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Turn of the Century Sydney - Historical Walking Tour

Discover the oldest parts of Sydney on a 2-hour guided walk through the heart of The Rocks. Your small group tour will be led by Rob, a local Sydneysider with expert knowledge and a passion for his home city. This is not your average history tour, Rob will take you on an incredible journey through Sydney at the turn of the twentieth century. Starting at Circular Quay on the shores of Sydney Harbour, you will visit historical sites, meander through old cobblestone lane ways, stop for a drink at one of Sydney's oldest pubs, and finish at the massive foundations of the awe-inspiring Sydney Harbour Bridge. Rob brings these places to life with stories of government control, social change, and the triumph and defeat of great men and women who forged their lives here. Throughout the tour you will take in spectacular views of Sydney including the harbour, city skyline, Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

per adult from




2 to 3 hours


Mobile ticket

Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • Professional guide who is a local Sydney resident and Sydney expert!
    • Small-group tour, maximum of 12 people
    • Bottled water provided for each guest
    • Guide carries spare umbrellas and sunscreen if you forget
    • Bottled water
    What's excluded :
    • Food and drinks
  • Meet Rob outside the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in front of the giant arrow on the building - you will know it when you see it! This is on the side facing Circular Quay, looking at the Sydney Ferries and the Opera House.

    The walk starts from here, weaving through the old buildings and alleys of The Rocks, following the story of the people who lived in Sydney at the end of the 1800's. As Rob describes daily life in Sydney, he shows you old photos of many of these same places from this time. You will hear about major difficulties the people of Sydney had to face, such as the great depression, the arrival of the Plague, widespread demolition and redevelopment in Sydney, the great maritime strike, and the hungry mile. These significant events would bring about great change, and shape the future of Sydney.

    The walk continues through the Argyle Cut and over to the lesser-known side of The Rocks, and after seeing the beautiful Holy Trinity Church, we stop for a refreshing drink at the nearby Hero of Waterloo - a 175 year old sandstone pub which retains most of it's original form and all of it's character. This is one of Sydney's hidden gems, and is full of stories.

    You will then head down to the waters edge in Walsh Bay, a historical port precinct where you will see an incredible series of wharves, sheds and bridges built at the beginning of the 1900's. Many of the old industrial features of these wharves such as cranes, lifts and machinery have been preserved, and there are also great views of the harbour from here.

    Finally you will exit the wharf complex with the Harbour Bridge nearby looming overhead. As you make your way around the base of the massive bridge pylon - the point where the arch meets the ground - this is one of the best places to get up close and personal with "The Coathanger" and provides a fantastic opportunity for photos of Sydney's best icons including the harbour, the Bridge and the Opera House.

    The walk concludes here, and it's just a short stroll back to Circular Quay and public transport, or stay on in the area and take a recommendation for some of Sydney's best places to shop, eat and drink.

    Optional extra:

    If you have an extra hour to spare, continue on with Rob to finish up at the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout for not only spectacular views, but a history of the construction of the Harbour Bridge. See displays, models and exhibits inside the structure as you climb the 200 easy stairs to the top of the southern pylon, where you will enjoy 360 degree views around Sydney Harbour. This add-on is highly recommended, and is a great way to finish the tour!
  • Departure Point :
    In front of the Museum of Contemporary Art - MCA
    Departure Time :
    2:00 PM
    Return Detail :
    Finish point is at the top of George St right underneath the approaches to the Harbour Bridge. This is just a short 5 minute walk back to the starting point.
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking outdoors - high heels are NOT recommended!
    • Wear a hat and sunscreen if it is sunny
    • Wear a jacket if it is cooler
    • Bottled water is provided - there are also plenty of places to stop along the way for refreshments if required
    • Don't bring your luggage with you, this won't be practical. Let us know before the walk if you need to store your bags and we can help you with this.
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.



Age Req.


Fitness Req.


Group Size


Organised by Sydney Walks

Activity ID: V-72017P1

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