This is the fourth walk in Explore Sydney on Foot series, it walks through iconic Sydney Opera House, bustling Circular Quay and The Rocks – site of first English settlement in Australia.

Do check our first walk, second walk and third walk which cover the area around Town Hall, Hyde Park, State Library of New South Wales, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and Botanical Garden; first two walks are specially recommended to those who are on Business trip and only have lunch hour to explore the city. These are self-guided walks and you can download the map to follow the route.

Disclaimer: The data included as part of Sydney Walk – Sydney Opera House to The Rocks has been obtained from other agencies, HolidayLogue cannot guarantee that information contained in the walk is comprehensive and up to date.

Walking Time: 35 mins (excluding time spent at each place), Distance 2.8 km

You can continue this walk from ‘Walk 3’ by exiting Botanical Gardens via Queen Elizabeth II gate (northwest, follow the path with the harbour on your right), which leads directly to the Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House
(UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Top Left Image by Kazuhisa Togo via Wikipedia, Top Right Image by Rosino via Wikipedia
Bottom Left Image  by John Hill via Wikipedia, Bottom Centre Image by MorePix via Wikipedia, Bottom Right Image by MorePix via Wikipedia

  • Walk around the base along the shoreline to get a feel for the size and majesty of the structure
  • Climb the pink granite steps for a closer look at the famous white shells
  • Shells represent to a yacht’s billowing wh
    ite sails
  • Check a subtle chevron pattern on tiles in two colours: glossy white and matte cream
  • Take a guided tour; Check the tours, prices, available dates at

Leave the opera house by walking south along the pedestrian promenade of East Circular Quay. This controversial modern development offers many al fresco dining choices with stunning views, but was criticized for obstructing sight lines between Circular Quay and the Royal Botanic Gardens


Circular Quay


Image by Alan and Flora Botting via Wikipedia

  • It is the small cove with multiple wharfs, forming the terminus for most of Sydney’s ferry services. This is a good departure point for day trips to Manly or Taronga Zoo
  • Walk along the promenade next to the wharfs, passing buskers and street entertainers
  • Soak in great views of the Harbour Bridge, day and night, from all points of Circular Quay

At the centre of Circular Quay, walk south under Circular Quay railway station and across the large open square toarrow Customs House

Customs House


Image by Greg O’Beirne via Wikipedia

  • This early colonial building now serves as a space for cultural events
  • Walk into the lobby and examine the scale model of Sydney embedded under the glass floor
  • Customs House features a grand atrium, impressive Helix staircase, striking contemporary interiors
  • Opening Hours:
    • Weekdays: 8.00 a.m. – midnight
    • Saturday: 10.00 a.m. – midnight
    • Sunday: 11.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.

Go back to Circular Quay and continue walking around the shoreline to the west, turning north. The large artdeco building is the Museum of Contemporary Art, originally the Maritime Services Board offices. Walk up to George Street, placing you in the heart arrowof The Rocks

The Rocks

(Starting from Top left in clockwise direction) The Argyle Cut: Image by JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD via Wikipedia, The Argyle Street: Image by EurovisionNim via Wikipedia, Cadmans Cottage: Image by Sardaka via Wikipedia & Harbour Bridge from The Rocks: Image by sydneyn_malmelinit via Wikipedia

  • This historic district was the site of the first English settlement in Australia, and contains many original buildings
  • The Rocks is very different in character and atmosphere from the neighbouring commercial and retail centre of Sydney
  • Notable Places to visit:
    • Cadman’s Cottage – this small sandstone cottage was built in 1815-1816, one of few surviving building in Sydney from first 30 years of the colony
      • Address: Cadman’s Cottage , 110, George Street
      • Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 9.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. & Saturday – Sunday 10.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.
      • Free admission
    • The Rocks Market – Walk north up George St, it hosts famous The Rocks Market
      • Address: Playfair Street, George Street, Jack Mundey Place
      • Opening Hours:
        • The Rocks Markets: Saturdays & Sundays between 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
        • The Rocks Friday Foodie Market: Fridays between 9.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.
      • The Argyle Cut – is a tunnel that cut through the sandstone cliffs giving a direct connection between Millers Point and the Rocks. It is an imposing but aesthetic example of convict labour’s public work. Built between 1843 – 1859
      • The Garrison Church – The Garisson Church was the colony’s first military church
      • Dawes Battery – see the archaeological remains of Australia’s First Permanent Defence Fortification; it was constructed between 1791 – 1925
        • Address: Hickson Road, The Rocks


Walking Route Map
Places of Interest Map

Other Sydney Walks
Sydney Town Hall To Hyde Park
St Mary’S Cathedral To The State Library
Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, Botanical Garden