Sydney's Convict Colony — History Tour

Sydney, Australia

Experience hosted by Max

2.5 hours, Hosted in English
Committed to safety
This Host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Up to 10 people

What you'll do

ON THIS UNIQUE EXPERIENCE:
Join a passionate history-guide (Max or April or Danica) on an exploration of Sydney’s notorious convict heritage at Sydney Cove & The Rocks.

Expect fascinating stories, delivered with energy & insight, as we explore the remarkable lives of sailors, soldiers, scallywags, convicts, con-artists, craftsmen, larrikins & low-lives as they began to trade rum, quarry stone & etch a living upon Sydney's shoreline from the late 18th century.

Over 2.5 hours, we'll unpack the process of convict transportation in graphic detail — retracing the steps of its curious colonial characters & their immediate effect Sydney's ancient Indigenous clans.

Navigating the cobbled alley-ways, hidden corridors & forgotten monuments of this port-side settlement, we'll venture off the beaten track to dig up its memories - the good, the bad & the plague ridden.

Designed to engage both Sydney locals & visitors, this is a journey through time & space that takes history off the shelf and brings it to life with vivid descriptions, imagery & an infectious passion for the past.

Best of all, finish your experience at an old-fashioned local pub in The Rocks where you can grab drink & chat through stories with your guide & group.

N.B : Check out our other 5 star rated walking history experience : "Sin & The City — Kings X History Tour"

N.B: This tour has a 2 person booking minimum.
Other things to note
This walking history-tour is best suited for guests aged 12+ and contains some adult themes from Sydney's history.
While mostly on flat surfaces, some steps are included on our walk through The Rocks.
ON THIS UNIQUE EXPERIENCE:
Join a passionate history-guide (Max or April or Danica) on an exploration of Sydney’s notorious convict heritage at Sydney Cove & The Rocks.

Expect fascinating stories, delivered with energy & insight, as we explore the remarkable lives of sailors, soldiers, scallywags, convicts, con-artists, craftsmen, larrikins & low-lives as they began to trade rum, quarry stone & etch a living upon Sydney's shoreli…

Meet your Host, Max

Host on Airbnb since 2017
  • 247 Reviews
  • Identity verified
Hi I'm Max Burns, founder of Journey Walks (History, Crime & Culture Tours of Sydney ) and a convict-history buff with a passion for great storytelling. Either myself or my co-hosts (April or Danica) will be your tour leader on this historic exploration.

With over 10 years guiding experience across Sydney & Europe — backed by a M.A in History & Heritage Studies and a deep understanding of the Colonial Age — I offer my guests a time-travel tour experience full of imagery, detail & insight.

April is an energetic history professional with years of guiding experience between Sydney & London, a M.A in Museum & Heritage studies and expertise in 19th C. convict culture & fashion.

Danica is a charming storyteller with a B.A in History, Diploma of Travel & Tourism, M.A in Museum & Heritage studies, and 5 years guiding experience in Sydney.
Hi I'm Max Burns, founder of Journey Walks (History, Crime & Culture Tours of Sydney ) and a convict-history buff with a passion for great storytelling. Either myself or my co-hosts (April or Danica) will be your tour leader on this historic exploration.

With over 10 years guiding experience across Sydney & Europe — backed by a M.A in History & Heritage Studies and a deep understanding of the Colonial Age — I offer my guests a time-travel tour experience full of imagery, detail & ins…
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From $32
/ person

Where you'll be

This history-tour will take place across Sydney Cove & The Rocks

Historic Convict Sites we'll explore:

The colony's secret fresh water stream.
A controversial Union Jack
A relic from a First Fleet ship.
Australia's first European monument.
Punishment Quarries & hand-cut sandstone.
Sydney's oldest cottage.
Original China-Town.
Hidden Doss Houses.
Rum Stores.
19th C. slums.
Cobbled alleyways.
Very Old Pubs.
+ Sydney harbour's Indigenous heritage.

Rated 4.97 out of 5 from 247 reviews.

Leanne
January 2021
April was an excellent guide. Her knowledge was amazing and told in a way that made it interesting. So pleased we did this tour and highly recommend it.
Marcia
December 2020
Being a tourist in your own city was made so much more interesting with April! The tour was fantastic and gave me an insight of the rocks area that I had no idea existed. April was so personable and we kept to a great pace. I will definitely be looking into their other tours!
Ryan
March 2020
This tour was a fascinating glimpse into a history of Sydney that could easily be forgotten. Even though it rained off and on, we were able to find shelter as we walked the tiny alleys, saw the historic landmarks and heard stories of the past.
Janet
February 2020
April gave an informative, informed presentation and explanation of early convict life in Sydney. We were vastly entertained and learnt many new facts about the Rocks area, and its' early convict inhabitants. Would highly recommend.
Ruthie
February 2020
We had such an excellent experience on this tour. April is a fantastic guide, she has a deep knowledge and passion for history. Her stories brought the Rocks to life, and I can’t recommend this tour enough.
George
February 2020
April was our tour guide and she was great. Extremely well informed and well prepared with documents to help us understand the history. I really recommend this tour for anyone interested in understanding why Sydney exists. Thanks 👍🏻

Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Guest requirements

Up to 10 guests ages 18 and up can attend.

What to bring

A Water bottle, comfortable shoes, wet-weather gear and/or sun protection depending on the forecast.