Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

Best Things to do at The Rocks

Home > Sydney > Lists | Escape the City | Day Trips
by Manuel (subscribe)
Freelance writer and street photographer
Published April 21st 2013
A quiet afternoon with the best view in Sydney
Life in the city is always on the go. Yes, we do get the chance to chill out with our mates, but we do need some peace and quiet. Staying at home and sleeping it through can be attractive at first, but there's gotta be more than just that, right?

Fortunately for Sydneysiders, the city has lots of places you can go to for a quick escape. Everyday, I cross the Harbour Bridge. I get a glimpse of the Opera House in the morning, and the beautiful sunset in the afternoon. I never expected though that the scene I see everyday could still charm me, but it did, when I saw it from a different perspective, literally.

The Rocks precinct offers a quick escape from the daily grind, with a little taste of Sydney history and yes, if you have kids in tow, a quick lesson in astronomy. Here are some points of interest you may wish to consider:

Sydney Observatory

View from a window of the observation deck, Sydney Observatory
The Sydney Observatory


The Sydney Observatory is housed in a heritage-listed beautiful sandstone building. It has beautiful grounds. It is not huge though, so expect to spend just from under 30 minutes to a couple of hours there, which should already include the 3D movie show and the use of a powerful telescope.

pyrmont, balmain, rozelle, millers point, scenic view, sydney
The Sydney Observatory at The Rocks



The Sydney Observatory is part of the Powerhouse Museum, so if you are a member, you get complimentary entry. Otherwise, the cost is quite affordable: $8 for adults, $6 for children, and a family rate of $22. Visit the Sydney Observatory for updated rates, or for evening rates (yes, it is open in the evening, but bookings essential).

Observatory Hill

If you are not into educational quickies, you may skip the Sydney Observatory visit, although you definitely should have a go at the powerful big telescope at least once in a lifetime. Walk around the grounds of the Observatory and just outside its gates, the Observatory Hill, which has plenty of great vantage points overlooking the Harbour Bridge, Walsh Bay and beyond.

pyrmont-balmain-rozelle-millers-point-scenic-view
View from the Sydney Observatory Grounds


Like I said, I pass by the Harbour Bridge everyday to and from work. I used to be fascinated by the bridge until seeing it became a routine and it became just like a regular fixture from my train window. But seeing it from a different angle brought its charms back.

sydney harbour bridge, milson's point, macmahon's point, dawes point, lavender bay
A view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Observatory Hill


Go ahead, linger awhile. Enjoy the scenic views all around you. Children can run around, admire the big gun, or play at the gazebo. (Watch them though, because they can roll down the hill. Don't worry, the area is fenced so your kid won't get to the bottom). Seriously, the place is popular for wedding photography. The last time we went there, there were at least 3 post-wedding photography sessions, and a handful of family or pre-nuptial shots. This must be proof that it really has some of the best views in the city.

The Garrison Church

I am not inviting you to attend church service, but just at the bottom of Observatory Hill if you come down through Watson Road, at the corner of Argyle and Lower Fort streets, you'll find the Garrison Church, a historic building founded in 1840 which predates St. Mary's Cathedral by more than 20 years. Take a peek inside and marvel at its architecture.

garrison church, historic building, heritage, anglican church of australia
The First Garrison Church in Australia, the Holy Trinity at Miller's Point

The Brewery

Come down to Argyle Street towards Kent, at the corner you'll not miss The Brewery and Lord Nelson Hotel. This is one of Sydney's oldest and hence is very much a living history. It was built in 1836 from solid sandstone blocks. Quench your thirst with freshly brewed beer or dine and choose from 350 wine varieties.

Lord Nelson Hotel, The Brewery, Lord Nelson Brewery
The Lord Nelson Hotel and Brewery dates back to 1836. Fail not to try its freshly brewed beer, or choose from more than 350 wines.


The Rocks

If you are not ready to call it a day, head down Argyle street away from The Brewery. This will bring you to the heart of The Rocks precinct, and feel free to wander around and enjoy.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  53
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? Rediscovering Sydney
When: Watson Road, Observatory Hill, The Rocks
Where: The Rocks
Cost: Varies (from FREE to some $)
Your Comment
There is also the S.H Ervin Gallery a major public art gallery with changing exhibitions, along with a cafe, housed at The National Trust of Australia on Observatory Hill. Great art, good food, great times.
by Leica (score: 0|2) 2183 days ago
Ive lived outside of sydney for many years but always worked and never had the time to get to know my city. Now im retired im going to start exploring and love the info given, im going to give it a go !!!
by Chrissi (score: 0|2) 1883 days ago
Articles from other cities
Featured
Foodi Photoh Classie
Related
by Justine Crowley on 14/02/2012
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions