The Rocks

So many stories in Sydney's oldest post-colonial neighborhood.

The Rocks is Australia’s colonial history on display in modern-day Sydney. European settlers first arrived at this harbor landing in 1788 and since then The Rocks has been the site of crooked slums, cobbled walkways, hidden courtyards, and convivial pubs. Stories seem to hide in every nook and cranny, but The Rocks’ petite size makes unraveling their yarns an easy (and wholly enjoyable) task for urban sleuths and aimless wanderers.

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On the Map

The Rocks is within Central Business District and bordered by Millers Point

  • Public transit is Possible
  • Having a car is Possible

International Airport: 20 minutes by cab without traffic
Central Station: 17 minutes by train
Opera House / Circular Quay: 5-10 minute walk
Bondi Beach: 40 minutes by bus

Living History In the Heart of the City

The Rocks Laube

Standing on the southern shore of the harbour and at the forefront of the city's history, The Rocks is central to central Sydney's form and function.

The Rocks Laube

The CBD's shadows stretch to the cobblestoned streets, delicately preserved shopfronts, and textured facades of The Rocks, Australia's oldest suburb.

The Rocks Laube
The Rocks Laube

Tourists travel from near and far to wander and wonder through The Rocks.

The Rocks Laube

Where the neighborhood has been is as rich as where it's going.

The Rocks Laube
The Rocks Laube

What are now cottages, courtyards, cafes, market stalls, and boutiques were once brothels, jailhouses, and hospitals.

The Rocks Laube

Descend upon The Rocks' historical roots on the sets of stairs that ascend throughout the neighborhood.

The Rocks Laube
The Rocks Laube
The Rocks Laube
The Rocks Laube

Stories of The Rocks' storied past are told through public sculptures and multi-level murals.

The Rocks Laube

The works celebrate the historical significance of Australia's oldest suburb.

The Rocks Laube
The Rocks Laube
The Rocks Laube

It sets just right, juxtaposed against modern city buildings.

The Rocks Laube

The two go together.

The Rocks Laube

Twice as nice.

Iconic Landscapes This Side of Sydney

The Rocks Laube

Benches punctuate The Rocks' harborside park spaces.

The Rocks Laube
The Rocks Laube

The CBD's modern offices share the sky with modern marvels like Sydney's winged opera house.

The Rocks Laube

Colonial era buildings and wooden masts contrast contemporary bridges and steel beams.

The Rocks Laube
The Rocks Laube

George Street served as Sydney's original main street.

The Rocks Laube

It might even be Australia's first street paved promenade.

Hoppy In the Heart of Sydney: Beer on The Rocks

TheRocks Smith

The Rocks fervently preserves its legendary pub culture.

TheRocks Smith

Its pubs are the oldest in the city.

TheRocks Smith
TheRocks Smith

Sooty hotel hangouts and endearingly shoddy spaces still serve cold pints in The Rocks.

TheRocks Smith

The hoppy beverages bring people from all over.

TheRocks Smith
TheRocks Smith

Tap the freshest ferments at The Fortune of War, Sydney's oldest of old pubs.

TheRocks Smith

Tip glasses at The Lord Nelson Hotel, Harts Pub, and The Glenmore.

TheRocks Smith
TheRocks Smith
TheRocks Smith
TheRocks Smith

Here's to the night.

The Residential Side of The Rocks

The Rocks Laube

Rich history and cold pints might attract Sydneysiders and out-of-towners to The Rocks, but the neighborhood remains mostly residential.

The Rocks Laube

Away from its main attractions, preserved Victorian style terraces, simple public housing, and colonial era mansions make up the neighborhood's rustic environs.

The Rocks Laube
The Rocks Laube

Its residential areas are perceptibly serene.

The Rocks Laube

Clamor stays in the cozy confines of the neighborhood's low-lit pubs.

The Rocks Laube

It's quiet on this side of The Rocks.

The Rocks Laube
The Rocks Laube
The Rocks Laube
The Rocks Laube

Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Wade Laube is a commercial photographer based in Sydney. He shoots for a variety of editorial and commercial clients, and has worked on assignment in numerous countries. His work has been exhibited nationally.

Wade Laube

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David Maurice Smith is a Canadian photographer based in Sydney whose work focuses on travel, reportage, and long-term documentary stories. He is drawn to personal stories and is fascinated by the circumstances that are reflected in each of us. He works hard to visually explore and explain the inspiring, tragic, or somewhere in-between… In 2012 David joined Australia's prestigious Photographic Collective, Oculi.

David Maurice Smith

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