This morning we headed out for a walking tour of the Rocks, the oldest area of Sydney and probably the most interesting. Our guide was very good and we covered a lot of the area. We started by heading down to the water and saw the oldest cottage in Sydney, before looping around back to Argyle Street. The guide filled us in on the stories of some of the convicts who arrived on the First Fleet and who then went on to make their fortunes in Sydney once they had finished their seven-year sentences. Some of them were sent over for quite trivial reasons but most were career criminals - mostly thieves and fraudsters - who managed to make Sydney into a successful town.
After the tour, we crossed the road to the Argyle Pub for lunch - quite pricey but lots of food and a nice setting out in the courtyard. Next, we headed back to the shops and Laura managed to find a bag to match her dress for New Year's Eve.
Back at the hostel, we spent some time online before heading out again in the evening to visit the Sydney Tower, the tallest building in the city. When we arrived, we were told that we could be queuing for up to an hour, but we were prepared to wait - our tickets were only valid for that night so we didn't really have much choice! Anyway, it turned out we didn't have to wait quite as long as we were told.
The view from the top was spectacular - a 360° lookout over the city. The only thing that spoiled it were the plastic windows which meant that any photos had a reflection of the people standing behind you in them! Worth a trip up though and it included a 4D cinema thing where we 'flew' over Sydney, which was pretty impressive - we even got sprayed with water during the beach bits!
Afterwards, we called in at the hostel to pick up some drinks vouchers for the two pubs next door - the Australian Hotel and the Glenmore Hotel - and headed out for a few cheap drinks. Apparently the Glenmore, which is just an ordinary pub, are charging $300 to get in on New Year's Eve because they have a roof terrace where, if you stretch on your toes, you might just be able to see the Opera House! No thanks! New Year's Eve Eve and a trip up the Harbour Bridge tomorrow…