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A close up shot of a barrel with four pints of beer and a cheese
Photograph: Daniel Boud

A pub crawl through the Rocks

An all day drinking adventure through historic Sydney

Written by
Emily Lloyd-Tait
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The best spots for boozing in the Rocks are all located just a hop, skip and jump from each other, so make a day of it and try to collect them all.

11am – Harts Pub
  • The Rocks

Kick off your crawl with some craft beers out in the sunny courtyard at this old terrace pub at the pinnacle of Essex Street. They have six Rocks brews on tap, plus six rotating taps for more crafty entertainment than a packet of pipe cleaners and a hot glue gun.

12.30pm – The Australian Heritage Hotel
  • Bars
  • The Rocks
  • price 1 of 4

After priming your stomach with beers from the convict-descended crew over at Harts Pub it’s time to lay the foundations for a big day with the coat of arms pizza and a bottle of boutique beer, best enjoyed at one of the outdoor tables on Cumberland Street.

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2pm – Glenmore Hotel
  • Bars
  • The Rocks
  • price 1 of 4

Bask in the winter sun up on the rooftop and raise a glass to some of Sydney’s best boozing vistas. Or if it’s a bit nippy head behind the bar to a tucked-away nook: green-leather booths, dark wood and a view to the city.
 

4pm – The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Millers Point

You’ll want to get in after the lunch rush and before the evening crowds descend on this riotously popular brewery hotel. Once you’ve bagsed a seat let the tasting party begin as you make your way through the six house-brewed ales and order up ploughman boards of pickles, cheese, damper, relish, mustard and pickled eggs for afternoon snacks.

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6pm – The Hero of Waterloo
  • Bars
  • Millers Point
  • price 1 of 4

After a serve of English bitters and flavoursome porters at the Nelson, this is the place to lighten things up with a James Squire pale ale or an ice cold Reschs. And with the sun well and truly set you’ll want to find a cosy spot near the sandstone fireplace by the old piano.

8pm – The Mercantile Hotel
  • Bars
  • The Rocks

At the later stages of a pub crawl you’ll be needing Guinness for strength, and for dancing. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights they have live music that ramps things up from the traditional sets earlier in the day.

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10pm – Fortune of War
  • Bars
  • The Rocks
  • price 1 of 4

It may be surrounded by boutiques sporting tourist-friendly price-tags, but this well-weathered watering hole down on George Street is a friendly hideaway. Head here for some lager by the harbour with a mixed bag of tradies, former maritime workers, business folk and visitors after some Sydney history.

After midnight – The Argyle
  • Bars
  • The Rocks
  • price 1 of 4

Once this cobblestone courtyard served as an unloading dock for tall ships lugging in and out of the Argyle Storehouse. These days it’s the sight for unloading after hours over a German beer and some woodfired pizza before the late night party jams get cranked up to eleven.

Got a taste for Sydney history?

  • Museums
  • History

Not just places for school excursions and escaping the summer sun, Sydney’s museums are where you’ll uncover stories about the people who’ve made this city what it is today, its natural history and the science, design and innovation that’ll propel us into the future.

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