The Rocks are situated in Sydney's city centre on the western side of Circular Quay, and was the area of the first European settlement in 1788. Before the 1820's it was full of convicts and prostitutes, although this has changed from slums to three-story houses.
It was later overtaken by warehouses and the maritime industry, later again demolished due to the plague and then the Harbour Bridge Construction.
Since the 1970's it has developed into a tourist area, full of cobbled streets, pretty buildings, gorgeous little shops and a lively nightlife filled with pubs and restaurants.
The Rocks also features a fabulous market at the weekend, as well as live music at various venues around the Rocks. There are a full range of stalls offering unique and wonderful gifts, as well as delicious food stalls and much more.
There are also a number of walking tours around the area, including an interesting historical walking tour of the Rocks. There are many stops along these tours including Sydney's first goal, Cadman's Cottage and Sydney's shortest street.
There is plenty to do in The Rocks from visiting the attractions, wandering around the streets, eating out, shopping in the market or admiring the views of Circular Quay. The oldest house in Sydney can be found in The Rocks. It is Cadman's Cottage on George Street, built in 1816, once home to John Cadman but now the National Park Information Centre.
George Street is the main street through the Rocks area, which is the oldest street in the whole of Australia. There are a number of fabulous buildings along George Street, including Billich Gallery, the Old Police Station, the union Bond Store, the Vault Restaurant and the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art in a stylish Art Deco building.
Just behind George Street is Kendell Lane featuring more wonderful buildings. You will find the Coachhouse as well as Puppet Cottage, and at the end of Kendell Lane the fabulous and lively Rocks Square.
South from here you can head past the fabulous Argyle Stores before arriving at Susannah Place which is a beautiful row of old terraced houses. From here there are fantastic views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
West of Susannah Place you can cut through to Observatory Park where you will find the Sydney Observatory, which has great views of both the Sydney Harbour and Millers Point. You can then follow Lower Fort Street along which hosts more historic buildings including the Colonial House Museum, Dawes Point Park and the Garrison Church.
At Dawes Point, Walsh Bay, you can also find a number of Wharves which are home to the developing shopping and leisure complex as well as the Sydney Theatre, Bangarra Dance Theatre which is an Aboriginal dance company, and the Sydney Dance Company.