It's hard to visit Sydney and not visit The Rocks--located on the harbour in the heart of the city. Yet it's not just its location that makes it worth visiting; the area offers a combination of history, sights, and experiences.
Of course, what makes it particularly popular is its proximity to iconic landmarks. The suburb is located between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House and allows you to get some amazing views of each.
This view of the Sydney Opera House can be found atop the Overseas Passenger Terminal
Due to its location and number of visitors, The Rocks has also become a popular place for events. Some of the best ones to catch are Vivid Sydney in May and June, when light projections and sculptures can be found throughout the area, and The Rocks Aroma Festival in July, which is perfect for coffee-lovers.
Vivid Sydney is spectacular at night
There's also The Rocks Markets, held on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year, where you will find pretty much anything (it's a great place to get your hands on some souvenirs too).
On Fridays there's The Rocks Foodies Markets, which take place during the day, and on Friday evenings throughout November and December, The Rock Village Bizarre offers similar market stalls to the weekend event, but with the addition of performers and other curiosities.
The Rocks Foodies Markets are underway
On the average day, you can do your shopping along George Street or enjoy one of the many art galleries around here. One of the most notable in the area is the Museum of Contemporary Art.
When you want something to eat, there are plenty of bars and restaurants where you can get a meal and perhaps enjoy some live music. Pancakes on the Rocks and Lowenbrau are quite popular, and there's also the prestigious Quay Restaurant, among many others (which often offer great views, as well as good food).
Dawes Point Park lies beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge and is somewhere to head if you want a picnic (it's another place with great views of the Sydney Opera House too). First Fleet Park, which is next to the MCA, is another grassy area where you can relax.
You get a great view of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House from Dawes Point Park
Spend a little time in the Rocks and you'll notice it's not like many other areas of the city. But the cobbled laneways and streets you'll find here are just one of many remnants of Sydney's past to discover. There are also statues, Cadmans Cottage (a residential building that has survived from the early years of the colony) and The Rocks Discovery Museum.
If you're looking to stay in The Rocks while you're in Sydney, you have a few options, and they suit a variety of budgets. Sydney Harbour YHA caters for backpackers, for example, while Hyatt Sydney is popular for those who can afford to splurge.
Where: On the southern side of Sydney harbour, north of Sydney CBD
When: There are things to do here day or night
Cost: This destination would suit a variety of budgets