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Circular Quay and The Rocks

Where modern Sydney began.

Start your visit  in the area where Captain Arthur Phillip, commanding the First Fleet, landed in 1788 and established the first European colony on the Australian continent

The Rocks is Sydney’s historic centre with shopping, dining, traditional pubs, galleries, entertainment and history to explore.

Harbourfront Seafood Restaurant, The Rocks © Destination NSW

Sydney Visitor Information Center at The Rocks has information about the whole of Sydney as well as The Rocks. Call in for bookings for accommodation, tours and attractions and free information about what’s on as well as maps and visitor guides. Corner of Argyle and Playfair streets. Open daily 9am to 5.30pm (except Good Friday and Christmas Day)

Tap Rooms, The Rocks © Destination NSW

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Walk under, over or across this world-famous symbol of Sydney. It has dominated the skyline since 1932. Picnic at Dawes Point Park under the Southern Pylon and see the Harbour at its busiest.

Climb to the Pylon Lookout on top of the Southern Pylon from 5 Cumberland Street for a display of the Bridge’s beginnings, history and construction as well as some simply breathtaking views.

There is a good history of the Harbour Bridge at A basic site but with lots of facts and figures.

Walk across the Bridge on the pedestrian walkway and catch a train or ferry back from Milsons Point on the north side of the harbour to Circular Quay. From the walkways, you will enjoy spectacular views of the city, the harbour and the Opera House.

Jacarandas, Sydney Harbour © Destination NSW

Circular Quay

Walk around Circular Quay from The Rocks. Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art  Australia’s leading museum dedicated to exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the work of today’s artists.

Call into Cadman’s Cottage Historic Site, built-in 1816 and now the Sydney Harbour National Parks Office. 110 George St The Rocks. Ph 1300 361 967 Cadmans Cottage is the second-oldest surviving residential building in Sydney, having been built in 1816 for the use of the governmental coxswains and their crews.

Quay Restaurant, The Rocks © Destination NSW

There is a great model of the Sydney CBD under a glass floor in the foyer of Customs House in Alfred Street. Ph 02 9242 8551

Circular Quay is the hub of Sydney’s transport system and from here you can take a train, bus or ferry to anywhere in Sydney.

© Image courtesy the Museum of Contemporary Art Limited. Brett Boardman Photography


40 George St The Rocks Sydney NSW
Ph 02 9245 2400


“The MCA Collection contains over 4000 works by Australian artists that have been acquired since 1989. The Museum collects across all art forms with strong holdings in painting, photography, sculpture, works on paper and moving image, as well as a significant representation of works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

Opening hours – Monday and Tuesday 10am to 5pm, Wednesday 10am to 9pm, Thursday 10am to 5pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm. Closed 25 December.

MCA Store – Stocking an eclectic collection of books, homewares, toys, designer goods, and merchandise. Open daily on Level 1.

MCA Cafe – The MCA has a delightful rooftop cafe with some of the best views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Open daily 10am-5pm, Wednesday 10am-9pm.

MCA – Restaurant overlooking Circular Quay, Ground Floor. Open weekdays 12 to 3pm, 5.30 ’til late. Weekends 8 to 11.30am then 12 to 3pm.” Museum Of Contemporary Art” MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

Sydney Opera House

Outside it’s spectacular. Inside it’s fascinating. Guided Tours Office
Ph 02 9250 7250.
Or you can just walk around the whole precinct.

Check out the history of the Opera House is at

Royal Botanic Gardens

From the Opera House wander around the foreshore of Farm Cove to Sydney’s famous Royal Botanic Gardens a place of great natural beauty. Ph  02 9231 8111

Some of Sydney’s most spectacular views of the Harbour, Bridge and Opera House are from Mrs Macquarie’s Point and Mrs Macquaries chair in the Gardens. MORE INFO

Art Gallery of NSW

Walk up Art Gallery Road to the Art Gallery of NSW. One of Australia’s finest collections. What’s On-Line Ph 02 9225 1790 Freecall within Australia Ph 1800 679 278

BridgeClimb Sydney © Destination NSW
The Rocks and Harbour Bridge © Sydney Visitor Guide
Cadman’s Cottage
Art Gallery of NSW © Sydney Visitor Guide
Bonza Bike Tours, The Rocks © Destination NSW
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, The Rocks © Destination NSW
The Orient Hotel, The Rocks © Destination NSW
Lord Nelson Brewery, The Rocks © Destination NSW

Circular Quay, The Rocks and Barangaroo photos © Destination NSW


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Circular Quay. Photo by Paul Carmona on Unsplash

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Main Photo: Circular Quay. Photo by Paul Carmona on Unsplash


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