On my previous trip to Sydney, I didn’t get a chance to walk The Rocks, a tourist precinct and historic area located on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour. Since my hotel was nearby, it seemed natural to venture out to The Rocks on my first afternoon in Sydney.
On this gorgeous day in Sydney while I wasn’t back home in Boston and suffering under mounds of snow, I was elated to slip into a sundress and hit the town with my cameras in tow. What did I forget? Sunscreen and in no time I was already turning red. The only way to combat the effects of sunburn and jet lag is to get a drink and so we did by heading to Löwenbräu Keller in The Rocks. After all, beer makes everything better, right?
Since German food tends to be meat-focused, I knew I wouldn’t be eating a meal here, but what was going to prevent me from having a beer outside, right? I perused the extensive menu to check out their beer offerings as well as to maybe find a suitable vegetarian option.
Now that’s a beer! I thought I’d be adventurous and try 500ml of Franziskaner Mango Weizen with mango juice and Mr. TSG went for the one liter of Hofbräu Original. We also ordered the Ofenfrische Brez’n (Haus-Baked Pretzel) and the Ofenfrisches Knoblauchbrot (Haus-Baked Garlic Rye Bread with cream cheese and red radish dip), which was perfect with the beer. The bread wasn’t garlic bread like you’d expect at an Italian restaurant although our server was from Italy. The garlic bread was yummy, hot, and garlicky.
The beer was great, the food was satisfying, and the view wasn’t too shabby. While it might seem strange to hit up a German restaurant while in Australia, I’ve been known to drop by an English pub or two on my travels to places like Venice, Istanbul, and just about anywhere else.
Playfair Street, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia
The Rocks Markets
If you love shopping, then you’ll definitely want to go to The Rocks Markets on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am – 5 pm. This open air market has stalls with fashion, handcrafted jewelry, textiles, homewares, art, beauty products, and so much more. You can locate the Rocks Markets on Playfair Street, George Street, and Jack Mundey Place.
Maybe food is more your thing? The Rocks Friday Foodie Market is open from 9 am – 3 pm on Fridays at Jack Mundey Place. They had me at cupcakes!
Who can resist a smiling cupcake?
First General Hospital in Australia
Continuing on George Street I noticed this plaque at 127 George Street. In January of 1788, hospital tents were erected when the First Fleet arrived into Sydney Cove. Only a few short months later in July, a hospital was constructed.
In 1979 the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority created the Nurses Walk in honor the nurses that worked in both of the Sydney Hospitals that were located in the area from 1718 to 1816. Nurses were selected from convicts to work in the hospitals, but weren’t paid.
While this was a shortcut in the past to the first hospital, today it stands with restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, stores, and even offices.
The Hickson Steps
Hickson Steps, along with High Steps and Windmill Steps, all link Hickson Road. With such great weather I decided to walk back and this was the route I took to get back to my hotel, Pier One, located on Hickson Road.
Hickson Steps links Fort Street to Hickson Road and was so named for RP Hickson, Chairman of the Sydney Harbour Trust between 1901-12 when Millers Point wharf was redeveloped to include roads and walkways in this area, including the Hickson Steps.
Still Life with Stone and Car
When you climb down to Hickson Road and look left, you’ll see this red car with a large rock in it. At first I thought maybe it was some type of safety advertisement, but no — it’s not. Instead, it’s called Still Life with Stone and Car by American artist, Jimmie Durham. The actual crushing of the red Ford Festiva occurred in the Sydney Opera House forecourt as part of the 2004 Biennale of Sydney.
Still Life with Stone and Car sits on the Pottinger Street roundabout between two “artwork ahead” type signs. Here is one of them while the other says, “begin artwork.”
Speaking of art, imagine my surprise as I walked down the Hickson Steps and thought I was looking at a dead bird. Instead what I was looking at was a Will Coles white cement bird with “nothingness” stamped on its back. Is it about society, culture, individuality? You get to decide what it means.
What I love most about Sydney is that there is always something around the corner to keep my interest and to surprise me, be it art or a new pub.