Discover Sydney on Foot


Sydney, Australia

Believe it or not, as much as Sydney is a popular destination with world-famous attractions, there are many secret gems tucked away within walking distance of Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. Our team of in-house experts share some of their best-kept secrets, certain to inspire visitors to hit the footpath – as well as local residents to rediscover their city and childhood haunts.

Enjoy a Walk Down Memory Lane: With its cobblestone streets, smugglers’ tunnels and quays, the Rocks district is best explored on foot. Its charming alleyways still evoke the bygone era; Playfair Street is where The Rocks Markets are held every weekend, while it’s a tighter squeeze along the Nurses Walk, which runs parallel to Harrington and George Streets. This narrow lane honours the nurses who worked at the first hospitals from colonial settlement in 1788 until 1816. A good point of access to the Nurses Walk is the Suez Canal entry from George Street – less than a metre wide, it was a haunt of a 19th century street gang who are now immortalised on its walls. For those looking for guided walking tours, our Concierges will be happy to share their recommendations.

Isn’t It Ironic: Experience the Australian sense of humour in finding the tiny doctor’s surgery that is now a whiskey bar, and the warehouse where the first cattle were unloaded, which is now a fine dining steak house.

Find a New Perspective: For a quieter viewing point of the stunning Harbour, Assistant Chief Concierge Josh Blake recommends Sydney Observatory Hill, a short walk from the Hotel, or the site of the original Dawes Point Battery under the Bridge. “You may see some bridge climbers above you on the cat walks and the occasional train rattle overhead, but it’s a fantastic location and seems to still be one of the Harbour’s secrets,” says Josh. “I like to take a sandwich from The Fine Food Store tucked away in the Rocks Centre on Argyle Street, or a sausage and fennel roll from La Renaissance Bakery.”

Take the Scenic Route: Soak up the Harbour in all its majesty with a leisurely walk from the Hotel past the ferries at Circular Quay, around the Opera House and into the Royal Botanic Gardens. Stop for a coffee at one of the many cafes along the walk, and continue to Mrs. Macquarie's Chair. While the sandstone rock ledge carved by convicts in 1810 is a popular landmark for visitors, along the western side (facing the Opera House) is a small undercut. “This is where I like to escape with a coffee and my book while waiting for sunset to fall behind the Opera House,” says Josh. Should you find yourself so lost in the moment that you become locked inside the Gardens after hours, simply follow the walkway up to the road where you can find a side exit to the Art Gallery of NSW, and a taxi or Uber back to the Hotel.

Open the Blinds and Watch Sydney’s Top Shows: Not all the action happens outside. The Hotel’s unrivalled location overlooking the Harbour Bridge and Opera House enables guests to experience events such as Vivid Sydney and New Year’s Eve fireworks, literally right outside your window. Choose a room or suite with a Full Harbour View to enjoy a front-row seat to the kaleidoscopic light installations during Vivid – the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere – or the incredible fireworks show that lights up the Bridge every New Year’s Eve.