If you’re in Sydney over the weekend, be sure to head to the Rocks Market – it combines stylish handmade crafts with more traditional souvenirs. Well worth a look!
Centrally located between the Central Business District and the harbour, and immediately adjacent to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks has become one of the most popular neighborhoods for visitors to Sydney. Walking around its cobbled streets today, taking in its elegant combination of funky bars, quirky market stalls and sleek restaurants, it seems hard to believe that for much of its history it was little more than a crime-ridden slum.
The Rocks has been occupied for almost as long as Sydney has existed. In its early days most of the buildings were built of rough local sandstone, which is how the area got its name. Unfortunately, the Rocks quickly developed a reputation for prostitution, gambling and debauchery. In many ways it was no different from any other port-city of the era, but as far as the British public were concerned, it was entirely populated by sailors, convicts and their descendants, which made the place all the more unsavoury. Most of the 20th century was equally troubled, with an outbreak of bubonic plague and government plans for widespread housing demolition.
The Rocks Revived
Fortunately, proposals for destruction became plans for revitalisation, and The Rocks is now an affluent, bustling part of town. You can sip a cold pint from the city’s oldest surviving pubs while enjoying a view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or take a leisurely stroll among the numerous old-fashioned souvenir and craft shops. For those looking to discover more of the area’s colourful history, there is a much-loved self-guided tour, or you can wait outside the historic Cadman’s Cottage every evening at 6pm for a free walking tour.
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