Early Sydney, Before and After Colonisation

Whether you were an Aborigine, a convict, free settler or officer, life in early colonial Sydney was agonising and frightening. On our tour your students will experience the contrastingly different lives of early settlers as they each become a character, living during this period of colonial history.

Learn why convicts were sent to Australia and what their journey was like.

What happened when the first fleet and convicts arrived?

Journey through The Rocks and discover first hand what life was like in colonial Sydney.

Focus includes:

  • What was life like for the original Aboriginal inhabitants of Sydney (the Cadigal people)
  • Why the colony was established and the consequences of colonisation for both the Cadigal people and the newcomers
  • How the local landscape has changed, including significant historical sites
  • Students each receive an individual character card of a significant person from this time. Each student will hear their own story told, as the walk travels through the various sites relevant to these characters

Schedule: Check the calendar for current availability

Duration: approx. 1.5 hours

Meeting point: First Fleet Park, the grassy area adjacent to Wharf 6 at Circular Quay and beside the Museum of Contemporary Art

Finish: The walk finishes back at the starting point

Suitable for: Suits HSIE Stage 2 students studying NSW Syllabus First Contacts.

Accessibility: This walk can also be easily adapted for people in wheelchairs, please let us know if you have any students with special requirements

Just wanted to thank you and your guides for a really enjoyable and informative day on Tuesday. We all enjoyed our historical walk and talks. Thanks again Rob.

K. Walters, Copacabana Public School - June 2017

Thankyou for a great tour yesterday Robert, I heard one of the Year 5 Teachers in our staff room this morning, telling another teacher what a great excursion it was and how much the boys enjoyed it!

J. Egan-Wyer, Shore Prep School - June 2017

Thank you for a most enjoyable day, the students mentioned how much they enjoyed it

J.Theunissen, Mary Immaculate, Eagle Vale - June 2017

The excursion was excellent and all of the staff that attended really enjoyed the whole experience. The students feedback was really positive as well. I look forward to our next walking tour!

H. Carlton, Regina Coeli Beverley Hills - June 2017

Bookings, payment and information

Please use the online booking function to book your walk, this is a live system so it is continuously up to date. If you require a date or time not listed or booked out, please call or email so we can accommodate your requirements. Deposits or advance payments are not required for any of our educational walks. Your booking confirmation email will contain a link to download the emergency plan and risk assessment for that specific tour.

Most of our educational walks are usually scheduled twice per day, right throughout the year during school terms. Suggested walk start times for this walk are daily at 10:30am and 12:30pm, however we can also customise this to suit your needs so please contact us with your requirements. We recommend arriving 30 minutes prior to your walk start time for recess or lunch and toilets.

We can book up to six classes for the same walk from the same starting time, staggered five minutes apart. Maximum group size is 30 students, minimum charge rate for 12 students applies for groups of 12 or less. Each school group must be accompanied by at least one teacher. Larger bookings can be split between morning and afternoon sessions, or over different days. One teacher, carers and support staff, and up to two parent helpers per group may attend free of charge. Please contact us with your specific requirements if necessary.

Bus drop off is southbound on George Street, opposite DFS Galleria 155 George St. You will then need to walk down the steps to First Fleet Park, the grassy area adjacent to Wharf 6 at Circular Quay and beside the Museum of Contemporary Art

If travelling by train, disembark at Circular Quay railway station and walk 100m north to the Museum of Contemporary Art, alternatively Wynyard station is 850m or a 10-15 minute walk.

Finish point is back at First Fleet Park where we started.

The grassed area around the MCA is an ideal spot for the students to eat recess and lunch before and after the walking tour. The toilets are conveniently located at the western end of Circular Quay Station, behind wharf 6, just a short walk away.

  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking, there will also be places where we sit down
  • Wear a hat and sunscreen if it is sunny, bring a raincoat if the weather looks bad
  • Don’t bring a heavy school bag, just bring a light bag with your recess, lunch and a drink bottle

If rain is forecast we will check in with the organising teacher no later than two days prior to the tour to make a decision whether to proceed. We have wet weather plans for light rainy conditions that utilise sheltered areas throughout the walk, and students should also bring raincoats. Umbrellas are not recommended.

Deposits or payments are not required in order to make and confirm bookings.

Public schools using the EdConnect Shared Services system will need to provide a purchase order number prior to the tour.

We will confirm your final number of students two days prior to the tour, and quote the final cost back to you so that the purchase order can be raised.

Private schools and other schools not on the EdConnect system will be invoiced directly on the day of the tour, for payment by EFT within 14 days

Bookings can be cancelled or re-scheduled up to 1 week prior at no charge. Re-scheduling due to bad weather must be made no later than 24 hours prior to the scheduled start time.

A 20% fee applies to all other cancellations made up to seven days before the walk.

No refund will be made if a booking is cancelled within 24 hours of the scheduled start time or in the event of a no show.

To the extent permitted by law, the Company excludes liability and will not be responsible for any loss, damage or injury arising from or connected with the tour, no matter how that loss, damage or injury is caused. In particular, the Company will not be responsible for loss or damage arising from a Participant’s failure to obey the Company guides’ instructions or from any pre-existing medical or psychological condition. Further, but only to the extent permitted by law, the Company will not be responsible for loss or damage arising from any negligent act or omission of the Company or any person for whom the Company is responsible. Certain laws imply non-excludable conditions and warranties. This provision does not exclude those conditions and warranties but limits the Company’s liability in relation to these to provision of services provided by the Company again, or refund of the cost of those services.