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Convicts, Innovation and Entertainment

A fun and educational way to discover Sydney's past and present
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.9 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Sydney could really be one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the world, with something of interest to be found on every street... more »

Tips:  Bring water, especially on a hot day, and a tote bag or backpack for picnic supplies. Make sure to apply sunscreen before setting out ... more »

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Points of Interest

The best place to start this walk is not on the ground but up in the sky, looking out over the city from the Sydney Tower's observation deck 250 meters above the city. From here, you can pinpoint all the places that you will be walking to during this walk.

The Sydney Tower is Australia's tallest free-standing structure and offers something for... More

Leaving the Sydney Tower, head left down Market Street toward Hyde Park and cut through the park via Archibald Fountain to the other side. Straight across from the park is the Hyde Park Barracks.

Designed by a convict (architect Francis Greenway) and built by convicts, this squarish and stark Georgian building has had a varied history. Initially... More

Leaving the Hyde Park Barracks, head north on MacQuarie Street and turn left into Martin Place for a quick detour to the Museum for Australian Currency.

This small museum, located inside the Reserve Bank of Australia, showcases the story of Australia's currency from colonial times to present day. There's even a $1,000 note to feast your eyes on.
... More

Head back to MacQuarie Street and then continue north, passing by the State Library of NSW.

MacQuarie Street was designed by Lachlan MacQuarie, governor of New South Wales from 1810-1821, as a ceremonial thoroughfare. As a result, the street became where the wealthy wanted to settle. Most of the grand residences that once lined the street have... More

Continue on MacQuarie Street until you reach Albert Street on the left. Turn onto Albert Street and walk to the corner of Albert Street and Phillips where you will find the Justice and Police Museum.

Housed in the old Water Police Station (1854-1886), the Justice & Police Museum highlights the seedy side of the city, with exhibits of weapons,... More

6. Tank Stream Fountain

If you continue along Alfred Street toward George Street you will come across the tree-lined concrete-paved Herald Square. Right in the middle of this busy square is the extraordinary Tank Stream Fountain.

This Stephen Walker creation features various Australian wildlife bronze figures frolicking among the bubbling streams and fountains. While... More

From the Tank Stream Fountain, it's only a short walk to George Street and Sydney's oldest European settlement. When you reach George Street, turn right and you'll be in the Rocks, a world heritage listed area with many old buildings, hidden alleyways, shops and cafes.

Wander freely around the area, but keep a look out for the fascinating Suez... More

Walk under the Argyle Cut to the stairs opposite the Garrison Church (the colony's first military church). At the top of the stairs, turn left and head down Watson Road to Observation Park and Sydney Observatory.

Observation Park is possibly one of the most overlooked places in Sydney, but those who are smart enough to head there will discover... More

From the Sydney Observatory, retrace your steps via the Argyle Cut back to the Rocks. Once on the eastern side of the bridge highway, look out for the Argyle Steps (67 steps), which lead up Cumberland Street. Once on Cumberland Street, take the Bridge Stairs (69 steps) to access the one-kilometer pedestrian walkway that leads to the Pylon Lookout... More

Having looked out over Sydney Harbour from the Pylon Lookout, it's time to head back to Circular Quay. Return to Argyle Street and head east through the Rocks to Circular Quay West. Turn right and wander along the waterfront to where the ferries are docked.

With plenty of benches, restaurants and entertainment, it's a great place to sit and... More