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Convicts and The Rocks: Sydney's Walking History Tour

  • Learn the true stories behind Sydney’s convict past
  • Historian guide leads 2-hour walking tour
  • Entrance to historic buildings included
Convicts and The Rocks: Sydney's Walking History Tour
From US$17.38
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
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Convicts and The Rocks: Sydney's Walking History Tour

Head to The Rocks to learn about Sydney’s colorful past. Your historian guide will regale you with stories of the first convicts to arrive in Sydney, their early experiences in Australia, and how they ultimately transformed a shanty camp to an enduring settlement. Listen to tales of street gangs, see the city’s oldest cottage, visit the Customs House, and check out maps and murals of old and new Sydney.

What to Expect

Once upon a time a bizarre colonial experiment took place on the rocky shores of a forested cove. 15,000-miles from home, Britain's banished thieves would be locked in a jail whose walls were made of ocean, bush, hunger and fear.

Defying the odds, this shanty camp would clutch to life on the banks of a tiny stream. Gardens were grown, rum was traded and homes were carved into the sandstone cliffs.

Centuries changed, legends grew, scallywag Sydney was born. Her squalid secrets etched into the very rocks from which she was built.

Share a part in this story. This tour will keep your eyes wide open, your ears pricked and your imagination ignited!

Your Guide:
This tour is led by a local historian who specializes in contemporary storytelling. Your guide will create an informative, interactive and playful atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcome and involved in the tour.

The Walk:
While centered in the Rocks, your walk will also include Sydney's original fresh water stream, plus a look inside Customs House. In the Rocks, expect hidden corridors, cobblestone laneways and sandstone ruins that make up Sydney's most infamous historical quarter.

Your walking tour will cover:

  • Sydney before the ships arrived
  • Why did the convicts come? A clear context to transportation
  • The voyage, landing and struggles of the First Fleet
  • Secrets from the early convict colony
  • Great escapes, murder, mutiny and fortunes
  • The rum trade and rebellion
  • The remains of Sydney’s old world Tycoons
  • Street gang stories and scandals
  • Sydney's oldest surviving cottage
  • A visit inside Customs house and the Argyle stores
  • Models, maps and murals of new & old Sydney town
  • Any question you have: answered on the spot
Reviews (88)
1 - 5 of 81 reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile
Excellent way to see Old Sydney

Our tour was full of interesting facts about places I had walked over before- and new nookes and crannies I'd never had seen otherwise. It's obvious Max loves what he does! Would recommend.

Thank Rebecca M
Reviewed 6 days ago
Excellent walking tour of historic Sydney

This tour provides an excellent understanding of how Sydney was founded and the personalities that helped shape the new colony. As a historian with a healthy curiosity, Max is a great guide...he brings self-curated historical visuals, he speaks clearly, and he really knows his stuff!...More

Thank Susan L
Reviewed 1 week ago
Walking back in time The Rocks

Today Brian from The Rocks Walking Tours took us back in time when he shared his knowledge of early Sydney. Walking through winding, narrow and sometimes steep stairs and ally ways, we learned of the checkered history of the first settlement of the area known...More

Thank randjuhe
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
Passion, Brilliance and History!

Visiting Sydney and wanted to understand the Rocks and how “Sydney” came to be. Max was amazing!! He is a fountain of knowledge that comes from a well that started Sydney....that Passion cannot be created. This was one of my favorite tours this trip. We...More

1  Thank LizaAllee
MaxwellB127, Owner at Journey Walks, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hi Liz, Thanks so much for this fantastic review of my Convict History Tour. I'm so glad you enjoyed the experience and the heritage of The Rocks came to life for you. Also, a huge thanks for uploading those great photos! Much appreciated. All the...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Enthusiasm, Knowledge and Fun

We were a group of 7 women from Interstate (Vic) doing our annual get together, we started off in the Rocks with Max before travelling to the Blue Mountains for 4 days. Without exception everyone in the group nominated this as the best thing we...More

Thank bingx32018
MaxwellB127, Owner at Journey Walks, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

My great pleasure! Thanks so much for joining me and for this great review. It was fantastic to be your host. I look forward to seeing you again for another on your next visit. Best Regards Max

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19 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Charlene C | Reviewed this property |
I think so - numbers on their website are +61 427 266 000 or +61 421 269 240