Originally occupied by the Eora Aboriginal people, The Rocks is the site of Australia’s first European settlement on 26th January 1788. Funnily enough, The Rocks got its name because of the prominent outcrops of sandstone on the hillside. With redevelopment starting in the 1970’s the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority turned The Rocks into a clean, historical tourist precinct, full of narrow cobbled streets, colonial buildings, converted warehouses, small cafes and kitsch souvenirs.
Many of the restored old buildings retain their heritage status and are now home to many interesting shops, galleries, quaint pubs and cafes and many good restaurants.
A beautiful place to stroll around, especially when you get to explore the back streets! It’s amazing the places you can find!
Talking of Sydney Tours
If you don’t want your own personal guide, this is the way to do it…
the Audio Guided Walking Tour is an excellent alternative - you can see the sights and hear about them when you want to.
Not only is there The Rocks tour, you can now get Sydney in a Day, Vision of a City and Sydney City tour.
These CD’s can be bought online or at many spots around the traps…from Berkelouw Books in Paddington, David Jones in the City to Hotels and Museums. Visit the website for details of locations.
Sydney Walking Tours
Been in the business for 25 years, these friendly, enthusiastic guides will let The Rocks story unfold in an enjoyable 90 minute leisurely stroll through Sydney’s heritage village! Explore hidden alley-ways, cobblestone lanes and quaint courtyards; see some of Sydney’s oldest dwellings, shops old and new and working class nineteenth century terrace cottages.
La Renaissance Patisserie
An amazing 25 years ago this month, La Renaissance Patisserie opened its doors to the lucky people of the North Shore… it was either Bondi Road or a trip to France for one to get the real deal croissant!
10 years ago Sally was wondering through The Rocks and instantly loved the feel of the old stone houses. She wrote to the Sydney Cove authority with a proposal for a patisserie, to her delight was given the thumbs up straight away! With a champagne breakfast on Bastille Day in 1992, La Renaissance Patisserie was formally open!
A family business, owned and operated since 1974 by Paris trained Pierre Charkos and his wife Sally. Now the sons are learning the ropes and stepping up to ensure the reputation Pierre and Sally have earned remains. Olivier is currently being trained in the kitchen whilst Christophe and Jeremy are working as baristas.
Following on from the theme of their name, their “signature” cakes are named after French painters Mousse Van Gogh (chocolate mousse topped with a layer of Grand Marnier flavoured bavaroise, encased in a sponge mould), Larme de Gaugin (tear-drop shaped cake; creamy mixed berry mousse encased in a sponge mould, decorated with mixed berries), Mousse Picasso, Monet, coupe Cezanne, the latest addition Lautrec.
If for some crazy reason you don’t have a sweet tooth, you have many options to keep you happy… quiches, ham and cheese croissants, cheese sticks etc, but they all seem terribly boring and mundane compared to the sweets on offer.
More information & cost
Talking of Sydney Tours
CD’s can be purchased online or at participating locations, see website for details www.talkingofsydney.com.au
Anytime you like
The Rocks Walking Tours
23 Playfair Street, Rocks Square
The Rocks. Opp. the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Adults $19, Child (10-16yrs) $10.50, Family (2A & 2C) $48.50
Weekdays 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm weekends & Public Holidays 11.30am, 2pmwww.rockswalkingtours.com.au
La Renaissance Cafe Patisserie
47 Argyle Street, The Rocks
Range of slices from $4.50, apple turnover $4.70, pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) $4.50, quiche $1.70, latte $3 (prices are for eat-in)
Open every day 8.30am-6pmwww.larenaissance.com.au