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

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Sydney, Australia
Convicts and The Rocks: Sydney's Walking Tour Led by Historian
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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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icon2 hours 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Overview

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.
  • Learn the true stories behind Sydney’s convict past
  • Historian guide leads 2-hour walking tour
  • Entrance to historic buildings included
  • Local guide answers questions and shares insider tips
Saved to wishlist!
A local Sydney history expert as your tour guide
2.5 hour walking tour covering approximately 20 historic sites and stories
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
Food is not included on this tour, but your tour guide will have fantastic local recommendations
Gratuities
Customs House , 31 Alfred St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

This tour meets in front of CUSTOMS HOUSE (31 Alfred Street Circular Quay). Your guide will be located outside the building on right hand-side if facing the entrance. Your guide will have a white tour folder that says CONVICT HISTORY TOUR and a navy blue Journey Walks shirt.

10:30 AM
The Australian Heritage Hotel , 100 Cumberland St, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • We continue our tours in all weather conditions so please dress accordingly. Umbrella's are a good idea if wet weather seems likely.
  • 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.
  • Anyone requiring special assistance is kindly asked to make contact with your local operator in advance.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are advised that this tour may include the names and images of people who are now deceased.
  • Your guide is a native English speaker and will carry tour folder with A3 size images to help illustrate the area's past
  • Groups are kept small (10 person maximum) and we encourage questions and interaction.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travellers can participate
  • Your guide will ensure that Covid-safe social distancing measures and a contact free policy is in place throughout the tour
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travellers
  • OPERATED BY Journey Walks
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • 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.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.


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Traveller Tips


  • "Don't miss this most interesting tour and schedule it early in your visit as it ties into everything else you'll see and learn, Best of luck Max with your PhD studies in History!" See review
  • "I have bad feet but I found there were enough stops to relax and listen, so I was able to manage this tour just fine." See review
  • "I would highly recommended taking the walking tour to learn about the history of Sydney and Australia." See review

Reviews by Viator travellers.  We perform checks on reviews

Reviews

5.0
star-5
191 reviews
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Reviews by Viator travellers

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Showing 1-10 of 191 reviews
star-5
The Rocks history walking tour
Paul_O
, Jul. 2022
Excellent tour. The guide I’d very knowledgeable on his subject but keeps it very interesting. The length of the tour is just right
star-5
An interesting and fun experience
Jean_H
, Dec. 2021
April knew her history, and made the experience a fun and interesting one. It was an easy walk and she introduced us to things we would otherwise not have noticed.
star-5
Fabulous Tour
Karen_W
, Mar. 2020
This was one of the best tours we have ever done. Our guide, April, was fantastic. She was both knowledgeable and entertaining. Whoever said history was boring has never taken a tour with April. If you only do one guided tour while you are in Sydney, this has to be the one.
star-5
Walk and talk
Michelle_N
, Feb. 2020
Excellent guide, vet very knowledgeable. Easy walk. Very interesting history with beautifully maintained historical areas.
star-5
History of the Rocks
Patricia_D
, Feb. 2020
Excellent tour and tour guide,Max. Took us to places I would never have gone on my own. Plus lots of little facts along the way.
star-5
"THE ROCKS" Rock!
ThomasJohn_O
, Jan. 2020
Max, our guide and Historian, was awesome, interesting, so informative. The history of the Rocks encompasses the history of Australia and Max made it come alive. Don't miss this most interesting tour and schedule it early in your visit as it ties into everything else you'll see and learn, Best of luck Max with your PhD studies in History!
star-5
Walking tour of the rocks area Sydney
John_C
, Nov. 2019
April was a most enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guide for the rocks! I would highly recommended taking the walking tour to learn about the history of Sydney and Australia. We had a great time on this tour would like to have had time to do the other tour with April, thanks to people like her that keep history alive!
star-5
Early Australia brought to life
Anne_A
, Dec. 2018
Max' s passion for the history and characters of the period when convicts where transported to Australia was very evident.
star-5
Sydney's Walking History Tour with Max
Brian_S
, Oct. 2018
Max is an excellent tour guide. A very interesting and informative walk. I loved the "back alleys' and the stories Max was able to tell us about Australian History. I liked the way he threw in a few questions too to keep us thinking. I have bad feet but I found there were enough stops to relax and listen, so I was able to manage this tour just fine. I hear Max has another tour up his sleeve. "Rum and Rascals". I can't wait to hear more from Max about Australia's past. Wish Max had been my history teacher!
star-5
The walking tour was educational...
Adelina_P
, Apr. 2018
The walking tour was educational, gave us a glimpse into the past of Sydney's discovery by the British, the life's of the convicts and historic buildings. Conducted at a good walking pace with many stops at places you would not find if exploring on your own. I would definitely recommend the tour to anyone wanting to learn more about the early history of The Rocks.
star-5
This was an amazing tour. The tour...
Matt L
, Mar. 2018
This was an amazing tour. The tour guide was very passionate about the history of Sydney and was well versed in giving tours. If you are interested in the beginning history of Sydney this is the tour for you.
star-5
We thoroughly enjoy history and so...
John M
, Feb. 2018
We thoroughly enjoy history and so this walking tour was second to none for us - Max our tour guide has a wealth of international tour guiding experience and he was a really personable young man who made us feel at ease from the outset with his relaxed approach and friendly style. Max had an extremely in-depth, thorough knowledge of his subject 'Convicts and the Rocks' and he had a wealth of fascinating information that had us engaged from the outset. Max has researched this subject thoroughly and he is also a master storyteller which not only allows him to impart the facts but in a very clever way, he weaves a story that is well sequenced and logical, enabling one to commit to memory very clear, well-sequenced ideas about the development of early Sydney from the landing at Botany Bay through to the present day. There were so many moments during the couple of hours that we found ourselves as Australians with a real interest in history being delivered information that was really new to us, which gave us a much richer understanding of our early Sydney history. We highly recommend this tour to all age groups and Australians and tourists alike, as this is a fascinating way to spend a couple of hours and real value for money. At a couple of points along the tour when we stopped to focus on a place of historical significance, there were other walking tours nearby and we both related to each other, that we felt very fortunate to have selected 'Journey Walks' for our tour, as we knew from our tour experiences at that time that we had joined the best tour possible for all its aspects, including the quality of the Tour Guide Max is brilliant at what he does!, the path we traversed and the accompanying story, backed up with in-depth research and a thorough knowledge of the topic, woven by Max as we made our way around the historical precincts. We highly recommend this tour to all age groups and even feel it would be a really worthwhile excursion for both secondary and tertiary students of history. We will be seeking out another tour through 'Journey Walks' as soon as we can. We cannot recommend Max and this tour company highly enough. It was brilliant! John and Jacqueline Albury, NSW
star-5
Max Burns took us on a walk back...
Steven N
, Nov. 2017
Max Burns took us on a walk back into the past on our small group tour of The Rocks... his knowledge of the history and his ability to communicate all of it to us in such and enjoyable manner made this tour a wonderful start to our vacation in Australia and NZ...Max made history come alive and we are so happy we were able to spend our first morning with him!!!
star-5
A truly insightful experience that...
Peter M
, Oct. 2017
A truly insightful experience that engaged our small group from start to finish! Our guide was a natural storyteller with an extensive background in Australian history and architecture. We were struck by his ability to weave Aboriginal, convict, colonial and military history into a clear and entertaining narrative through the Rocks and Circular Quay over 2 hours. Would certainly recommend this tour to both visitors and locals! I learnt so much!
star-5
Having been born in Sydney, I was...
John W
, Oct. 2017
Having been born in Sydney, I was almost embarrassed about how little of its history I knew! Max our guide was absolutely fantastic. His knowledge and enthusiasm kept us enthralled throughout the two or more hours of the tour. My wife and I were the only Australians on the tour, but I would recommend this tour to anyone, whether your a citizen of Australia or not.

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