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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$20.53
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
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Convicts and The Rocks: Sydney's Walking History Tour
From US$20.53

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 an ancient harbour. Thousands of miles from home, Britain’s banished thieves were locked in a prison with walls made of ocean, hunger, fear and the bush.

Defying the odds, their shanty camp clutched 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 and legends grew. Scallywag Sydney was born. Her squalid secrets & stories etched into the very foundations of the city we know today.

Journey Walks invites you to 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 heritage professional who specializes historic storytelling. Your guide will create an informative, interactive and entertaining atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcome and engaged in the sights, stories and secrets revealed along the way.

The Walk:
Before we uncover the fascinating convict history of The Rocks, we will begin our tour with some important relics and ruins from Sydney's foundations that are tucked away near Circular Quay — these will include a visit inside Customs House, a discovery of Macquarie Place and a reflection on Sydney's secret fresh water stream. In The Rocks we will uncover the hidden corridors, cobblestone laneways and sandstone ruins that make up Sydney's most infamous historical quarter — getting lost, only to find ourselves again!

  • Your walking tour will cover:

    • Indigenous Sydney: The harbour and its clans
    • Why were the convicts sent here? : A clear context to transportation
    • The voyage, landing and mishaps of the First Fleet
    • Forgotten relics and monuments from the early colony
    • Sydney’s hidden fresh water stream and its secrets
    • Starvation, sickness and struggles at the first hospital
    • Hidden corridors and cobblestone laneways through the Rocks
    • The notorious rum trade and the rebellion of 1808
    • Sydney’s oldest cottage & Georgian architecture
    • Secret sandstone ruins and hidden gold-rush history
    • The rise & fall of the infamous convict-architect
    • Street gangs, their schemes & their hide outs in The Rocks
    • What happened when the black plague came to town
    • A visit inside Customs House and the Argyle Stores
    • Models, maps and murals of old & new Sydney town
    • Any question you have answered on the spot
Reviews (95)
1 - 5 of 86 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago
Fantastic stories about Sydney, the Rocks and the lives of convicts

We throughly enjoyed the bespoke walking tour which explores the significant land marks and the colourful lives of the First Fleet. Max was very knowledgeable and a great story teller who was able to lead us on a great journey of discovery of how people...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank FarAway786205
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
Definitely recommend this tour!

Max is a phenomenal story teller, and I am so glad I booked this tour during my short stay in Sydney. This tour was informational and entertaining- it was so cool to hear so much about the history and walk through this historical part of...More

Thank shevaugn
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
The Rocks and it’s history

April was our guide, a bubbly young lady with exceptional credentials. Apart from the historical facts she carried a folder with drawings for us to see how things would have looked like. Who would have known that the first fleet bringing convicts out from England...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank 267wendyp
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Fantastic way to get an insight to Sydney’s early days.

Thoroughly enjoyed this very interesting and insightful tour. Did the tour with Max as our guide who has a great knowledge of the area and presents the story in an extremely interesting way. You get so much more this way than you would just walking...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Mark J
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Fascinating insight into the history of Sydney

Max was enthusiastic and gave us a very interesting insight into the history of Sydney. He brought various characters to life and was extremely knowledgeable. Highly recommended.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank KWick123
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19 April 2018|
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Response from 735charlenec | Reviewed this property |
I think so - numbers on their website are +61 427 266 000 or +61 421 269 240