Guided tour

Sydney Convicts, History & The Rocks 2.5-Hour Walking Tour

Sydney Convicts, History & The Rocks 2.5-Hour Walking Tour

From US$ 25.66 per person

A colony of thieves and a currency of rum — Sydney’s colonial birthplace in The Rocks certainly makes for a good story. This walking history tour will retrace the lives of the prisoners, soldiers, and sailors who once washed ashore on this ancient land.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 2.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English
Small group
Limited to 10 participants

Experience

Highlights
  • Embark on a journey through time and space to discover the secrets of Sydney's convict colony in the Rocks
  • Wind through cobblestone alleyways once home to Sydney's most notorious rum dealers and street gangs
  • Discover the inner workings of heritage buildings and the unknown stories behind important sculptures, maps, models and relics
  • Explore unique sandstone structures, hidden ruins and the story of the infamous convict architect
Full description
Join this tour for an immersive exploration of Sydney’s notorious heritage as you uncover the stories, sights and secrets of its hidden convict origins in The Rocks. As you navigate your way past the forgotten relics and ruins of this historic quarter, your guide will unpack the process of criminal transportation to Australia and its immediate effect on Sydney’s indigenous population at the turn of the 19th century. You'll discover the curious case of the convict architect and the ambitious Governor who wanted to decorate the prison settlement, and you’ll retrace the steps of the teenage girl who rose from chains to riches by conquering Sydney’s economy. Expect unique examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture, hidden corridors, convict cut sandstone, abandoned slums and enormous cellars for spirits and stores. Get lost in charm of The Rocks as its past is brought back to life by your expert history guide, and develop a d great understanding about how early Sydney came to be. Crafted to suit both locals and visitors, this tour will keep your eyes wide open, your ears pricked and your imagination ignited.
Includes
  • 2-hours of time traveling with a local historian through the Rocks
  • Entrance into the historic buildings such as the Argyle Stores and Customs House
  • An insider's guide to local historic pubs, heritage architecture and discovery museums
    Not suitable for
    • People with mobility impairments
    Covid-19 precautions
    Safety measures in place
    • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds

    Select participants and date

    Participants

    Date

    Prepare for the activity

    Meeting point

    Meet your guide in front of the Customs House building, on the right hand side if facing building (outside).

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    Important information

    Not allowed

    • Luggage or large bags
    • Pets (assistance dogs allowed)
    • Baby strollers

    Know before you go

    • This tour is most suitable for persons older than 16 years of age, as it involves adult themes and concepts
    • Due to the layout of The Rocks, some stairs are unavoidable at certain points along the way
    • Anyone needing special assistance must make contact with the local tour operator in advance
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are advised that this tour may include the names and images of people who are now deceased
    • Wearing comfortable walking shoes and bringing a bottle of water is encouraged
    • In the case of wet or wild weather, the tour will continue. You are kindly asked to be prepared with an umbrella or raincoat to ensure you can handle all weather conditions
    Customer reviews

    Overall rating

    5 /5

    based on 30 reviews

    Review summary

    • Guide
      5/5
    • Value for money
      4.9/5
    • Service
      5/5
    • Organization
      5/5

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    It was amazing to learn so much of our Australian history in such a short time. Max was incredibly knowledgeable, understandable and interesting in his presentation of the facts. The pace was excellent, and the timeframe perfect. It was refreshing to hear our history presented in such a way that opened our eyes to how things unfolded in this country. Max was friendly, helpful and very easy to understand. He welcomed questions and he went at a great pace. I would recommend this tour for all ages as the best value thing to do in Sydney for anyone who would like to know the history of our beginnings. Incredible value for money!

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    April 24, 2021

    This is a great tour. April has great stories and is very enthusiastic. You can’t help but become enthusiastic as well. With the stories, I kept thinking “someone should make a movie about that”. On top of it, it rained the whole time and we still had a great time.

    March 6, 2020

    Tour guide was an amazing storyteller. She did a fantastic job and kept us interested, in shaded areas while stopped (a nice bonus), and ended the tour with pleasant conversation and drinks. We never would’ve gotten to know the history and significance of the monuments and easily-missed sights in the Rocks. Thank you!!!

    January 28, 2020

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    Product ID: 117168