Small-Group Tour of the Rocks with a Historian
- Sydney Cove: Location of the First Fleet Arrival, the small bay of Sydney Cove is one of numerous harbours on the coast.
- Rocks Area: Gain an understanding of the way in which immigrants and convicts shaped the Rocks Area, where the Big Dig is located.
- Cadman's Cottage: Sydney’s oldest surviving residential property was built in 1816.
- Harbour Bridge: Dependent on the harbour area were the Cadigal people, of whom you’ll learn about as you visit the world’s largest steel bridge.
About This Sydney Tour
Since the time when Europeans first settled on Sydney soil, the city has come a very long way indeed. This long and fascinating history is bundled into a 3-hour journey around the metropolis, which was regarded as a fine place to live since prehistoric times. From Sydney's Aboriginal heritage to the gold rush boom, and First Fleet arrival, the scholar-led tour will open your eyes to the discovery by Great Britain and beyond. Innovation has stemmed from many archaeological discoveries around Sydney, of which you can learn about at the Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre in “The Rocks” area.
Once home to Chinese immigrants and convicts, The Rocks was fronted by a gang known as the Rocks Push up until 1870. Prior to the outbreak of the deadly bubonic plague, ancient buildings in this area were deteriorating, leading to significant redevelopment. A slice of history remains at Gloucester Street and Cadman's Cottage, which was constructed for governmental boat crews. As the day comes to an end near Harbour Bridge, you can roam the land alongside a meandering waterway where the Cadigal people once lived.
Aboriginal History of the Cadigal People
The history professor who leads your tour may refer to the Cadigal people as the “Gadigal” or “Eora”. Sydney Harbour was relied on by these early Aboriginal Australians, since they counted on the environment for food. They were not the only clan residing in the city however, they communicated in a different type of language. Following an outbreak of smallpox back in 1789, the majority of Australia’s indigenous population were wiped out, with a mere three of the original Cadigal clan remaining just two years later.
Weekdays, meet us inside the Customs House in the far right corner of the atrium just on top of the SOUTH sign etched into the glass floor at 31 Alfred Street, 1 block back from Circular Quay. Weekends, meet just outside the front door by the left pillar.
In need of retail therapy after your tour? Your guide can advise you where to go in search of that "must have" souvenir to take home. Be sure to have some local currency and a backpack for all your great buys.
As in many cities, keep your wallet or purse secured and leave the bling behind.
Plan to walk for approximately 2 miles at a gentle pace. If your mobility is limited, this tour may be too challenging for you. This itinerary is not suitable for wheelchairs.
Walking Tour, Cultural, Scenic
Public transportation may be used from time to time. Have local currency available for tickets. Your tour may involve walking only.
Ph.D. or MA-level scholar guide
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Travelers must be 13 years of age and older to participate.
Walks are held rain or shine with some variations to accommodate the weather. If you are running late for your meeting with our guide, we ask that you call to alert us so that we can relay the message to the guide.
You cannot participate in this tour if you have not sent your passport number and name beforehand. Context walks can be cancelled up to 48 hours prior to the walk with an 85% refund. Within 48 hours all reservations are final and cannot be refunded. Walks are held rain or shine with some variations to accommodate the weather. If you are running late for your meeting with our guide, we ask that you call to alert us so that we can relay the message to the guide. No shows are treated as last-minute cancelations and are non-refundable. Cancellations within two business days need to be made directly with our local offices by calling them directly (or on the emergency number provided). Cancellations made via email or by calling our U.S. 800 number may not be honored.
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