Convicts and The Rocks: Sydney's Walking Tour Led by Historian

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From $30.22

199 reviews   (4.99)

Price varies by group size

Lowest Price Guarantee

Pricing Info: Per Person

Duration: 2 hours

Departs: Sydney, Sydney

Ticket Type: Mobile or paper ticket accepted

Free cancellation

Up to 24 hours in advance.

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Expect fascinating history, delivered with energy and insight on a walking exploration of Sydney's colonial birthplace: The Rocks. Together your group will uncover the scallywag stories of convicts, soldiers, sailors, rum & rebellions. This tour is led by vibrant historians who share their passion for the past through great storytelling, visual imagery and extensive research.

Before reaching the narrow alleyways & hidden ruins of The Rocks district, you’ll enter inside Sydney’s historical Customs House & discover the colonial relics at Macquarie Place.

In The Rocks your guide will bring to life the convicts, craftsmen & cut-throats littered throughout its early history. You'll also venture below street level to discover a sandstone cellar connected to Sydney's gold-rush era.

After getting lost in the area's rich history this tour finishes in the heart of The Rocks surrounded by heritage pubs, cafes, boutique shopping, art galleries & the local market on Saturdays. Welcome aboard!

What's Included

2.5 hour walking tour covering approximately 20 historic sites and stories

A local Sydney history expert as your tour guide

Local recommendations and extra question time with your guide is included after the tour.

Tour finishes at a friendly old fashioned Pub in The Rocks for a chance to share a drink together

What's Not Included

Food is not included on this tour, but your tour guide will have fantastic local recommendations


Traveler Information

  • ADULT: Age: 16 - 80

Additional Info

  • Anyone requiring special assistance is kindly asked to make contact with your local operator in advance.
  • Groups are kept small (10 person maximum) and we encourage questions and interaction.
  • Public transportation options are available nearby
  • We continue our tours in all weather conditions so please dress accordingly. Umbrella's are a good idea if wet weather seems likely.
  • Your guide will ensure that Covid-safe social distancing measures and a contact free policy is in place throughout the tour
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are advised that this tour may include the names and images of people who are now deceased.
  • Due to the layout of The Rocks, some stairs are unavoidable at certain points along the way, but majority of the route follows flat terrain.
  • Not recommended for travelers with poor cardiovascular health
  • Suitable for all physical fitness levels
  • Your guide is a native English speaker and will carry tour folder with A3 size images to help illustrate the area's past

Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Experience may be cancelled due to Insufficient travelers
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

What To Expect

Journey Walks
Meet you guide at our Journey Walks' starting point Quay Bar — an outdoor venue with coffee and bathrooms where you can take a seat and enjoy being transported back in time as your guide introduces the age of British penal colonies and the story you are about to undertake on foot.

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Customs House
Begin your journey by unraveling the elaborate sandstone facade of Sydney Customs House — the gateway for people and goods arriving by ship into Sydney through the 19th & 20th Century.
Then enter inside Customs House see a unique model of the entire city including Circular Quay and The Rocks in miniature (scale 1:500) below your feet as your guide illustrates the forming of the natural harbour and the urban settlement of Sydney.

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Included

Macquarie Place Park
Discover the hidden and forgotten relics found in Macquarie Place including the underground Edwardian lavatory, the First Fleet anchor and the Obelisk of distances — Sydney's first public monument designed and built by convicts for the Governor of NSW.

20 minutes • Admission Ticket Included

Tank Stream Fountain
Uncover the secrets of Sydney's original fresh water source, now hidden below your feet. The Tank stream not only helped Sydney's convict colony survive but it was one of the main reasons this cove was chosen as the site of Australia's first penal settlement

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

The Rocks
In The Rocks you'll find yourself wandering though back alleys and along cobbled lanes, passing some of the oldest pubs and houses in Sydney and getting lost in the stories of convicts, sailors and street gangs who occupied and worked in the area. Your guide will lead you to hidden sandstone ruins, old slums and underground cellars turned speak easy bars. The Rocks area is full of character, quirks and surprises.

1 hours • Admission Ticket Free

The Argyle
A hidden courtyard in the heart of The Rocks with an ancient sandstone storehouse once filled with barrels of spirits and tobacco that now functions as a beer garden and club.

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Included


Extremely knowledgeable guide with interesting facts
Olivia_J, 14-12-2022
Finding out the history of circular quay and what it used to look like! So many hidden historical items I never realised how significant it all was. Max was a great story teller
Great historical walking tour
Sightseer51380461817, 11-12-2022
The guide really knew his stuff and paid a lot of focus to details. I had expected a little bit more of walking, bit still I am very happy with the tour. A great introduction to people new to Sydney or a crash course in early colonial history to anyone.
Convicts & The Rocks
R2553ZUkarenb, 29-11-2022
Really enjoyed the tour with Max. He pointed out so much history in the Rocks that I have never noticed. Highly recommend ...
dofburcott, 25-11-2022
This was an extremely informative and interesting tour - the 2 and a half hours went by in a flash - no mean feat to keep a group properly engaged for that amount of time. Absolutely would recommend it!
Learnt a lot
Louise_D, 19-11-2022
Max was absolutely amazing….he really knows his stuff and made the walk and learning the history of the Rocks and how Sydney came to be in great and interesting detail. I recommend this tour to anybody who is interested in the history and f Sydney!! 5 star trip
Freedom35886576154, 29-12-2022
Ditto what everyone else said. Max has exceptional knowledge of Sydney’s history. We have done multiple different experiences during our visit but this one was by far the most enjoyable when it came down to learning. So many facts, colourful stories, conveyed with true passion for the city. We did not want the tour to end!

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