The Rocks

Heritage & History

The Rocks, in the heart of Australia’s most cosmopolitan city, encompasses the past, present and future. The Indigenous Cadigal people inhabited the rocky headland and surrounding shoreline for thousands of years. Then in 1788, Australia’s first European settlers-British convicts and their overseers-claimed the land and built their camp atop the sandstone cliffs.

The Rocks eventually grew from an open-air gaol into a vibrant port community. Its colourful history-filled with tales of ‘shanghaied’ sailors, rough gangs, and gritty life-can still be traced in the many surviving buildings from the last two centuries. But today the renovated former warehouses, sailors’ homes, and dens of iniquity house a unique mixture of fine restaurants, one-of-a-kind shops, and galleries showcasing both established and emerging talent.

The Rocks is a uniquely historical Australian quarter, one where you can explore Cadman’s Cottage, eat in restaurants located in some of the oldest surviving buildings in Sydney, or browse boutique shops and galleries in the place where Australia’s European settlement began. It’s a village which echoes a long and colourful past and can be enjoyed by everyone in an equally colourful present.