Sydney’s Historical Macquarie Street
Whether you are new to Sydney, just visiting or have lived here all your life, do yourself a favour and take yourself on a tour of Macquarie Street. For over 200 years this street has been at the heart of Sydney’s transformation into a modern city and hosts a great many national treasures. So if you have even a slight interest in Australia’s history, architecture or culture, you’ll want to make your way into the CBD and check out some of these great city landmarks.
Start your tour of this historical precinct at Hyde Park. Take a stroll through the 40 acres of Australia’s oldest parklands that has, over its lifespan, served as a race-course, sporting venue and military training ground. You need to check out the park’s ANZAC War Memorial, Captain Cook monument and Archibald Fountain before you move on.
Next up is Hyde Park Barracks. The Barracks has served as lodging for convicts and immigrants over the years and was also a female asylum between 1862 and 1886. The building now hosts a museum which you should definitely visit if you are at all interested in convict history.
Next-door is The Mint, which held Australia’s first public offices, and next door to that is Sydney Hospital, Australia’s first hospital. Both heritage listed buildings are prime examples of Sydney’s 19th architectural style and reflect key parts of the city’s history.
Across from Sydney Hospital is Martin Place, one of the city’s most recognisable precincts. It is also home to the Museum of Australian Currency Notes, a stop which is highly recommended for your self-guided heritage tour.
Take your time and admire St Stephen’s Church and Parliament House before moving on to The State Library of New South Wales. You can immerse yourself in Sydney’s history by browsing through the huge collection of research and reference material or you could just enjoy the beauty of this majestic piece of architecture.
At some point in your day why not take a break from colonial Sydney and enjoy a picnic lunch in Hyde Park or The Royal Botanic Gardens. Both locations offer a peaceful atmosphere amidst beautiful surroundings and are in close proximity to Macquarie Street.
Visiting all of these spots should take up the better part of your day, but if you can fit it in you might want to add Government House,Treasury Building, Conservatorium of Music and History House; all holding immense intrinsic and heritage value.
So no matter how much (or little) you think you know about Sydney’s history, this day should prove thoroughly enjoyable.
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