The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel The Colonial History Test -

Get into the spirit: The Rocks Ghost Tour ex­plores the spooky tales and haunted sites of this for­mer con­vict colony with its his­tory of dis­ease, vi­o­lence, hang­ings and mur­der. Tours depart daily from Cad­man’s Cot­tage. www.ghost­tours.com.au. Shop talk: The Su­san­nah Place Mu­seum, built in 1844, con­sists of four brick houses and in­cludes a 1920s gro­cer’s shop. Vis­i­tors are given a guided tour and can ex­plore re-cre­ated in­te­ri­ors from dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods. www.hht.net.au. Walk the walk: Rocks walk­ing tours take place ev­ery day, rain or shine, from Play­fair Street: three times a day week­days, twice a day at week­ends and pub­lic hol­i­days. www.rock­swalk­ing­tours.com.au. Mar­ket daze: The Rocks mar­ket is held ev­ery week­end from 10am to 5pm with more than 150 stalls along Ge­orge and Play­fair streets. Buy his­toric pho­to­graphs,

As art­works, jew­ellery, home­wares and in­dige­nous art. www.therocks.com. Art of the Rocks: The Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art’s ex­hi­bi­tions con­tin­u­ally change. Free guided tours daily, with talks by artists and cu­ra­tors most Sun­days. More: www.mca.com.au. Go to church: Lo­cated in the old Mariners Church, the Bil­lich Gallery in Ge­orge Street houses the works of Aus­tralian artist Charles Bil­lich, who paints and draws in all me­dia and sculpts in pre­cious and semi­precious met­als. www.bil­lich.com.au. Done that: The Ken Done Gallery is housed in the her­itage Aus­tralian Steam Nav­i­ga­tion Build­ing and holds the artist’s most ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of work. www.kendone.com.au. Bar none: The Blu Hori­zon atop the ShangriLa Ho­tel has har­bour views and to-die-for cock­tails; Cruise Bar boasts har­bour and Opera House views and top DJs; Lowen­brau Keller is said to have the largest se­lec­tion of Bavar­ian beers and schnapps in Syd­ney; the Ar­gyle, with five bars, is a re­cently opened un­der­ground ware­house en­ter­tain­ment com­plex in The Rocks. On a plate: Top restau­rants in The Rocks in­clude Wild­fire and Neil Perry’s Rock­pool; stylish Bel Mondo in Glouces­ter Street com­bines old beams with a su­per-mod­ern kitchen and bar. There are nu­mer­ous other restau­rants hid­den away, such as Nakashima (Ja­panese cui­sine) in Cam­bridge Street and the Gum­nut Tea Gar­den in Har­ring­ton Street, housed in a sand­stone cot­tage built by con­victs in 1830. And don’t for­get the pubs: The Aus­tralian in Cum­ber­land Street has a colour­ful menu that in­cludes kan­ga­roo pie and salt­wa­ter croc­o­dile pizza with matched Aus­tralian beers and wines. And so to bed: The Rus­sell in Ge­orge Street (bed and break­fast only) com­bines char­ac­ter with po­si­tion; my tip would be to choose one of the older rooms (dat­ing to the 1840s). Dou­ble rooms from $125. www.therus­sell.com.au. Barry Oliver

Haunted by the past: A Rocks ghost tour

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