ancient Sydney and the arrival of convict ships in 1788

Historic map of Sydney Cove and the convict settlement of The Rocks in 1808

Grumpy Governor Bligh & the infamous 'Rum Rebellion' that ended his reign

Cadman's Cottage and the unlikely convict success stories of the Macquarie era

A visual timeline of The Rocks and the end of the convict era

Hidden opium dens and doss houses in cellars-turned-whisky bars

Greenway Lane and the eccentric 'Convict Architect' of Sydney

The blacksmith's cottage and the incredible bank robbery of 1828

Sydney's 'Suez Canal' and notorious street gangs of the Rocks

The historic Police Station: corrupt cops and surviving lock-up cells

The Fortune of War of Hotel: Sydney's earliest pubs and taverns

Cumberland Place and the old slums of The Rocks

The Whalers of The Rocks and those they once murdered

The Argyle Cut and its hidden history

The ruins of Sydney's old slums and the Black Death

The Harbour Bridge and the 'Battle for The Rocks'

Final overview of The Rocks from above

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